How do I write an outline for an essay: planning and prewriting steps to make a strong paper

Essay writing is so much easier when you use an outline. Most students that hate writing will probably think: I don't want to do more writing and planning! In reality, doing prewriting and being organized helps you to work faster and get your writing over with. Whether you're a good writer or you don't think you're that good at it, you can use planning to help with your essay project. It's simple once you know the steps, to create an outline and then follow it. After you have a strong foundation for your essay, all you need to do is follow that as a guide and the writing will come easily.

How to Prewrite and Outline an Essay

Outlining starts with really knowing your assignment. If you're aware of everything your teacher expects from this essay, then you can create an outline that will get good marks on every part of the assignment. Here are the steps you can take to doing this:

  • Write down in point form each part of your teacher's instructions, so that you can see them in a simpler way
  • Start a new document or grab a piece of paper and write "introduction", "body" and "conclusion" leaving space for each category's notes and ideas
  • In the introduction, you need to have an opening quote or question, your topic idea, and a bit about why this is important; why your teacher should keep reading
  • The body section should have 2-3 paragraphs of ideas related to the main topic. Brainstorm some ideas of what you could write about, and fill in some more detail with research and quotes to other sources
  • In any essay, paper, or homework, the conclusion is for tactfully summarizing your entire project and leaving the reader with something to think about, like another quote or question related to your topic

Once you have all that written out, you'll be ready to do some more in depth research and write the first draft. Having those things prewritten will save you time because when you sit down to work, you'll already know what your'e going to write about and the decisions are all made ahead of time. Doing this will help with any homework you have to do, whether it's another essay or even something as big as a dissertation.