Essay Outline Templates

Essay Outline Templates

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Essay writing can seem like a very easy task when reading someone else’s paper. You might think that you can write one from the top of your head. That is because a good essay is well structured and has a “flow” to it. In practice, however, writing one is not as easy, and students will need a good essay outline to write one.

No great accomplishments have ever come to be without a plan. The tallest buildings started out as blueprints, the moon landing was calculated and planned, and even nations were created with borders already drawn up. The same applies to academic writing. One needs to know where all the pieces of an essay will go before putting them there.

One of the reasons why outlines are so important is that they provide your essay with structure. Proper essay structure makes your essay more coherent, gives your arguments strength and makes it a smoother read. It lets you control the information flow of your essay which will, in turn, make it sound academically. This does not mean that you can’t change your outline. On the contrary, if you feel the need to change it, you are encouraged to do so, but overall you should stick to your outline.

An outline will keep you grounded and make sure you make smooth paragraph transitions and stay on topic. This way, writers can avoid running into circles (and running out of things to say). Planning is the mother of all great creations.

Where to begin?

Before you start writing your outline, you will need a couple of things. For one, you need good time management skills. The chances are that you can’t write the whole paper the night before it is due. Make sure there is enough time for drafting an outline, writing an essay, making any necessary changes, as well as for proofreading your paper before you turn it in.

The good news is that you don’t have to write a new outline every time you write a new essay. Almost nobody does and for a good reason. Further down in the text you will find outline templates alongside pointers on how you should use them. You can fill in the blanks when using these outlines but is better for you to use them as an outline for your outline, so to speak. They provide valuable insight into choosing a topic and supporting that topic with strong arguments.

Analytical Essay outline template

At the core of an analytical essay is your analysis of a chosen topic. One of the common mistakes, when writing an analytical essay, is summarizing instead of analyzing. The idea behind an analytical essay is to dive deep into the mind of an artist and understanding why he did what he did. It is about finding the author’s motivations behind writing a novel or understanding what drove the director to make the scenes the way he did. To do this, one needs to understand the bigger picture of the piece he is analyzing before he can break it down into smaller pieces and actually analyze it.

Writers need to ask all the questions that have already been asked in the piece you are analyzing and answer them again. One should also do this in a coherent manner and show readers what your is view on the matter at hand. Use strong arguments when you write and don’t stray or get too deep into the paper.

Critical Essay outline template

Critical essays revolve around finding and pointing out the strong and the weak sides of something. Writers need to show readers what are the pros and cons of the work they are covering. Avoid mistaking a critical essay with an analytical essay. An analytical essay is about the deeper meaning of something, and a critical essay is about whether something is of high or poor quality and why. Following this template will help you to break down a creative piece. Doing this will also help writers make clear, well-defined arguments for or against something. Always remember that if you are praising or criticizing something, you need to show why you are doing so.

Argumentative Essay outline

Argumentative essays are rather common, and you will most likely write one during your studies. Using argumentative outline templates for essay will make sure you are writing those papers without extra time and effort. Obviously, when writing an argumentative essay, students should present their arguments. Don’t mistake it for a persuasive essay because it is not one. Here, students must show their line of thought and support it with credible evidence and strong arguments. You can use a standard five-body paragraph template to formulate arguments and ideas properly. Start with an introductory paragraph, move on to three or more arguments and debate any opposing opinion on the subject; further on, sum up your main arguments in a strong conclusion.

Note that writing an argumentative essay, students should acknowledge the opposite view on the subject. This is done to show that there was no bias when you were formulating your stance. However, your goal is not only presenting an opposing opinion but opposing it (that is, proving it wrong).

Compare and contrast essay outline template

Compare and contrast essays revolve around picking two subjects or points of view and analyzing their similarities and differences. Writing this type of essay can be challenging as you should pick two correlating subjects and make sure your arguments and ideas well formulated.

When writing a compare and contrast essay outline template, students should keep their endgame in mind at all times. What do you wish to accomplish and how? Do you wish to show that a misconception occurred? Are you in favor of one point of view over the other? What is your message? Knowing all of this before you start writing will help with structuring and presenting your arguments.

Expository essay outline

If you have been assigned an expository essay, be prepared to do a lot of research as this type of paper requires you to show knowledge on subject or topic. In a way, expository essays can be compared to a book report. Formulating your ideas and organizing them is essential for this kind of essay and an outline is a great place to start.

All in all, an expository essay is a paper that exposes a certain topic or subject. So, your outline template for essay will mostly depend on the topic in question. Sometimes, a standard five-paragraph structure will be enough. In some other cases, you will require a deeper research, which will increase your number of arguments and, consequently, the number of paragraphs.

Persuasive Essay outline

A persuasive essay is not unlike an argumentative essay, as you need to persuade the reader of the validity of your claim. You need to convince them that your opinion is the right one. The difference between an argumentative essay and a persuasive essay is that in the later you don’t need to present strong arguments supported by facts. You can use all of your imagination to appeal to the readers’ feelings and mindset to persuade them.

Once again, you can always stick to a standard 5-paragraph essay template with an intro, three main body paragraphs, and conclusion. Still, in some cases, you can adjust the number of body paragraphs – anything goes as long as you can prove your point of view and persuade your audience.

Reflective Essay outline template

When writing a reflective essay, you will need to evoke a memory of something that happened, someone or something. After you have done so, you will need to chronicle your experiences after the event transpired. What’s good about this type of essay is that it does not require any additional research. In addition to not having to do any research, you don’t need to do any arguing either. You just need to make sure that your essay is well structured and that it has a point you are trying to convey to the reader.

Writing a template for this essay is so beneficial because it will help you to properly use an informal tone, which can be harder than it sounds. It should provide you with good descriptive body paragraphs, a strong hook in as well as with a proper conclusion.

Cause and Effect Essay outline template

Cause and effect papers focus on a particular event. Your job is to show how something came to be. As a rule of thumb, you should go over all causes which have led to the outcome. The hard part is making logically strong links between the causes. This is what the outline template will be centered around so make sure to get it right.

Process essay outline template

A purpose of a process essay is to show the inner workings of something. It can easily be confused with a cause and effect essay as the only significant difference between the two is that a process essay is not unlike an instruction manual. Always keep in mind that you need to go into detail when explaining how things work and to make it understandable to someone with no prior knowledge regarding the matter at hand. Compartmentalize everything into logical parts, explain each and bring them together at the end.

Research essay outline template

Research essays are usually the most time-consuming ones to write as they require vast quantities of data which is not always readily available. You will also need to have a lot of knowledge regarding your topic as you will need to know how to distinguish relevant data from irrelevant one.

Before you make an outline, you will need to gather all the necessary data and chances are, you will need to do it again once you have written the outline. Therefore, your essay outline will help you with gathering the data, making the arguments and general organizing.

Transitioning from essay outline template to essay

Knowing what you are going to write, when and how is essential to writing a good essay as it saves you a lot of time and provides your essay with form. Nothing is written in stone, so you can always go back and change your outline if your paper demands it of you. Be careful though as it is a thin line between changing the outline and changing the whole essay.

The essay outline templates are very convenient as all you need to do is fill in the blanks, and you are ready to start. You can also build upon it and make an even more specific outline. After you have your outline, all you need to do is start writing, and you are sure to end up with a strong A+ worthy essay in the end.

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