College Essay Outline with example

How write a college essay outline

An essay outline is an essential tool for any writer since it provides guidance and structure before any drafting process can begin. A good draft should organize and summarize your content coherently and sensibly. This is an important skill set for students because there are instructors who require them to turn in the outlines before making their final submissions

This guide provides a detailed outline on how to effectively develop a good essay outline for your paper. It is basically your first step in seeking college essay help to better your grade

college essay outline template


  1. Carefully Read the Assignment Guidelines

  2. When you are reading through the instructions, take note of important phrases and words. Ensure that you fully understand what the instructor is asking before you start working. Also, ask for any clarification if there is an area that seems confusing or vague.

  3. Come Up with a Topic

  4. Although you might find it easy to organize and develop your ideas by outlining your paper, you might be required to do some pre-writing exercises to get started. In fact, there are plenty of prewriting strategies that can guide you in generating ideas for your paper. One of the most common strategies is free writing which requires you to write non-stop for about five to ten minutes. During this time, you need to take note of everything that comes to mind without editing any section.

    When you are through, review what you have written and underline any useful information. You can repeat the process several times as this can help refine and develop your ideas. Alternatively, you can write the subject you wish to cover on a piece of paper then circle it and draw at least three lines that extend from the circle. At the end of the lines drawn, take note of an idea that relates to the main idea. Keep on developing your cluster to a point where you feel that you have explored as many options as you can.

    Questioning is also a great way to come up with a topic. In this pre-writing strategy, you are required to write down the How? Why? Where? When? What? Who? Then space up the questions in three lines. Respond to each of the issues in a detailed manner as this will help you develop ideas of the areas that you need to learn more about. Also, should you opt to pay for homework, ensure the topic is clear from the onset

  5. Identify Your Purpose

  6. Ask yourself what you wish to accomplish at the end of the paper. Are you looking to enlighten, entertain, persuade or something else? Bottom line, ensure that your purpose lives up to what the assignment requires of you. Search for keywords within the assignment guidelines that will help you understand your purpose.

  7. Your Target Audience

  8. It is important to understand who your intended audience is. Is the essay meant for strangers, classmates or your instructor? This is important since it will help identify the expectation and needs of your audience by gauging their understanding of your topic. You should also anticipate their reaction from the information you will be sharing with them.

  9. Developing Your Thesis Statement

  10. Once you have considered your audience and developed your ideas, you should be ready to write a thesis statement. A good thesis statement needs to state an arguable claim and express the primary focus of paper but should not be more than one sentence. Ensure that the thesis is arguable and refrain from stating matters of taste or facts. For instance, “From Paris with love is an awesome movie” isn’t a good thesis because it expresses tastes. Likewise, “Barrack Obama is the only back President America has ever had” is not good because it states a fact. When writing a thesis, it is important that it provides enough details. Avoid saying that something is “good” but instead take note of what makes it “great.”

To help you grasp the concept, here is a quick example of an essay outline

Outline for essay example

  1. Introduction

    • hook sentence to capture readers attention
    • one sentence thesis statement
  2. Body

    • Main Idea number one
      • Supporting argument 1
      • Supporting argument 2
      • Supporting argument 3
    • Main Idea number one
      • Supporting argument 1
      • Supporting argument 2
      • Supporting argument 3
    • Main Idea number one
      • Supporting argument 1
      • Supporting argument 2
      • Supporting argument 3
  3. Conclusion

    • Restatement of the thesis statement
    • Insightful sentence to sum up your essay


    College essay example

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