How To Write Academic Papers: Essay Outline Format

For anyone who is writing an essay, the outline is essential. The more time you spend on your outline and the more detail in your outline, the easier and better your essay will be. By easier I mean ease of writing. You would never consider building a property without a plan. The same rule applies when creating an essay. You need a plan and the plan is defined as the outline. This article explains some practical and specific steps you can take to improve your essay outline.

Write your main points

Your essay will consist of a number of points. Make a list of these points and keep the number of words per point as few as possible. The general rule is that if you can't express the point you want to make in a single sentence then you're either a pretty ordinary writer or you don't understand the concept of the point you're trying to make in the first place; or both.

Changes are possible

When you construct your outline you should do so with freedom. You should list any and all points you think will be relevant in your essay. You can divide your points into the introduction, the main body of your essay and of course the conclusion. By the stage of creating the outline, there is no need to hold back on what you want to say. It's always possible to refine even discard a main point later on, and when you come to polish and revise the finished essay, changes are still possible even at that late stage.

Make your statements clear

In creating your outline and listing your main points, it's most important that you make a definitive statement. Any vague or wishy-washy statement is confusing to the reader and difficult to prove by you, the writer. Consider every point in your outline to be completely relevant, even essential.

The choice of topic is so important

Of course your outline will be so much better and stronger and easier for you to follow if you have chosen a topic with which you are happy or in which you have an interest or in which you can find plenty of excellent research material. Think of the outline as the foundation of your essay writing and the better you make your foundation, the better your essay will be.