essay writing prompts

Handy writing tips - how to outline an essay

There are a number of things which can be said to be included in handy writing tips when it comes to writing an essay. The choice of topic is always top of the list. Get the choice of topic right and your task becomes a whole lot easier. Then there is the preparation and research for your essay writing. Again the more quality time you spend on preparation and the wider your reading of relevant material, the greater your chance of producing a top rating piece of writing.

But also high up in the list of handy writing tips is the ability to write an outline or a plan. You need to think of the outline as being an architect's drawing. You are the builder coming to build the house and you will rely extensively on the architect's plans. From your essay writing point of view, as the writer you will rely extensively on your well-planned and set out outline.

What does an outline contain?

The outline contains all the relevant information which will appear in your essay but in a condensed form. If you create your outline on a single page whether that's a notepad or a digital screen, you are able to see at a glance everything contained in your essay. Your outline becomes an overview of the total task.

Having an overview is a terrific benefit. It keeps your mind focused on the task at hand. One of the major weaknesses of essay writing amongst many students is their inability to stick to the task. They wander off subject. They fail to answer the question or address the issue raised in their thesis statement. You can avoid those problems by creating an expert outline; the better the outline, the better your writing.

The best outline will be divided into sections with a space between each section. Each section will have a main point at its beginning. Beneath each main point will be supporting points. It's a good idea to either highlight the main point or underline it in some way so as to separate it from the minor points which support it.

Take your time in creating your outline. You don't need as many words as you would write in an essay but you do need all the information. It's a mini version of your essay. The stronger and better your outline, the stronger and better will be your essay.