Essay Outline Writing Tips

Peter, Steven and James, three friends, decided to work on a project together. They wanted to build a pool in Peter’s backyard. The whole project took about three days to complete, and in the end, they had to pay a very high sum of money. All of these difficulties occurred because the project was entirely improvised. The three friends didn’t think to devise a layout or sketch the structure of the pool. As a result, their work was messy, and they made a lot of mistakes that wouldn’t have occurred if they made a plan. Now you may ask yourself whether Peter’s pool is in any way related to academic essays. The answer is yes! This real-life example shows how important it is to devise a good plan, which also applies to essays.

Essay Outline Definition

The structure of your essay is amongst the most useful instruments you have in stock. It offers you a full perspective of what your essay is going to look like. It enables you to structure your original ideas into separate sections and determine the sequence of your points. For instance, in a simple essay structure, each paragraph will include approximately 3 to 5 sentences. In general, the majority of academic essays are made of five paragraphs. Consequently, the structure blueprint will include 15-20 of the original ideas that you’ll approach in the essay. You ought to utilize this outline to create a rational and comprehensible flow of thoughts that will be interconnected and enhance your general argument.

Essay Outline and Blueprint

The outline of a paper varies according to the variety of essay you may be tasked to write. For instance, the outline of a reflective essay and that of a character analysis essay will include two highly distinct section pathways and general information. Nevertheless, for the majority of college assignments, you can use a straightforward essay outline which doesn’t take a lot of time to devise. As a rule, for the majority of essays, the outline delivers the primary notion in one or two phrases per paragraph. Consequently, if you wish to devise an introduction, you can use the following structure:


  • Opening affirmation regarding the paper (hook assertion, historical context, entertaining fact)
  • Succinctly introduce the primary arguments/subjects of the body
    • Present the first body paragraph
    • Present the second body paragraph
    • Present the third body paragraph
    • Present the X body paragraph
  • Analysis Affirmation/Thesis Assertion

In this essay outline model, each of the three ideas will be conveyed in 1 to 3 phrases, varying in accordance with the complexity of the section. In all probability, the first idea will be transmitted in one or two phrases, as it has the sole purpose of presenting the subject of discussion. The second point will carry the biggest number of phrases (most probably two or three) because your objective is to present the primary ideas as briefly as you can. Last but not least, the third point will most probably be conveyed in a single phrase. This is because, in general, the majority of essays revolve around this fundamental affirmation. Therefore, as you can notice in the outline model, three brief sections can be structured in 5 to 7 phrases. As a rule, this is how an essay structure should be devised!

In case you wanted to carry on with this structure model into the body of the essay, you’d most probably need to include more sections in each of the body paragraphs because the information is considerably more complex. Take a look at our model of structure for a 3-body paragraph essay:

Body Paragraphs

  • Subject phrase (Present the primary idea of the whole paragraph and what you’ll talk about) [1 phrase]
  • Argument (Introduce your assumption or thesis. Use a coherent and adequate style) [1-2 phrases]
  • Proof (Once you introduce the argument, you have to demonstrate its authenticity. Introduce evidence from external materials and demonstrate the way in which this data can disprove contrary opinions) [1-3 phrases]
  • Conclusive affirmation (Clarify the importance of your primary argument within the general confines of your paper. To put it otherwise, explain the way in which this particular argument demonstrates your theory) [1 phrase]

As you can notice in the text, the outline of the body paragraphs will include more sections. Moreover, each of these sections will include a larger amount of data. Therefore, you’ll have a lengthier content and a bigger number of phrases. When devising an essay outline, don’t write the whole phrase! Ponder on the overall idea you wish to express and write it down in only a couple of words. In time, you’ll come to the realization that, when writing the essay, it’s difficult to create an adequate flow if you insert predetermined phrases.

Last but not least, you need to devise a structure for your conclusion. The overall target of this section is to summarize the primary ideas of the body paragraphs and to offer a firm conclusive statement to a demonstrated hypothesis assertion. Here is what you need to include in the structure of your conclusion:


  • Reiterate the hypothetic assertion (Commence the conclusive statement with your argument and redirect the audience’s attention towards its significance) [1 phrase]
  • Reiterate the primary ideas transmitted in the body paragraphs (Highlight their universal importance in what regards the contribution they bring to the theory) [1-3 phrases]
  • General conclusive assertion (Describe the real-life implementation of your theory or the value it brings to your life) [1-2 phrases]

Overall, your introduction includes three sections, your body includes 12 (four sections in each of the three paragraphs), and the conclusive statement recaps the paper with three additional sections. Thus, your whole structure is made of 18 primary ideas. These 18 sections are very useful for easing up the writing procedure and enabling you to formulate phrases that have a coherent sequence and validate one another.

Essay Structure Model

In case you are thinking of paying someone to devise your essay from scratch, provided that the writer is responsible, you ought to examine this real-life model. To offer you a practical perspective on how to devise an outline for your paper, we designed a five-paragraph essay structure model. By looking at this example, you’ll understand what you need to include in your essay structure. This example illustrates the structure of a compare and contrast essay which approaches the advantages and disadvantages of the legalization of cannabis.

The Frail Equilibrium of Cannabis Legitimization


  • The dispute concerning the legitimization of cannabis.
  • Succinct historical background of marijuana and the influence it exerts on the population.
  • Hypothesis assertion model: According to the findings of many studies, in spite of the fact that the state supervision of marijuana entails a lot of advantages and disadvantages, the expenses-advantages assessment shows that it needs to be legitimized.

First Body Paragraph

  • The subject phrase that presents the advantages of the legitimization of cannabis.
  • Therapeutic application for people living with Parkinson syndrome and cancer.
  • It has the potential of diminishing the expenditures entailed by the fight against narcotics.
  • Information from Source A demonstrates that point 2 represents an advantageous concept.
  • Information from Source B demonstrates that point 3 is well-founded. Moreover, the government will reduce frontier defense costs by “$30,500,000” (imagined sum).
  • Conclusive assertion regarding the way in which part of the advantages may lead to highly beneficial modifications in a lot of fields.

Second Body Paragraph

  • The subject phrase that presents the disadvantages of the legitimization of cannabis.
  • Indirectly encourages a society of indolent youngsters due to the “lazy drug addict” cliché.
  • Intensifies sensory faculty conscience dangers like DUI as well as work-related disciplinary cases.
  • As revealed by source X, more than 70% of the grown-up inhabitants of the State of Michigan think that the legitimization of cannabis will generate diminished productivity from a vast number of young people.
  • Source Y reveals that DUIs have doubled in states where marijuana is not prohibited.
  • Conclusive assertion regarding the dangerous consequences of the legitimization of marijuana.

Third Body Paragraph

  • The subject phrase that explains the fact that the expenses-advantages assessment concludes that the plant should be legitimized.
  • In spite of the fact that DUI’s and disciplinary cases may increase in numbers, the government will be capable of allocating more funds to more pressing domestic problems like brutality or the trafficking of persons.
  • Show proof of the second point (diminishment of organized crime, marijuana associated felonies, etc.)
  • In spite of the existence of the “sloth-like drug addict” cliché, the information included in Source M reveals that cannabis consumption stimulated originality and thoughts that were groundbreaking in nowadays’ culture.
  • Show proof for point 4 (investigations, interrelationship outcome, etc.)
  • Conclusive assertion regarding the way in which the advantages outbalance the disadvantages, demonstrating the universal idea that legitimizing marijuana represents a positive measure.


  • Reiteration of the hypothesis: As demonstrated by the proof introduced earlier, the legitimization of cannabis will bring about more advantages than disadvantages.
  • Reiterate the advantages of cannabis legitimization.
  • Reiterate the disadvantages of cannabis legitimization.
  • Reiterate the expenses-advantages assessment conclusion.
  • The legitimization of marijuana will generate a lot of modifications in our culture; some beneficial and some detrimental. In spite of the fact that this measure has been subject to many disputes in the course of time, studies mostly advocate that its timely implementation is essential to the universal well-being and happiness of today’s society.

Essay Outline Tips from Our Expert Writers

This article doesn’t talk about the way in which an essay structure can be useful during an exam in which you need to complete the assignment within a short time. Both when taking an AP or an IB exam and during regular college course exams, you are very limited in time for structuring your ideas. Nevertheless, the outline is essential to organizing your paper adequately and getting a high grade. By structuring your ideas, you can draft a solid piece of writing with an adequate flow that responds to the topic question.

Our recommendation is: when you don’t have too much time at your disposal, you should rapidly create a structure, in 3 to 5 minutes. You ought to succinctly write down the hypothesis and the three primary ideas of the argument (as previously discussed). Afterwards, you should break down your hypothesis into the primary ideas of the paper.

After splitting the three most significant ideas of the paper, you can write down a couple of auxiliary ideas beneath the primary subject of the paragraph that you wish to approach. Your outline should list all of the ideas you can think of. Later on, when you begin the writing work, include only those ideas that are necessary. Drafting the outline shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes, particularly when you’re attending an AP English examination, case in which you wouldn’t want to waste any time. Even when attending an exam where the time is less limited, it would still be a good idea to draft the outline as quickly as possible.

Do You Require Assistance with Your Essay Outline?

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