ENG 1001: Creating an Outline for an Essay

If you’re not used to outlining an essay or at least structuring your ideas around a new prompt in 5-10 minutes, or if you’re physically slow at writing (like me!), this could result in a real time crunch. There’s nothing more stressful than walking away from a test having written only three half-essays, or, God forbid, one and a half essays and a big, ugly, blank space for #3.

established 1987 Outlining an Essay - Seattle University

There’s a reason your high school writing teachers recommend outlining an essay before you begin writing; it forces you to dig deep into a subject and create meaningful details that will give your composition texture and depth. Outlining also gives you a framework in which to write your first draft, thus making the process easier. When writing your outline make sure you include details that will answer all the questions posed in the prompt as well as details that demonstrate how you changed, what you learned and how you can use the information you acquired moving forward.

writing an outline for an expository essay

Outline for an essay

Outlining your essay is a good way to organize your thoughts and flesh out your essay topic. For some students, making an outline is simply making an organized list of facts to write about - for others, outlining an essay involves more work. Whatever process helps you focus on the format and organization of your essay topic is fair enough. Listing your topic and supporting ideas in paragraph order constitutes a basic outline.