How to Write an Essay Outline_ 10 Examples Included

An essay outline helps you create and organise the content of your topic. It supports the development of the facts that strengthen your thesis statement. Usually, it all begins with drafting a thesis statement and collecting the relevant information to form an outline and a logical structure for the essay.

Drafting an outline is the first step in essay writing, where you summarise each paragraph’s key points. It helps you understand the progression of your discussion in the essay. Sometimes, an outline may be required before the actual writing begins. Therefore, it’s better to prepare it early. An outline allows you to assess and review your content to make it more engaging for the readers.

If you are unsure how to create an outline, you can always get help from expert essay writing services from a legitimate service provider. If you want to write the outline of your essay on your own, we have crafted this guide to help you out. Keep reading.

How to Write an Essay Outline?

Making an essay outline depends on detailed research and knowledge about the subject. To write an ideal outline, it is necessary to understand the topic of the subject first. After understanding the topic, identify the main idea and key components of writing an essay outline. Here are some guidelines that will refine your essay outline writing skills.

So, you must follow the following steps:

Identifying the Goal of Your Essay

First of all, examine the aim of the essay you are writing. You should be aware of:

  • The target population of your essay
  • Requirements of your topic
  • The theme of your essay matters
  • The report of your essay is important

Consider all the above-mentioned points before creating an outline. Examining the goals will help you identify the proper sequence of your essay structure.

Organise the Information

When you draw an outline, you give your essay an order and structure. Systematically, it is also helpful for you to arrange things in order. It is essential to outline a process in steps if you are describing a tale and explaining how it happened or should occur.

Think about these questions when arranging your content:

  • Is there a strong point to begin your argument with?
  • Does any subject offer itself easily enough to transform into another?
  • Is it important to discuss certain points before describing others?

Create Structure

Now, you have to write the structure of your essay outline. The given template shows how to draft a well-organised outline.

Format for a Brief Essay

When writing a brief essay of around 500 words along with 5 paragraphs, the format of an outline may look like this, according to the method given below:

  • Main Theme: What is the main theme of your topic that you wish to convey?
  • Supportive Argument 1: What is the first point that explains your topic as a supportive argument?
  • Supportive Argument 2: What is the second point that explains the accuracy of your idea as a supportive argument?
  • Supportive Argument 3: What is the third tip that proves your theme is right?
  • Summary: Give an overview of the topic of discussion and summarise your research about why your idea is correct.

Format for a Lengthy Essay

When writing an essay of 1500 words, you can organise your outline in order like this:

  • Topic: What is the topic of your subject?
    • What is the key point you want to make in the statement?
  • Idea 1: What is the first example that determines the accuracy of your plan?
    • Proof to back up the idea 1: What studies support this?
    • Evidence explanation: How does the evidence bolster the first point?
  • Supporting Notion: What is the second point that verifies the accuracy of your theory?
    • Proof to back up theme 2: What studies support theme 2?
    • Explanation for Research: How does fact support theme 2?
  • Supporting Notion 3: What is the third example that supports the validity of your theory?
    • Proof to back up the theme 3: What studies support theme 3?
    • Explanation for Research: How does fact support theme 1?
  •  Summary: Briefly discuss why your idea is right and how your points support it.

Essay Outline Examples

An essay outline is a valuable part of planning and ordering your essay in a well-organized way. Here are a few outline examples for essays on hypothetical topics.

Argumentative Essay Outline Examples

Three standard methods—classical, Rogerian, and Toulmin—help to style an argumentative essay outline differently. To create an argumentative essay outline, look at the template documented on the UW homepage.

Introduction includes

  • Overview of your topic
  • Thesis statement

Body paragraph one involves

  • Report of Argument 1 in support of your essay
  • Explain how the above ideas support idea 1.

Body paragraph 2 comprises of:

  • Statement of idea 2 in support of your essay
  • Summary of how the three ideas support argument 2.

Body paragraph three consists of

  • Statement third idea in support of your essay
  • Describing how the three arguments support idea 3.

Body paragraph four involves:

  • Possible opposite argument 1 to your essay

Body paragraph five:

  • Potential contrasting argument 2 to your thesis


  • Repeat opinions made in the thesis statement
  • Specify your points are of attention

Feel free to change the outline according to the requirements of specific argumentative essay topics. An argumentative essay outline example on the topic of “Investigating the Effects of the Internet on Education” can be:

  1. Overview
  • Internet’s reputation
  • Uncertainties about using the Internet
  • Thesis: Using the internet is beneficial overall
  1. The harmful impact of the Internet
  • Smartphone use as a distraction in the classroom:
  • Research on the impact
  • Analysis suggesting that it is exaggerated
  • Problem in learning
  1. Reading ability of students in time
  2. The availability of the internet
  • A range of media to interest various students
  • Media in videos
  • Engaging media
  1. Accessible tools for directing autonomous research
  • Researching quickly and easily
  1. Wikipedia usage among students
  • Disadvantages of Wikipedia
  • Evidence of its extensive use
  • Allegations that it discourages participation in academic writing
  • Advantages of Wikipedia
  • Proof that Wikipedia prohibits students from quoting it
  • Rights that familiarise students with citation
  1. In summary
  • Main points involved
  • Worth of digital knowledge

Narrative Essay Outline Examples

A narrative essay is just like telling a story. Narrative essay writings related to personal experience and circumstances. A general structure of creating an outline for narrative essay writing makes it easy for essay writers.


  • The hook includes an eye-catching opening sentence
  • Background information provides a framework and important information
  • The thesis statement describes the main purpose of the essay

Body Paragraphs

  • The topic statement introduces the main clue of the paragraph
  • Supporting research represents factors, cases, or citations that support the topic statement
  • Explanation: examine and understand the evidence by describing its significance
  • Changeover connects the section to the next one

Body Paragraphs

  • Repeat the same as above to address a new supporting idea

Counterargument (optional)

  • Address the point of view of opposite parties
  • Disprove the counterarguments by using authentic evidence and reasoning


  • Revise the statement and briefly describe the main points
  • Complete the essay by giving your thoughts, solutions, and recommendations
  • End with an outstanding closing statement that leaves a long-lasting impression on the reader.

An outline example for an essay on narrative-type essays is described on the topic of, as a girl, have you ever had a childhood dream about finally becoming an adult? as documented in Scribd, given below:

Narrative Essay Outline Examples

Image source: Scribd

5 Paragraph Essay Outline Example

An example of 5 five-paragraph essay outline given in Wizeprep that explains the topic of private meetings between students and tutors needs to be compulsory.

  1. Main Idea: A personal meeting is held between students and tutors to prevent students from failing.
  2. Plan 1: Learners are exposed to discussing private challenges during private meetings.
  3. Plan 2: Tutors may provide specific attention to students’ needs about their academic subjects.
  4. Plan 3: Educational institutes make sure that all of their students get personalised attention.
  5. Summary: Evidence shows that specific attention to students leads to a decrease in the ratio of dropouts.

Persuasive Essay Outline Example

A persuasive essay is an official paper; thus, it is necessary to stick to the persuasive essay presentation outline. An attractive structure is used to describe the goal of an essay effectively. This structure will aid you in writing a persuasive essay for college and university.

  1. The introduction includes a hook, context and definitions
  2. The main body involves the main idea of the thesis, pieces of evidence of the main point of view and private analysis.
  3. A conclusion summarises the key ideas discussed in the main body and recommendations that will make a reader think.

Informative Essay Outline Example

It is better to create an outline before writing an informative essay. The outline will help you organise your essay the best way possible. An outline of an essay example explains the topic of the Effectiveness of Exercising.

  1. The origin of the problem includes focusing on how exercise helps in coping with stress.
  2. The process involves evidence of what kinds of exercises help and a detailed description of their mechanisms.
  3. Benefits explain the advantages of daily exercise by using real-world examples.

College Essay Outline Example

A college essay outline example explains the topic of “Students Exploring the Abilities to Make the Best of Bad Conditions”. If you still don’t know how to write an essay outline, it is better to seek essay writing help from a legal source.

  1. The introduction/hook describes that last November, I did the role of a firefighter.
  • In practice for a school drama, when a light feature failed, trapping all the students, I helped them.
  • To help the state, I fixed the set spontaneously and communicated with the manager about the tragedy.
  1. I have constantly completed the best of poor circumstances.
    • I did not go to college, but I was a class monitor in my school.
  2. How will all these potentials aid me in my high school and career?

Formal Essay Outline Example

Formal essay outline examples on the topic of Critical Examination of Transport in Zombie Destruction Films can be:

  • Introduction
    • Hook: Where are motorbikes?
    • Thesis statement: The plan is the absence of motorbikes in zombie disaster films is more it
    • Map of the sentence: We will explain in important films the advantages of the role of motorbikes.
    • Background: The films which are used are as follows: The Road and Shaun of the Dead,
  • Body: The Road
    • Research: No bikes in the film The Road
    • Analysis: Bikes helped a lot.
      • There was no petroleum.
      • They had to travel for a long distance.
      • Bikes are noiseless.
    • Transition: Similar to Shaun of the Dead.
  • Body: Shaun of the Dead

Compare and Contrast Essay Outline Examples

A contrast and comparative essay outline example on the topic of Lifestyle can be:


  • It is the statement of the essay and covers all the content in one statement.

Body Paragraph 1 – Lifestyle

  • Topic: Motorbikes affect the lifestyle of the owner
  • Topic 1: Motorbikes
  • Idea: Motorbikes are smaller in size and easy to stock.
  • Plan: Motorbikes are feasible to use.
  • Topic 2 – Cars
  • Idea: Cars are large.
  • Idea: It takes a great time to learn how to operate.

Body Paragraph 2 – Economics

  • Sentence: Motorbikes have lower prices than cars.
  • Topic 1 – Motorcycles
  • Idea: You can purchase a motorcycle within 300 dollars
  • Plan: Motorbikes have smaller parts, which makes them easy to maintain.
  • Topic 2 – Cars
  • Plan: spare parts and services for cars are expensive.
  • Plan: A Large amount of gas is used in cars

Body Paragraph 3 – City

  • Sentence: Cars are the best option for driving in big cities.
  • Topic 1 – Motorcycles
  • Plan: Riding on a motorbike is more dangerous in big cities.
  • Plan: Motorcyclists can drive efficiently within cities with narrow streets.
  • Topic 2 – Cars
  • Plan: Driving in a car is comfortable in big cities.
  • Plan: A car is useful for travelling outside the city.

Summary: You must summarise all the content you wrote above.

Write the thesis statement at the start of the paper to create an essay outline in MLA format. List the main points in Roman numerals and capital letters.


The purpose of crafting an essay outline is to ensure that your content is structured effectively. It helps you write concisely and avoid unnecessary details. You can streamline your writing process and modify the outline by following the given examples, tips, and strategies.

This article offers comprehensive guidance and templates to create a good essay outline. If you have any difficulty with this, feel free to consult professional essay writers.  They offer valuable advice and support to help you formulate an outline that meets high standards and supports your academic goals.