The outline for a college essay is an important prerequisite for writing an essay. It is a road map for your thoughts and plans for the development of the essay, the introduction, body copy and the conclusion. It should introduce the grand idea of your essay, which you are going to develop.

The Outline

  • It introduces your thesis and defines the topic, the big idea of the thesis.
  • List the arguments supporting your thesis.
  • The arguments which could be used to question your thesis.
  • The evidence and sources which support the arguments for and against.
  • The conclusion and your summary of the evidence produced to prove your argument and its importance.

The outline is like a prompt card or bill board, which is constantly within eyesight to remind you of the direction you, have selected for your essay. It can be altered if you come across new evidence, which may require a change of direction. Your tutor should always be consulted on your outline and any changes you want to make. His advice will be valuable and he may require to see your outline before you start writing the essay. The outline may even be marked and included in your grade.

  • Make sure you list the sources, page numbers and authors in the conclusion of your outline. The purpose of completing the outline before you begin the essay is to give you a sense of direction and make sure ads far as is possible that you do not forget any key point in your argument.
  • It helps you gather sources, graphs and statistics in support of your argument.
  • The outline will help you in listing the reference works that you are going to consult and the arguments that they advance on the question.
  • It helps you organize your thoughts and anticipate possible changes of course.
  • Outlines can be single words or phrases and sentences, which you will use in your essay.
  • List categories, at least two of each
  • Points and sub points divided by Roman numerals.
  • Use a computer, Microsoft has a built in indentation system which is useful.

Writing a clear and logical outline is an important guide for your thought processes. Be concise but make sure that the outline conveys the main thrust of your essay.