writers guide to publishing

key aspects of academic essay writing

Simple Rules on How to Craft an Outline for an Essay

How to write an outline for an essay is not rocket science. There are no trick questions designed to trip you up, it's just a simple three-part system that presents an argument of some kind. So, you want to know how it's done? Then come as we look at the three sections: Introduction, Body, and Conclusion.

  1. Introduction
    A good introduction is probably one of the most important parts of an essay and should grab the reader's attention straight away. Think about it, an examiner has hundreds of papers to read through and by the time they get to yours they're probably going to be close to meltdown. A good introduction grabs them by the collar and says "you want to read this". You can do this by incorporating stories, statistics or historical context that leap from the page and make the reader want to continue.
    Introductions are where you present an overview of what is to come in the paper. It provides context for the research as well as an explanation for any subject-specific jargon or terminology to be used within the paper.
    It is absolutely imperative that you include a thesis statement in your introduction. This is usually a sentence, or in some cases two, that sums up the paper and is placed at the end of the introduction.
  2. Body
    The main body of an essay is where you present all the evidence to back up the argument you are putting forward. It is vital that data and information is presented in a clear and more importantly, logical fashion so as to best persuade the reader of your point of view.
    You must also include any counterarguments and refute them in this section. This will only add strength to your argument.
  3. Conclusion
    It is here that you must present a summary and reworded version of your original thesis statement from the introduction. The examples in the body of the essay need to be briefly summarised in relation to the thesis statement.

    Just as you did in the introduction, end with a strong statement, something that sums up the entire work and hits it on the head. Leaving your reader with an attention grabbing statement is going to leave an impression and, hopefully, turn into marks.

  4. Now you have it, all you have to do is use it.

    So that's it, no really that's it. All essays follow this outline in one way or another and the aspects that we've looked at here are present in all paper no matter how large or small. There are no hard and fast rules on how to write an essay outline and feel free to write your introduction after you've done your research. That way you'll be able to concentrate on gathering truly exceptional data and information.

    Now you have your outline you are able to present your finding in that logical fashion we spoke of earlier which is so important when thinking about how a reader follows you train of thought. so many marks are lost when students do not present their work in this way and inevitably end up losing their reader.

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