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7 Steps for Writing an Essay Plan

7 Steps for Writing an Essay Plan

Chris Drew (PhD)

Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

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Have you ever started writing an essay then realized you have run out of ideas to talk about?

This can make you feel deflated and you start to hate your essay!

How to write an Essay Plan

The best way to avoid this mid-essay disaster is to plan ahead: you need to write an Essay Plan!

Essay planning is one of the most important skills I teach my students. When I have one-to-one tutorials with my students, I always send them off with an essay plan and clear goals about what to write.

Essay Planning isn’t as dull as you think. In fact, it really does only take a short amount of time and can make you feel oh so relieved that you know what you’re doing!

Here’s my 7-Step method that I encourage you to use for your next essay:

The 7-Step Guide on How to write an Essay Plan

  • Figure out your Essay Topic (5 minutes)
  • Gather your Sources and take Quick Notes (20 minutes)
  • Brainstorm using a Mind-Map (10 minutes)
  • Arrange your Topics (2 minutes)
  • Write your topic Sentences (5 minutes)
  • Write a No-Pressure Draft in 3 Hours (3 hours)
  • Edit your Draft Once every Few Days until Submission (30 minutes)

I’ve been using this 7-Step essay planning strategy since I was in my undergraduate degree. Now, I’ve completed a PhD and written over 20 academic journal articles and dozens of blog posts using this method – and it still works!

Let’s go through my 7 steps for how to write an essay plan.

Prefer to Watch than Read? Here’s our video on writing an Essay Plan.

how to write an essay plan

1. figure out your essay topic. here’s how..

Where did your teacher provide you with your assessment details?

Find it. This is where you begin.

Now, far, far, far too many students end up writing essays that aren’t relevant to the essay question given to you by your teacher. So print out your essay question and any other advice or guidelines provided by your teacher.

Here’s some things that your assessment details page might include:

  • The essay question;
  • The marking criteria;
  • Suggested sources to read;
  • Some background information on the topic

The essay question is really important. Once you’ve printed it I want you to do one thing:

Highlight the key phrases in the essay question.

Here’s some essay questions and the key phrases you’d want to highlight:

Will artificial intelligence threaten the future of work?Artificial Intelligence, Work
How does the film ‘Frozen’ challenge and/or for children who watch it?Frozen, gender roles, children
What are the reasons behind the rise of right-wing nationalism in the past 10 years?Nationalism, Past 10 years
What are the most effective strategies for raising developing nations out of poverty?Developing Nations, Poverty, Strategies

This strategy helps you to hone in on exactly what you want to talk about. These are the key phrases you’re going to use frequently in your writing and use when you look for sources to cite in your essay!

The other top thing to look at is the marking criteria. Some teachers don’t provide this, but if they do then make sure you pay attention to the marking criteria !

Here’s an example of a marking criteria sheet:

Sample Essay Topic: Is Climate Change the Greatest Moral Challenge of our Generation?

Takes an informed position on the issue of climate change30%
Critically examines competing perspectives on the topic30%
Applies theoretical ideas to practical situations30%
Academic writing and referencing10%

Now, if you have a marking criteria you really need to pay attention to this. You have to make sure you’ve ticked off all the key criteria that you will be marked on. For the example above, your essay is going to have to make sure it:

  • Takes a position about whether climate change is a serious challenge for human kind;
  • Discusses multiple different people’s views on the topic;
  • Explores examples and case studies (‘practical situations’);
  • Uses referencing to back up your points.

The reason you need to be really careful to pay attention to this marking criteria is because it is your cheat sheet: it tells you what to talk about!

Step 1 only takes you five minutes and helps you to clearly clarify what you’re going to be talking about! Now your mind is tuned in and you can start doing some preliminary research.

2. Gather your Sources and take Quick Notes. Here’s how.

Now that you know what your focus is, you can start finding some information to discuss. You don’t want to just write things from the top of your head. If you want top marks, you want some deep, detailed and specific pieces of information.

Fortunately, your teacher has probably made this easy for you.

The top source for finding information will be the resources your teacher provided. These resources were hand picked by your teacher because they believed these were the best sources available our there on the topic. Here are the most common resources teachers provide:

  • Lecture Slides;
  • Assigned Readings.

The lecture slides are one of the best resources for you to access. Lecture slides are usually provided online for you. Download them, save them on your computer, and dig them up when it’s time to write the essay plan.

Find the lecture slides most relevant to your topic. To take the example of our climate change essay, maybe climate change is only discussed in three of the weeks in your course. Those are the three weeks’ lecture slides you want to hone-in on.

Flick through those lecture slides and take quick notes on a piece of paper – what are the most important topics and statistics that are relevant to your essay question?

Now, move on to the assigned readings . Your teacher will have selected some readings for you to do for homework through the semester. They may be eBooks, Textbooks or Journal Articles.

These assigned readings were assigned for a reason: because they have very important information to read ! Scan through them and see if there’s any more points you can add to your list of statistics and key ideas to discuss.

Next, try to find a few more sources using Google Scholar. This is a great resource for finding more academic articles that you can read to find even more details and ideas to add to your essay.

Here’s my notes that I researched for the essay question “Is Climate Change the Greatest Moral Challenge of our Generation?” As you can see, it doesn’t have to be beautiful #Studygram notes! It’s just rough notes to get all the important information down:

sample of rough notes scrawled on paper

Once you’ve read the assigned lecture slides and readings, you should have a good preliminary list of ideas, topics, statistics and even quotes that you can use in step 3.

3. Brainstorm using a Mind-Map. Here’s how.

Do your initial notes look a little disorganized?

That’s okay. The point of Step 2 was to gather information. Now it’s time to start sorting these ideas in your mind.

The best way to organize thoughts is to create a Mind-Map. Here’s how Mind-Maps often look:

sample blank mind-map

For your essay plan Mind-Map, write the essay question in the middle of the page and draw a circle around it.

mind-map with essay question written in center

Then, select the biggest and most important key ideas that you think are worth discussing in the essay. To decide on these, you might want to look back at the notes you took in Step 2.

Each key idea will take up around about 200 – 350 words (1 to 2 sentences).

Here’s a rough guide for how many key ideas you’ll want depending on your essay length:

  • 1000-word essay: 3 to 4 key ideas
  • 1500-word essay: 5 to 7 key ideas
  • 2000-word essay: 6 to 8 key ideas
  • 3000-word essay: 9 to 12 key ideas

Once you’ve selected your key ideas you can list them in a circle around the essay question, just like this:

mind map with essay question and key ideas filled-in

Last, we need to add detail and depth to each key idea. So, draw more lines out from each key ideas and list:

  • Two sources that you will cite for each key idea;
  • A statistic or example that you will provide for each key idea;
  • Any additional interesting facts for each key idea

Here’s how it might look once you’re done:

completed mind-map

4. Arrange your Topics. Here’s how.

You’re well and truly on your way to getting your essay down on paper now.

There’s one last thing to do before you start getting words down on the manuscript that you will submit. You need to arrange your topics to decide which to write first, second, third, fourth, and last!

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Start and end with your strongest points;
  • Ensure the points logically flow.

To ensure your points logically flow, think about how you’re going to transition from one idea to the next . Does one key point need to be made first so that the other ones make sense?

Do two key points seem to fit next to one another? If so, make sure you list them side-by-side.

Have a play around with the order you want to discuss the ideas until you’re comfortable. Then, list them in order. Here’s my order for my Climate Change essay:

What is climate change?250
Is climate change caused by humans?250
What are the current impacts of climate change?250
What are the future impacts of climate change?250
Is climate change reversible?250

Each of these key ideas is going to turn into a paragraph or two (probably two) in the essay.

5. Write your topic Sentences in just 5 minutes. Here’s how.

All good essays have clear paragraphs that start with a topic sentence . To turn these brainstormed key points into an essay, you need to get that list you wrote in Step 5 and turn each point into a topic sentence for a paragraph.

It’s important that the first sentence of each paragraph clearly states the paragraph’s topic. Your marker is going to want to know exactly what your paragraph is about immediately. You don’t want your marker to wait until the 3 rd , 4 th or 5 th line of a paragraph before they figure out what you’re talking about in the paragraph.

So, you need to state what your key idea is in the first sentence of the paragraph.

Let’s have a go at turning each of our key ideas into a topic sentence:

What is climate change?Climate change is the term used to explain rising atmospheric temperatures caused by carbon build-up in the atmosphere.
Is climate change caused by humans?Most scientists believe climate change is caused by humans.
What are the current impacts of climate change?Climate change is having an impact on people and environments right now.
What are the future impacts of climate change?The effects of climate change are expected to increase in coming decades.
Is climate change reversible?The window for reversing climate change is rapidly closing.

6. Write a No-Pressure Essay Draft in just 3 Hours. Here’s how.

Okay, now the rubber hits the road. Let’s get writing!

When you write your first draft, don’t put pressure on yourself. Remind yourself that this is the first of several attempts at creating a great essay, so it doesn’t need to be perfect right away. The important thing is that you get words down on paper.

To write the draft, have a go at adding to each of your topic sentences to turn them into full paragraphs. Follow the information you wrote down in your notes and Mind-Map to get some great details down on paper.

Forget about the introduction and conclusion for now. You can write them last.

Let’s have a go at one together. I’m going to choose the paragraph on my key idea “Is climate change caused by humans?”

I’ve already got my first sentence and my brainstormed ideas. Let’s build on them to write a draft paragraph:

screenshot of a section of a mind map displaying key ideas for the essay

  • “Most scientists believe climate change is caused by humans. In fact, according to the IPCC, over 98% of climate change scientists accept the scientific data that climate change is caused by humans (IPCC, 2018). This figure is very high, signalling overwhelming expert consensus. This consensus holds that the emission of carbon from burning of fossil fuels in the 20 th Century is trapping heat into the atmosphere. However, a minority of dissenting scientists continue to claim that this carbon build-up is mostly the fault of natural forces such as volcanoes which emit enormous amounts of carbon into the atmosphere (Bier, 2013).”

Your turn – have a go at your own draft paragraphs based on your Mind-Map for your essay topic! If you hit a rut or have some trouble, don’t forget to check out our article on how to write perfect paragraphs .

Once you’ve written all your paragraphs, make sure you write an introduction and conclusion .

Gone over the word count? Check out our article on how to reduce your word count.

7. Edit your Draft Once every Few Days until Submission. Check out this simple approach:

Okay, hopefully after your three hour essay drafting session you’ve got all your words down on paper. Congratulations!

However, we’re not done yet.

The best students finish their drafts early on so they have a good three or four weeks to come back and re-read their draft and edit it every few days.

When coming back to edit your draft , here’s a few things to look out for:

  • Make sure all the paragraph and sentence structure makes sense. Feel free to change words around until things sound right. You might find that the first time you edit something it sounds great, but next time you realize it’s not as good as you thought. That’s why we do multiple rounds of edits over the course of a few weeks;
  • Check for spelling, grammar and punctuation errors;
  • Print out your draft and read it on paper. You notice more mistakes when you read a printed-out version;
  • Work on adding any more details and academic sources from online sources like Google Scholar to increase your chance of getting a top grade. Here’s our ultimate guide on finding scholarly sources online – it might be helpful for this step!

Before you go – Here’s the Actionable Essay Plan Tips Summed up for you

Phew! That essay was tough. But with this essay plan, you can get through any essay and do a stellar job! Essay planning is a great way to ensure your essays make sense, have a clear and compelling argument, and don’t go off-topic.

I never write an essay without one.

To sum up, here are the 7 steps to essay planning one more time:

The 7-Step Guide for How to Write an Essay Plan


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University of Newcastle

How to plan an essay: Essay Planning

  • What's in this guide
  • Essay Planning
  • Additional resources

How to plan an essay

Essay planning is an important step in academic essay writing.

Proper planning helps you write your essay faster, and focus more on the exact question.  As you draft and write your essay, record any changes on the plan as well as in the essay itself, so they develop side by side.

One way to start planning an essay is with a ‘box plan’.

First, decide how many stages you want in your argument – how many important points do you want to make? Then, divide a box into an introduction + one paragraph for each stage + a conclusion.

Next, figure out how many words per paragraph you'll need.

Usually, the introduction and conclusion are each about 10% of the word count. This leaves about 80% of the word count for the body - for your real argument. Find how many words that is, and divide it by the number of body paragraphs you want. That tells you about how many words each paragraph can have.

Remember, each body paragraph discusses one main point, so make sure each paragraph's long enough to discuss the point properly (flexible, but usually at least 150 words).

For example, say the assignment is


Fill in the table as follows:

Discuss how media can influence children. Use specific examples to support your views.

120 words
240 words
240 words
240 words
240 words
120 words

Next, record each paragraph's main argument, as either a heading or  topic sentence (a sentence to start that paragraph, to immediately make its point clear).

Discuss how media can influence children. Use specific examples to support your views.


120 words

Not all media can be treated as the same.

240 words

Media can have beneficial outcomes.

240 words

Media can also have harmful effects.

240 words

Amount, type, variety and quality of content are all-important.

240 words


120 words

Finally, use dot points to list useful information or ideas from your research notes for each paragraph. Remember to include references so you can connect each point to your reading.

Discuss how media can influence children. Use specific examples to support your views.

1. General introduction statement

2. Thesis statement

3. Order of arguments

120 words

Not all media can be treated as the same.

- There are many types of media/programs.

- People use media in many different ways.

- We can't assume it always has the same effects.

- Media such as tablets give children active control over their consumption ( ).

240 words

Media can have beneficial outcomes.

- A wide range of programs are tailored for children ( ).

- A lot of media builds social skills or is educational ( ).

- Media is a major way of introducing new themes and topics to a child's awareness.

240 words

Media can also have harmful effects.

- Parents can't always monitor the child's consumption (amount or type).

- Media can create peer pressure and/or feelings of entitlement ( ).

- Overconsuming media reduces contact with real people ( ).

240 words

Amount, type, variety and quality of content are all-important.

- Studies find no harmful effects from average consumption ( ).

- Studies find various harms from overconsumption/meaningless consumption ( ).

240 words

1. Restate thesis

2. General conclusions

3. Final concluding statement

120 words

The other useful document for essay planning is the marking rubric .

This indicates what the lecturer is looking for, and helps you make sure all the necessary elements are there.

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Oxford Brookes University

Essay plans

An essay plan is a way to identify, select, and order the points you want to make in your essay. It helps you to work out your argument and your structure before writing, which should make the writing process more efficient and focussed. Sometimes essay plans are set as formative assignments so tutors can provide feedback before you write your full essay. 

Scroll down for our recommended strategies and resources. 

Enough detail for feedback

If you have an essay plan as an assignment, the main purpose is to give your lecturer enough information about your structure and main points so they can give you useful feedback. Follow any guidance you have been given, but usually an essay plan doesn’t have to be in full sentences; an outline structure of main points in a bullet point list, maybe with some further details of the evidence you will use or explanation under each point, is often enough. See these guides on how to do simple outline plans for an essay:

How to plan an essay (University of Newcastle)

Structuring the essay (Monash University)

Different ways of planning

Group similar ideas.

The aim of planning is to put down all your ideas and then to sort through them and order them. Look at where the ideas group together to see if any common themes start emerging, as these might form the paragraphs in your essay. See the video below for an example of how to group and order ideas in a plan.

Planning: General structure [video] (University of York)

Changes are normal - reverse outline

We rarely follow our essay plans exactly because our ideas develop as we write. If you don’t keep to your plan, it isn’t a sign of failure or a sign that planning doesn’t work. However, you may need to reflect on your planning process - are you over-planning and it takes too much time, or are your plans too vague and more detail would help? If you have strayed from your plan, a good strategy is to check the structure of your essay afterwards to make sure it all matches up. See the guide below on how to do a reverse outline as a useful part of your redrafting process.

Reverse outlines (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

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  • Writing Tips

How to Write a Perfect Essay Plan

How to Write a Perfect Essay Plan

  • 4-minute read
  • 9th December 2019

Every good essay starts with a good essay plan. And planning your essay is important, as it will help you express each point you need to make clearly and in a logical order. But what goes into a good essay plan? And how can you write one? Join us for a quick look at how this works.

1. Read the Question Closely

The first step in any essay plan is to look at the question you’ve been set. It should provide some clue as to the kind of essay required, such as whether it is an open or closed question . These differ as follows:

  • An open question permits various answers. For instance, if you were set an English literature essay, you might be asked What are the main social themes in the writing of Charles Dickens? This would allow you to discuss a range of concepts in response. Writing you essay plan would then involve narrowing down your subject matter so you can focus on one issue.
  • A closed question focuses on a specific issue, often asking you to agree or disagree with something. For instance, a closed question could be Is technology a destructive force in the writing of Charles Dickens? In this case, the question dictates the form of the essay, as you would need to look at arguments for and against the claim and, finally, come to a conclusion.

Keep in mind that both question types require an in-depth answer! Some closed questions could technically be answered by writing ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ on a piece of paper, but this won’t get you great marks. Instead, think of the question as a prompt for you to show off what you know on the topic.

And if you’re not sure about anything, such as how a question is worded, you will want to check this with whomever set the assignment.

2. Brainstorm Ideas and Organise Your Research

After studying the essay question, the next step is to brainstorm ideas for answering it. And the starting point for this is to organise your research.

In other words, it’s time to get out those lecture notes! In fact, you should make a mind map of everything you know on the essay topic.

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A mind map about mind maps. Very meta.

Look for anything that is relevant to the essay question. You can then narrow down the possible answers to the topics that interest you most. This should also help you identify any gaps in your knowledge, so you can make notes on what else you may need to research for your essay.

3. Draft an Essay Outline

The last step in writing an essay plan is to outline your essay. This means breaking it down section by section, paragraph by paragraph, so you know exactly what you need to write to answer the essay question.

The exact content will depend on the topic and word count . But, as a rule, most essays will have a basic structure along the following lines:

  • Introduction – A paragraph or two that sets out your main argument.
  • Main Body – This is the main chunk of your essay. To plan this, break down your argument into paragraphs or sections, sticking to one main idea per paragraph. Once you’ve done this, note down how each point supports your argument, plus any quotes or examples you will use.
  • Conclusion – A brief summary of your arguments and evidence.
  • References – A list of sources you plan to use in your essay.

This will then guide the writing process, making sure you always stay on topic.

Expert Essay Proofreading

Planning your essay is just the first step: you then need to write it! And to make sure it’s the best it can be, you’ll want to have it proofread . Our expert editors can help with that, making sure that your writing is always academic in tone and completely error free. Just let us know how we can help!

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How to Write an Essay Plan

Essay planning might seem like a waste of time, but it’s not! In fact, planning your essays will save you time and energy in the long-run.

This is because it’s much easier to write an essay that’s already been planned. You won’t need to worry about which point should come next or whether your argument is strong enough. Instead, you can focus purely on writing the essay.

So, if you want to ease the stress of essay writing and improve your grades, make essay planning a priority!

How will planning improve my grades?

Essays plans can:

  • Help you create a clear structure
  • Help you distribute the word count evenly
  • Prevent you from missing material out
  • Help you build a strong argument
  • Allow you to get feedback (many tutors will look at essay plans)
  • Alleviate writer’s block (when it comes to writing the essay)

Once you’ve written a few essay plans, you’ll appreciate just how much value they can add to your essays.

What does an essay plan look like?

An essay plan is a skeleton outline of your essay. It summarises what will be included in each paragraph and how the paragraphs will link together. It also states how many words will be used in each section, and the key references that’ll be used. Check out the essay plan template below for more details.

Essay plan template

Essay title: [….], introduction – […] words.

  • Engage with the essay question: [….]
  • State your position or argument: [….]
  • State any theories or frameworks that will inform the essay (if applicable): […]
  • Outline the structure of the essay: [….]

Paragraph 1 – […] words

  • Outline your first key point: [….]
  • Provide evidence (empirical research, theories, examples etc): [….]
  • Consider any criticisms of the above, then rebut: […]
  • Restate the main point and its relevance to the overall argument, link to next paragraph: […]

Paragraph 2 – […] words

  • Outline your second key point: [….]
  • Consider any criticisms of the above, then rebut […]

Paragraph 3 – […] words

  • Outline third key point: [….]
  • Restate the main point and its relevance to the overall argument: […]

Conclusion – […] words

  • Revisit the essay question and re-state your position/argument: [….]
  • Summarise the points from each paragraph: [….]
  • Offer a slightly new perspective and leave a lasting impression: [….]
  • List the key references to be used: [….]

Total word count: […]

It’s worth mentioning that essay plans aren’t perfect. They provide an outline of the essay, but some elements will probably change during the write-up process. In many ways, writing an essay plan is like planning a car journey. You’ll have a clear sense of where you’re going, but you might have to take some detours along the way.

A step-by-step guide to filling in the essay plan

If the essay plan template looks daunting then don’t worry, try breaking it down into stages:

1. Interpret and rephrase the essay question

You’ll see that the first stage of the essay plan asks you to ‘engage with the essay question’ .

Often, essays fail because they haven’t answered the question. That said, you should begin by making sure you understand the essay question. To do this, take a copy of the essay title and highlight the most important phrases. Then, slightly rephrase the question, and add it to your essay plan.

As an example,

Engage with the essay question: This essay critically evaluates what the gig economy means for employment relations issues, particularly workers’ rights and work-life balance.

2. State your position or argument

As shown above, the next stage of the essay plan is to state your position or argument. You will need to have done some research/background reading to get a sense of what you want to ‘argue’ in your essay. As an example,

3. Choose your key points

Once you’ve planned your introduction, it’s time to choose the themes that will be covered in your paragraphs. You should only include one key point per paragraph. Example:

Paragraph 1 – 150 words

  • Outline your first key point: Some gig economy workers are labelled as ‘independent contractors’, rather than ‘workers’ (even though they do the duties of ‘workers’). This means that they are not entitled to employment rights such as sick pay and holiday pay. By labelling their staff as ‘independent contractors’, these companies undermine workers’ rights.
  • Provide evidence (empirical research, theories, examples etc): Deliveroo will be used as an example. Employee experiences reported in the press (see Smith, 2018) and journal articles relating to this case will be cited (see Adams, 2019). Also, employment rights legislation will be presented (Gov, 2020).
  • Consider any criticisms of the above, then rebut: Independent workers’ unions have helped some gig-economy workers fight back and achieve ‘worker’ status. This suggests that the gig economy is not inevitably exploitative. However, the unions have not been able to achieve ‘worker’ status for Deliveroo riders, despite fighting hard.
  • Restate the main point and its relevance to the overall argument, link to next paragraph: As such, this substantiates the suggestion that some gig economy companies have undermined centuries of workers’ rights progress. As such, it can be said that some gig economy companies are leaving workers vulnerable to exploitation. Indeed, another exploitative facet of the gig economy is that workers often carry a high ‘burden of responsibility’ but are not comparatively compensated, as is explored in the next paragraph.

If you want to learn more about how to structure your paragraphs, check out our guidance on how to structure an essay .

4. Gather the evidence

When writing your plan, make a note of the key sources you will use in your essay. You’ll notice that under each paragraph, it says to ‘Provide evidence (empirical research, theories, examples etc)’.

It’s advisable to include at least one reference per paragraph. The more references you can gather before you start writing your essay, the better! Also, put the full citation in the ‘Reference list’ section of your essay plan so that you don’t lose it.

5. Offer a slightly new perspective and leave a lasting impression

Good essay conclusions don’t just repeat material that was discussed in the essay. Rather, they offer a slightly advanced perspective on the material that was discussed in the essay. This ‘advanced’ perspective can be quite difficult to plan for as it is often realised as a result of actually writing the essay.

However, this point has still been included in the essay plan template as it acts as a reminder. Want more tips on how to write an essay conclusion? Check out our detailed guidance!

6. Divide up the word count

You will notice that, next to each paragraph on the essay plan, there’s a space to fill in the suggested word count. Dividing up the word count before you start writing will stop you from exceeding the word limit when you write up your essay.

Essays are all different, but, as a general rule, the word count tends to be allocated as follows:

  • Intro – 5-10%
  • Main body (split into paragraphs) – 80-90%
  • Conclusion – 5-10%

To create a sense of balance, try to keep all the paragraphs a similar length.

When done properly, an essay plan can take several hours to write. But, as mentioned, it’ll save you so much time and energy in the long run. Not to mention, it’ll make the writing process a lot less stressful!

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Planning an Essay

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This page is the first of two that describe the processes involved in producing an essay for academic purposes, for school, college or university and covers the planning stages of essay writing, which are important to the overall process.

The second page, Writing an Essay , provides more information on the steps involved in actually writing an essay. We recommend you read both pages to gain a full understanding.

Developing the skill of essay writing takes practice, time and patience , your essay writing skills will improve and develop the more you write.

With the help of your course tutor (teacher or lecturer) and peers (other students) and from constructive feedback from the marker of your work, writing an essay will become easier as you progress through your studies and your confidence increases.

This page details general good practice in essay planning, including what you should do and what you should try to avoid. It is important however, that you understand the specific requirements of your school, college or university.

Writing an essay helps you to consider the issues raised in your course and to relate them to your own experience, way of thinking, and also any wider additional reading and research you may have undertaken in order to tackle the essay topic. 

Writing an essay (or other assignment) is an important part of the learning process.  In the writing of an assignment, learning occurs as you think through and interpret the points raised (together with those of other writers on the subject).

Presenting your experience and showing understanding within your assignment will, from the marker's point of view, demonstrate your knowledge of the subject area.

The Purpose of an Essay

The original meaning of an essay is ' an attempt ', or a try, at something. It is therefore appropriate to consider writing an essay as a learning exercise.

Essays, and other academic writing, focus the mind and encourage you to come to conclusions about what you are studying.

Writing is often the best possible way to assimilate and organise information. Writing helps to highlight any areas that you have not fully understood and enables you to make further clarifications. It develops your powers of criticism, analysis and expression, and gives you a chance to try out your and other writers' ideas on the subject.

The feedback you receive from the marker of your essay should help to advance your study skills, writing, research and  critical thinking skills .

What is the Marker Looking For?

As an essay - in the context of this page - is an assessed piece of work, it can be very useful to consider what the person who will be assessing the work, the marker, will be looking for.

Although different types of essays in different subject areas may vary considerably in their style and content there are some key concepts that will help you understand what is required of you and your essay.

When marking an assignment, a marker will look for some of the following elements, which will demonstrate you are able to:

Find relevant information and use the knowledge to focus on the essay question or subject.

Structure knowledge and information logically, clearly and concisely.

Read purposefully and critically. (See our page: Critical Reading for more)

Relate theory to practical examples.

Analyse processes and problems.

Be persuasive and argue a case.

Find links and combine information from a number of different sources.

Answer the Question

One main factor, always worth bearing in mind, is that a marker will usually only award marks for how well you have answered the essay question.

It is likely that the marker will have a set of criteria or marking guidelines that will dictate how many marks can be awarded for each element of your essay.

Remember it is perfectly possible to write an outstanding essay, but not to have answered the original question.  This will, in all likelihood, mean a low mark.

Planning Your Essay

Planning is the process of sorting out what you want to include in your essay.

A well-planned and organised essay indicates that you have your ideas in order; it makes points clearly and logically.  In this way, a well-planned and structured essay enables the reader, or marker, to follow the points being made easily.

Essay assignments are usually formulated in one of the following ways:

As a question

A statement is given and you are asked to comment on it

An invitation to ‘ outline’ , ‘ discuss’ or ‘ critically assess’ a particular argument or point of view

Remember always write your essay based on the question that is set and not on another aspect of the subject. Although this may sound obvious, many students do not fully answer the essay question and include irrelevant information. The primary aim of an academic essay is to answer the task set, in some detail.

To help you do this, you might find the following list of stages helpful.

Producing an Essay Plan

The essay plan below contains ten steps.

It is often useful to complete the first six steps soon after receiving your essay question. That way information will be fresh and you are more likely to be thinking about your essay plan as you do other things.

Study the essay question intently.

Write the essay question out in full.

Spend some time, at least half an hour, brainstorming the subject area.

Write down your thoughts on the question subject, its scope and various aspects.

List words or phrases that you think need to be included.

Note the main points you should include to answer the question.

If, at this point, you feel unsure of what to include, talk to your tutor or a peer to clarify that you are on the right track.

Once you have finished the first six steps and you feel sure you know how to proceed, continue to expand on your initial thoughts and build a more in-depth essay outline.

Skim through any course material or lecture handouts and start to build up a more detailed outline. Scan through your own lecture notes, and if anything strikes you as relevant to the assignment task, write where to find it on your detailed outline

Write down where you will find the necessary information on each of the points in your detailed outline (lecture notes, course handouts etc.).  Indicate on the outline where you feel that some further research is necessary.

Be careful not to allow your outline to become too complicated; stick to main points and keep it relevant to the question.

If you have been given a reading list or a core text book then check the relevant sections of that.

See our page: Sources of Information for more ideas of where you can find relevant information for your essay.

Academic essays usually have a word limit and writing within the word limit is an important consideration. Many institutions will penalise students for not writing the correct amount of words – for example, the essay question may call for a 2,000 word essay, there may be a 10% grace, so anything between 1,800 and 2,200 is acceptable.

Think about the main elements that need to be covered in the essay. Make sure you allocate the greatest number of words to the 'main body of the essay' and not to a subsidiary point.

Decide how much space you can devote to each section of your outline.  For example, a third of a page for the introduction, half a page for point 1 which has two sub-points, one and a half pages for point 2 which has five sub-points etc.  Although you will not follow such a space scheme rigidly, it does enable you to keep things under control and to know how much detail to put in, keeping the balance of the essay as you originally planned.

Of course, you will make minor adjustments to your essay plan as you actually write. However, do not make major adjustments unless you are absolutely certain about the alternative and how it fits into your original scheme.

Having a strong essay plan makes the actual task of writing an essay much more efficient.

Continue to: Writing an Essay Sources of Information

See also: Essay Writing Tips Note-Taking for Reading Finding Time To Study

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Construct an Essay Plan

Construct an initial essay plan.

After you have generated some ideas, it’s important to write an initial plan before you head for the library. This can feel strange—after all, how can you answer a question when you haven’t done any research?—but starting with an initial plan helps you order your ideas and focus your reading. Without a sense of which direction to head in, it’s easy to get lost in the research process.

This initial plan will be provisional and might consist of:

  • a provisional answer to the question (or thesis statement)
  • a brief outline of possible main point.

As you research and develop your understanding of the topic, your ideas will likely change, and your answers may change with them. Try to see your essay plan as something that evolves as you engage further with your topic.

While it’s a good idea to write an initial plan before you start researching, if you really know nothing at all about the topic, some initial skimming and browsing through recommended or assigned readings can provide a few ideas. However, the initial planning stage is not the time for a lot of intensive or detailed reading.

What elements should an essay plan consist of?

A 1-2 sentence thesis statement.

A plan should indicate the answer to the question. A clear and well-written thesis statement will help you to determine the direction and structure of your argument.

What is a thesis statement?

  • A clear and direct answer to the essay questio.
  • A claim that can be discussed and expanded further in the body of the essay.
  • One or two complete sentences.
  • A part of the introduction.

In the initial plan, the thesis statement is usually provisional. However, after you’ve done some research, you will need to work on your thesis statement until it is clear, concise and effective.

  • Try introducing your thesis statement with the phrase ‘this essay will argue’ or ‘this essay argues’.
  • Paraphrasing the assignment question can help ensure that you are answering it.

Possible main points

Once you have a thesis statement, follow it with a paragraph or a set of points that indicate the ‘reasons why’ for your answer. The ‘reasons why’ can be developed into the main points of your essay.

What are main points?

  • Main points make up the body of an essay.
  • Each point should be developed in a paragraph. These paragraphs are the building blocks used to construct the argument.
  • In a 1000-1500 word essay, aim for three to four main points

In the initial plan, try to express the main idea of each point in a single, clear sentence. These can become topic sentences—usually the first sentence of each paragraph which summarise the information in the paragraph. In your second plan, you develop these points further. 

Arrange your main points in a logical order and number them. Is there one that would seem to go first or one that would seem to go last? Are there any two that are closely linked? How are the ideas connected to each other? Do the main points, when considered as a whole, present a unified discussion?).

The structure of the essay

A plan should follow the structureof an essay, e.g. Introduction, body and conclusion.

While you may not be ready to construct an introduction or conclusion, this three-part structure should be at least suggested in your plan.

Some indication of the research

A plan should include some indication of the sources you might use to RESEARCH the topic.

Make a few notes about how each main point might be developed. If possible, specify the evidence you might draw on and which texts you might refer to. Jot down titles, authors, page numbers etc.

    Next: Step 4 - Research and gather information

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essay word plan

How to plan a winning essay

(Last updated: 7 May 2021)

Since 2006, Oxbridge Essays has been the UK’s leading paid essay-writing and dissertation service

We have helped 10,000s of undergraduate, Masters and PhD students to maximise their grades in essays, dissertations, model-exam answers, applications and other materials. If you would like a free chat about your project with one of our UK staff, then please just reach out on one of the methods below.

However you look at it, getting started on an essay can be a challenge. There are likely to be a whole bunch of ideas swirling around in your head. Knowing how to assemble these into some sort of sense, then write them down in the form of a good academic essay, doesn’t always come easy!

One way to make essay writing much easier is by planning ahead. Planning is crucial in order for success: failing to plan is planning to fail! Do not leave your work until the last minute, instead, use this post as an essay planning guide that can lead you on the path to success.

There are two stages to essay planning. First, you need to map out what your essay will include. By outlining the contents of your essay before you write it, you’ll ensure you don’t miss any crucial detail, and that you give fair weight to each of the points of your argument.

After mapping out your essay, you can then make a schedule for yourself, deciding when you will work on each section to ensure you get in done in good time. Breaking your work down into manageable chunks like this will mean you can make a little bit of progress each day, instead of cramming at the last minute.

So, if you’re here because you’re thinking, “how do I plan an essay?” or, “what does an essay plan look like?” – you’re in the right place! We’ll answer these exact questions for you in this article.

Essay planning step 1: Creating a structure

It may be very tempting to just sit down and write, especially if you are on a tight deadline to finish an essay . But it’s crucial that before writing, you create – as a bear minimum! – a structure that details what your essay will cover.

Hopefully, you already have an idea or argument that you might like to pursue. Next, you need to decide how many body paragraphs you need to make that argument (and to meet the word limit criteria).

When planning your essay’s structure, you want to make sure that every paragraph has a focus (we call this the topic sentence). A paragraph is usually somewhere between 6-10 sentences in length, meaning that it is likely to be around 200-250 words (or at least this is a good place to start).

So how do you decide how many body paragraphs your essay will contain? Your first step is to divide up your paper. Let’s say you have to write 1500 words. You would have 150 words for your introduction and 150 words for your conclusion. This leaves you with 1200 words, which would mean you would need between 5-6 body paragraphs in the middle.

Your next job is to come up with 5-6 ideas, one for each paragraph (we explain this in more detail in the next part of this post).

"Writing 6 paragraphs of 200 words seems far more achievable than a solid block of 1500 words – and you can have a mini celebration after you finish each one."

Not only does segmenting the essay like this help you achieve your word count – it also makes it much easier to handle. The thought of writing 1500 words might seem a bit daunting at first. But, break it down into sections, and suddenly you only have to write 200-250 words for each. That seems much less intimidating! As you move from section to section, you will quickly see your essay start to emerge.

Essay planning step 2: Brainstorming or freewriting

Once you know how many ideas you need, the next step is writing down what you know (and what you still have to find out).

There are many ways that this can be achieved. You can either create a mind map, or just write out all your ideas on a piece of paper. As you do this, also keep in mind any questions you have, and the things you need to look up.

If you cannot come up with 5-6 ideas, start reviewing your lecture notes, lecture slides, and do some reading to see if you can identify the main ideas. At this point, your paper might look really messy (and that is OK!). This messiness will help you as you begin to construct your outline.

essay word plan

Essay planning step 3: Constructing a detailed outline

Once you have done your brainstorming, it is time to take the messiness and put it into a neater format. While you might have done the brainstorm on a piece of scrap paper, you should start to write your outline on the computer, because what starts as an outline will gradually evolve into your actual essay.

"With every change you make, just make sure that you are keeping the question prompt in mind. If you write an excellent essay, but it has nothing to do with the assigned topic provided by the instructor, you are unlikely to do well."

The outline is a living document, which means that as you start to work on it, you may need to make changes (and that is OK!). With every change you make, just make sure that you are keeping the question prompt in mind. If you write an excellent essay, but it has nothing to do with the assigned topic provided by the instructor, you are unlikely to do well.

Here’s how we suggest you write the detailed outline for your essay:

1. Write your introduction (or thesis statement)

When you begin to think about your essay, you are probably going to need some type of overarching argument or position. This is commonly known as a thesis statement. While you do not have to have an exact thesis in your essay plan, having an idea about where you want to start is always useful.

A good thesis statement contains an argument or position and is followed by a strategy (like a road map) that explains how this will be achieved. Remember, even though it is called a thesis statement, it might be more than one sentence (and can be 2 or 3).

2. Write topic sentences for every paragraph

Every paragraph that you write has to relate to your thesis statement (and your thesis statement is answering the question provided by the instructor). A topic sentence is the first sentence in your body paragraph. It provides an overview of what is going to happen in the paragraph. You might want to think of your topic sentence as a mini-thesis, presenting the argument for one particular paragraph.

3. Include evidence

Once you have established a clear topic sentence, you have to figure out what evidence you are going to provide in the middle of each paragraph to make sure that you are getting your point across clearly. This is where you might start to use your readings (your textbook, library resources, and Google) to help you figure out what to include. At the outlining stage, you might just want to list the possible sources that you are going to use, or you can write a few notes about what each paragraph might contain.

4. Conclusion

At this stage, you don’t have to plan what the conclusion will say or include, since you haven’t yet written your essay and come to your concluding argument. But just make a note that this section will present your key takeaway for the reader and highlight how you have answered the essay question.

essay word plan

An essay plan example

An essay plan is usually linear. Let’s look at the example below to see how an essay plan might come together. In this case, we are writing a 1500-word essay, and we are attempting to answer the question: What role can citizen diplomacy play in mitigating difficult interstate relations?

Introduction (150 words) Thesis statement This essay argues that while citizen diplomacy through dialogue should be pursued, the Peace Research Institute in the Middle East (PRIME) has faced numerous challenges that have limited its overall impact in mitigating difficult interstate relations.

Section 1: Theory (400) Body paragraph 1 While many steps have been taken by governments to resolve the Israeli – Palestinian conflict, there has been a lack of sustainability between these two countries over time.

Body paragraph 2 While the Israel – Palestine conflict has extended for decades, the role that citizen diplomacy can play in large scale negotiations is minimal (Kaye, 2001).

Section 2: Example and Application (800) Body paragraph 3 The Peace Research Institute in the Middle East (PRIME) is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that was created in Frankfurt in 1998 by Palestinian and Israeli academics seeking to build peace through joint research projects and outreach initiatives (Yaniv, 2013). Body paragraph 4 Because the academics in PRIME are focused on strengthening the civil societies in both Israel and Palestine, they have published extensive literature since inception. Body paragraph 5 When applying concepts of citizen diplomacy to PRIME, it is important to assess the impact of the intervention being employed. Body paragraph 6 The creation of the Shared History Project was completed and introduced in schools in the early 2000s.

Conclusion (150 words) Present my key takeaway message for the reader and highlight how I have answered the instructor’s question.

Sources I might use Course reading: Kaye, D.D., 2001. Track two diplomacy and regional security in the Middle East. International Negotiation, 6(1), pp.49-77. Additional reading: Yaniv, L., 2013. People-to-People Peace Making: The Role of Citizen Diplomacy in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. CPD Best Student Paper Prize in Public Diplomacy, University of Southern California Center on Public Diplomacy. NB: a 1500-word research essay might have between 6-12 total sources in the reference list when it is completed.

essay word plan

Final thoughts

Once you have written an essay plan, you can begin to actually write out each of your body paragraphs into the corresponding sections. As you write, it might be simplest to start with the paragraphs that you think are going to be the easiest and move to the more difficult ones later.

Leave the introduction and the conclusion until the very end. By leaving these parts until last, you can make sure that the thesis that you wrote for your essay plan is still applicable for your essay. You can also make sure that your introduction and conclusion are providing the same messaging creating coherency and flow throughout.

Remember, there are lots of people who are willing to help you with your essay, so take advantage of the help of your university writing center or the academics at Oxbridge Essays. While writing an essay can be a challenging task, creating an essay plan is certainly one way to make the process easier!

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Essay Writing Guide

Essay Outline

Last updated on: Jun 10, 2023

A Complete Essay Outline - Guidelines and Format

By: Nova A.

13 min read

Reviewed By: Melisa C.

Published on: Jan 15, 2019

Essay Outline

To write an effective essay, you need to create a clear and well-organized essay outline. An essay outline will shape the essay’s entire content and determine how successful the essay will be.

In this blog post, we'll be going over the basics of essay outlines and provide a template for you to follow. We will also include a few examples so that you can get an idea about how these outlines look when they are put into practice.

Essay writing is not easy, but it becomes much easier with time, practice, and a detailed essay writing guide. Once you have developed your outline, everything else will come together more smoothly.

The key to success in any area is preparation - take the time now to develop a solid outline and then write your essays!

So, let’s get started!

Essay Outline

On this Page

What is an Essay Outline?

An essay outline is your essay plan and a roadmap to essay writing. It is the structure of an essay you are about to write. It includes all the main points you have to discuss in each section along with the thesis statement.

Like every house has a map before it is constructed, the same is the importance of an essay outline. You can write an essay without crafting an outline, but you may miss essential information, and it is more time-consuming.

Once the outline is created, there is no chance of missing any important information. Also, it will help you to:

  • Organize your thoughts and ideas.
  • Understand the information flow.
  • Never miss any crucial information or reference.
  • Finish your work faster.

These are the reasons if someone asks you why an essay outline is needed. Now there are some points that must be kept in mind before proceeding to craft an essay outline.

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Easily Outline Your Essays In Seconds!

Prewriting Process of Essay Outline

Your teacher may ask you to submit your essay outline before your essay. Therefore, you must know the preliminary guidelines that are necessary before writing an essay outline.

Here are the guidelines:

  • You must go through your assignments’ guidelines carefully.
  • Understand the purpose of your assignment.
  • Know your audience.
  • Mark the important point while researching your topic data.
  • Select the structure of your essay outline; whether you are going to use a decimal point bullet or a simple one.

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How to Write an Essay Outline in 4 Steps

Creating an essay outline is a crucial step in crafting a well-structured and organized piece of writing. Follow these four simple steps to create an effective outline:

Step 1: Understand the Topic

To begin, thoroughly grasp the essence of your essay topic. 

Break it down into its key components and identify the main ideas you want to convey. This step ensures you have a clear direction and focus for your essay.

Step 2: Brainstorm and Gather Ideas

Let your creativity flow and brainstorm ideas related to your topic. 

Jot down key pieces of information, arguments, and supporting evidence that will strengthen your essay's overall message. Consider different perspectives and potential counterarguments to make your essay well-rounded.

Step 3: Organize Your Thoughts

Now it's time to give structure to your ideas. 

Arrange your main points in a logical order, starting with an attention-grabbing introduction, followed by body paragraphs that present your arguments. 

Finally, tie everything together with a compelling conclusion. Remember to use transitional phrases to create smooth transitions between sections.

Step 4: Add Depth with Subpoints

To add depth and clarity to your essay, incorporate subpoints under each main point. 

These subpoints provide more specific details, evidence, or examples that support your main ideas. They help to further strengthen your arguments and make your essay more convincing.

By following these four steps - you'll be well on your way to creating a clear and compelling essay outline.

Essay Outline Format

It is an easy way for you to write your thoughts in an organized manner. It may seem unnecessary and unimportant, but it is not.

It is one of the most crucial steps for essay writing as it shapes your entire essay and aids the writing process.

An essay outline consists of three main parts:

1. Introduction

The introduction body of your essay should be attention-grabbing. It should be written in such a manner that it attracts the reader’s interest. It should also provide background information about the topic for the readers.

You can use a dramatic tone to grab readers’ attention, but it should connect the audience to your thesis statement.

Here are some points without which your introduction paragraph is incomplete.

To attract the reader with the first few opening lines, we use a hook statement. It helps engage the reader and motivates them to read further. There are different types of hook sentences ranging from quotes, rhetorical questions to anecdotes and statistics, and much more.

Are you struggling to come up with an interesting hook? View these hook examples to get inspired!

A thesis statement is stated at the end of your introduction. It is the most important statement of your entire essay. It summarizes the purpose of the essay in one sentence.

The thesis statement tells the readers about the main theme of the essay, and it must be strong and clear. It holds the entire crux of your essay.

Need help creating a strong thesis statement? Check out this guide on thesis statements and learn to write a statement that perfectly captures your main argument!

2. Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs of an essay are where all the details and evidence come into play. This is where you dive deep into the argument, providing explanations and supporting your ideas with solid evidence. 

If you're writing a persuasive essay, these paragraphs will be the powerhouse that convinces your readers. Similarly, in an argumentative essay, your body paragraphs will work their magic to sway your audience to your side.

Each paragraph should have a topic sentence and no more than one idea. A topic sentence is the crux of the contents of your paragraph. It is essential to keep your reader interested in the essay.

The topic sentence is followed by the supporting points and opinions, which are then justified with strong evidence.

3. Conclusion

When it comes to wrapping up your essay, never underestimate the power of a strong conclusion. Just like the introduction and body paragraphs, the conclusion plays a vital role in providing a sense of closure to your topic. 

To craft an impactful conclusion, it's crucial to summarize the key points discussed in the introduction and body paragraphs. You want to remind your readers of the important information you shared earlier. But keep it concise and to the point. Short, powerful sentences will leave a lasting impression.

Remember, your conclusion shouldn't drag on. Instead, restate your thesis statement and the supporting points you mentioned earlier. And here's a pro tip: go the extra mile and suggest a course of action. It leaves your readers with something to ponder or reflect on.

5 Paragraph Essay Outline Structure

An outline is an essential part of the writing as it helps the writer stay focused. A typical 5 paragraph essay outline example is shown here. This includes:

  • State the topic
  • Thesis statement
  • Introduction
  • Explanation
  • A conclusion that ties to the thesis
  • Summary of the essay
  • Restate the thesis statement

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Essay Outline Template

The outline of the essay is the skeleton that you will fill out with the content. Both outline and relevant content are important for a good essay. The content you will add to flesh out the outline should be credible, relevant, and interesting.

The outline structure for the essay is not complex or difficult. No matter which type of essay you write, you either use an alphanumeric structure or a decimal structure for the outline.

Below is an outline sample that you can easily follow for your essay.

Hook/Attention Grabber
Background Information
Thesis Statement

Topic Sentence
Supporting Detail 1
Supporting Detail 2
Supporting Detail 3
Transition to the next paragraph

Topic Sentence
Supporting Detail 1
Supporting Detail 2
Supporting Detail 3
Transition to the next paragraph

Topic Sentence
Supporting Detail 1
Supporting Detail 2
Supporting Detail 3
Transition to the next paragraph

Restate Thesis Statement
Summary of Main Points
Concluding Thoughts

Essay Outline Sample

Essay Outline Examples

An essay outline template should follow when you start writing the essay. Every writer should learn how to write an outline for every type of essay and research paper.

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Essay outline 5th grade

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Given below are essay outline examples for different types of essay writing.

Argumentative Essay Outline

An  argumentative essay  is a type of essay that shows both sides of the topic that you are exploring. The argument that presents the basis of the essay should be created by providing evidence and supporting details.

Persuasive Essay Outline

A  persuasive essay  is similar to an argumentative essay. Your job is to provide facts and details to create the argument. In a persuasive essay, you convince your readers of your point of view.

Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

A  compare and contrast essay  explains the similarities and differences between two things. While comparing, you should focus on the differences between two seemingly similar objects. While contrasting, you should focus on the similarities between two different objects.

Narrative Essay Outline

A narrative essay is written to share a story. Normally, a narrative essay is written from a personal point of view in an essay. The basic purpose of the narrative essay is to describe something creatively.

Expository Essay Outline

An  expository essay  is a type of essay that explains, analyzes, and illustrates something for the readers. An expository essay should be unbiased and entirely based on facts. Be sure to use academic resources for your research and cite your sources.

Analytical Essay Outline

An  analytical essay  is written to analyze the topic from a critical point of view. An analytical essay breaks down the content into different parts and explains the topic bit by bit.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline

A rhetorical essay is written to examine the writer or artist’s work and develop a great essay. It also includes the discussion.

Cause and Effect Essay Outline

A  cause and effect essay  describes why something happens and examines the consequences of an occurrence or phenomenon. It is also a type of expository essay.

Informative Essay Outline

An  informative essay  is written to inform the audience about different objects, concepts, people, issues, etc.

The main purpose is to respond to the question with a detailed explanation and inform the target audience about the topic.

Synthesis Essay Outline

A  synthesis essay  requires the writer to describe a certain unique viewpoint about the issue or topic. Create a claim about the topic and use different sources and information to prove it.

Literary Analysis Essay Outline

A  literary analysis essay  is written to analyze and examine a novel, book, play, or any other piece of literature. The writer analyzes the different devices such as the ideas, characters, plot, theme, tone, etc., to deliver his message.

Definition Essay Outline

A  definition essay  requires students to pick a particular concept, term, or idea and define it in their own words and according to their understanding.

Descriptive Essay Outline

A  descriptive essay  is a type of essay written to describe a person, place, object, or event. The writer must describe the topic so that the reader can visualize it using their five senses.

Evaluation Essay Outline

Problem Solution Essay Outline

In a problem-solution essay, you are given a problem as a topic and you have to suggest multiple solutions on it.

Scholarship Essay Outline

A  scholarship essay  is required at the time of admission when you are applying for a scholarship. Scholarship essays must be written in a way that should stand alone to help you get a scholarship.

Reflective Essay Outline

A reflective essay  is written to express your own thoughts and point of view regarding a specific topic.

Getting started on your essay? Give this comprehensive essay writing guide a read to make sure you write an effective essay!

With this complete guide, now you understand how to create an outline for your essay successfully. However, if you still can’t write an effective essay, then the best option is to consult a professional academic writing service.

Essay writing is a dull and boring task for some people. So why not get some help instead of wasting your time and effort? is here to help you. All your  do my essay for me  requests are managed by professional essay writers.

Place your order now, and our team of expert academic writers will help you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the three types of outlines.

Here are the three types of essay outline;

  • Working outline
  • Speaking outline
  • Full-sentence outline

All three types are different from each other and are used for different purposes.

What does a full-sentence outline look like?

A full sentence outline contains full sentences at each level of the essay’s outline. It is similar to an alphanumeric outline and it is a commonly used essay outline.

What is a traditional outline format?

A traditional essay outline begins with writing down all the important points in one place and listing them down and adding sub-topics to them. Besides, it will also include evidence and proof that you will use to back your arguments.

What is the benefit of using a traditional outline format and an informal outline format?

A traditional outline format helps the students in listing down all the important details in one palace while an informal outline will help you coming up with new ideas and highlighting important points

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  • Introduction

How to Plan an Essay

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  • Essay Planning
  • Video Explanation

Essay planning is an important step in academic essay writing.

Effective planning can speed up the essay writing process, and give the essay direction and precision.  As you are working through the process of drafting and writing your essay, you can record any changes you make on your essay plan, so that your essay and the plan develop side by side.

One way to start planning an essay is with a "box plan."

First, decide how many stages there are in your argument – how many important points do you want to make? Then divide up a box into an introduction, one body paragraph for each part of your argument, and a conclusion.

Box plan

Next, figure out how many  words per paragraph  you will need. This depends on the  word count  and  how many paragraphs  you want. Remember you need one paragraph to discuss each main point you are making. The introduction and conclusion are both usually 10% of the word count and what is left is divided into how many body paragraphs you have.

Let's use the following example: Discuss how media can influence children. Use specific examples to support your view.

1200 words 

Box plan with word count

Next, in each body paragraph box record your main argument, either as a heading or as your topic sentence. 

Box plan with main arguments

Finally, use dot points to list useful information or ideas from your research notes for each paragraph. Remember to include references so you can cite each idea in your essay.

box plan with dot points added

Remember, a useful document for essay planning is the marking rubric (also known as the marking checklist or marking criteria). This indicates what the lecturer is looking for, and helps you make sure that all the necessary elements are there.

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FigJam Build a strong foundation with our essay plan template

No shaky arguments here. Whether it’s a class assignment, personal statement, or a missive on the company blog, FigJam’s essay writing plan will help you construct a stronger essay outline from the ground up.

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Essay plan template

Share ideas, hone arguments, and refine your writing with our collaborative essay plan template.

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Nail down your message

Organize evidence, strengthen supporting arguments, and hammer your main point home with our essay planning sheet.

Create flow: Maintain a cohesive writing process with an essay planning template that clarifies how one section leads to the next.

Evaluate your argument from all sides: Crystallize your claim and test it out from new angles in a visual format.

Do your research: Fact check your work and sources before writing by laying out supporting evidence on an easy-to-read outline.

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How to write an essay plan?

If you’re wondering how to plan an essay or how to write an effective essay plan with important points and supporting details, just tap into our free essay plan example to get started. From there, you’ll be prompted to break your essay down into the following sections:

  • Introduction
  • Body paragraph #1
  • Body paragraph #2
  • Body paragraph #3

Fill in each of these sections with relevant information and credible sources. Then, share it with your trusted collaborators and peers to make sure your argument sings.

What are the 5 aspects of planning an essay?

The 5 aspects of planning an essay correspond to the 5 main sections of your essay: the introduction, the 3 body paragraphs, and the conclusion.

  • Introduction – Planning an introduction involves writing a thesis statement and a brief list that outlines the order of your supporting arguments.
  • Body paragraphs (3) – As you plan your 3 body paragraphs, you’ll collect evidence—from credible sources—that backs up any supporting detail, arguments, and thesis.
  • Conclusion – While you conceptualize this final section, consider how you can open up the floor for further conversation after the essay ends. Are there any related questions you wished you’d asked? What makes this a relevant topic—today? Jot down all of your ideas on a planning sheet for essays.

What is a good structure in an essay?

Many essays follow the classic 5-part structure—the introduction that states your main argument, the 3 points supporting that claim, and the conclusion that wraps everything up.

Keep in mind, however, that you don't have to follow this essay planning example exactly. Some of the best essays break the mold—so don’t be afraid to customize your essay planning sheet or collaborate on a creative structure as you outline.

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  • Example of a great essay | Explanations, tips & tricks

Example of a Great Essay | Explanations, Tips & Tricks

Published on February 9, 2015 by Shane Bryson . Revised on July 23, 2023 by Shona McCombes.

This example guides you through the structure of an essay. It shows how to build an effective introduction , focused paragraphs , clear transitions between ideas, and a strong conclusion .

Each paragraph addresses a single central point, introduced by a topic sentence , and each point is directly related to the thesis statement .

As you read, hover over the highlighted parts to learn what they do and why they work.

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Other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about writing an essay, an appeal to the senses: the development of the braille system in nineteenth-century france.

The invention of Braille was a major turning point in the history of disability. The writing system of raised dots used by visually impaired people was developed by Louis Braille in nineteenth-century France. In a society that did not value disabled people in general, blindness was particularly stigmatized, and lack of access to reading and writing was a significant barrier to social participation. The idea of tactile reading was not entirely new, but existing methods based on sighted systems were difficult to learn and use. As the first writing system designed for blind people’s needs, Braille was a groundbreaking new accessibility tool. It not only provided practical benefits, but also helped change the cultural status of blindness. This essay begins by discussing the situation of blind people in nineteenth-century Europe. It then describes the invention of Braille and the gradual process of its acceptance within blind education. Subsequently, it explores the wide-ranging effects of this invention on blind people’s social and cultural lives.

Lack of access to reading and writing put blind people at a serious disadvantage in nineteenth-century society. Text was one of the primary methods through which people engaged with culture, communicated with others, and accessed information; without a well-developed reading system that did not rely on sight, blind people were excluded from social participation (Weygand, 2009). While disabled people in general suffered from discrimination, blindness was widely viewed as the worst disability, and it was commonly believed that blind people were incapable of pursuing a profession or improving themselves through culture (Weygand, 2009). This demonstrates the importance of reading and writing to social status at the time: without access to text, it was considered impossible to fully participate in society. Blind people were excluded from the sighted world, but also entirely dependent on sighted people for information and education.

In France, debates about how to deal with disability led to the adoption of different strategies over time. While people with temporary difficulties were able to access public welfare, the most common response to people with long-term disabilities, such as hearing or vision loss, was to group them together in institutions (Tombs, 1996). At first, a joint institute for the blind and deaf was created, and although the partnership was motivated more by financial considerations than by the well-being of the residents, the institute aimed to help people develop skills valuable to society (Weygand, 2009). Eventually blind institutions were separated from deaf institutions, and the focus shifted towards education of the blind, as was the case for the Royal Institute for Blind Youth, which Louis Braille attended (Jimenez et al, 2009). The growing acknowledgement of the uniqueness of different disabilities led to more targeted education strategies, fostering an environment in which the benefits of a specifically blind education could be more widely recognized.

Several different systems of tactile reading can be seen as forerunners to the method Louis Braille developed, but these systems were all developed based on the sighted system. The Royal Institute for Blind Youth in Paris taught the students to read embossed roman letters, a method created by the school’s founder, Valentin Hauy (Jimenez et al., 2009). Reading this way proved to be a rather arduous task, as the letters were difficult to distinguish by touch. The embossed letter method was based on the reading system of sighted people, with minimal adaptation for those with vision loss. As a result, this method did not gain significant success among blind students.

Louis Braille was bound to be influenced by his school’s founder, but the most influential pre-Braille tactile reading system was Charles Barbier’s night writing. A soldier in Napoleon’s army, Barbier developed a system in 1819 that used 12 dots with a five line musical staff (Kersten, 1997). His intention was to develop a system that would allow the military to communicate at night without the need for light (Herron, 2009). The code developed by Barbier was phonetic (Jimenez et al., 2009); in other words, the code was designed for sighted people and was based on the sounds of words, not on an actual alphabet. Barbier discovered that variants of raised dots within a square were the easiest method of reading by touch (Jimenez et al., 2009). This system proved effective for the transmission of short messages between military personnel, but the symbols were too large for the fingertip, greatly reducing the speed at which a message could be read (Herron, 2009). For this reason, it was unsuitable for daily use and was not widely adopted in the blind community.

Nevertheless, Barbier’s military dot system was more efficient than Hauy’s embossed letters, and it provided the framework within which Louis Braille developed his method. Barbier’s system, with its dashes and dots, could form over 4000 combinations (Jimenez et al., 2009). Compared to the 26 letters of the Latin alphabet, this was an absurdly high number. Braille kept the raised dot form, but developed a more manageable system that would reflect the sighted alphabet. He replaced Barbier’s dashes and dots with just six dots in a rectangular configuration (Jimenez et al., 2009). The result was that the blind population in France had a tactile reading system using dots (like Barbier’s) that was based on the structure of the sighted alphabet (like Hauy’s); crucially, this system was the first developed specifically for the purposes of the blind.

While the Braille system gained immediate popularity with the blind students at the Institute in Paris, it had to gain acceptance among the sighted before its adoption throughout France. This support was necessary because sighted teachers and leaders had ultimate control over the propagation of Braille resources. Many of the teachers at the Royal Institute for Blind Youth resisted learning Braille’s system because they found the tactile method of reading difficult to learn (Bullock & Galst, 2009). This resistance was symptomatic of the prevalent attitude that the blind population had to adapt to the sighted world rather than develop their own tools and methods. Over time, however, with the increasing impetus to make social contribution possible for all, teachers began to appreciate the usefulness of Braille’s system (Bullock & Galst, 2009), realizing that access to reading could help improve the productivity and integration of people with vision loss. It took approximately 30 years, but the French government eventually approved the Braille system, and it was established throughout the country (Bullock & Galst, 2009).

Although Blind people remained marginalized throughout the nineteenth century, the Braille system granted them growing opportunities for social participation. Most obviously, Braille allowed people with vision loss to read the same alphabet used by sighted people (Bullock & Galst, 2009), allowing them to participate in certain cultural experiences previously unavailable to them. Written works, such as books and poetry, had previously been inaccessible to the blind population without the aid of a reader, limiting their autonomy. As books began to be distributed in Braille, this barrier was reduced, enabling people with vision loss to access information autonomously. The closing of the gap between the abilities of blind and the sighted contributed to a gradual shift in blind people’s status, lessening the cultural perception of the blind as essentially different and facilitating greater social integration.

The Braille system also had important cultural effects beyond the sphere of written culture. Its invention later led to the development of a music notation system for the blind, although Louis Braille did not develop this system himself (Jimenez, et al., 2009). This development helped remove a cultural obstacle that had been introduced by the popularization of written musical notation in the early 1500s. While music had previously been an arena in which the blind could participate on equal footing, the transition from memory-based performance to notation-based performance meant that blind musicians were no longer able to compete with sighted musicians (Kersten, 1997). As a result, a tactile musical notation system became necessary for professional equality between blind and sighted musicians (Kersten, 1997).

Braille paved the way for dramatic cultural changes in the way blind people were treated and the opportunities available to them. Louis Braille’s innovation was to reimagine existing reading systems from a blind perspective, and the success of this invention required sighted teachers to adapt to their students’ reality instead of the other way around. In this sense, Braille helped drive broader social changes in the status of blindness. New accessibility tools provide practical advantages to those who need them, but they can also change the perspectives and attitudes of those who do not.

Bullock, J. D., & Galst, J. M. (2009). The Story of Louis Braille. Archives of Ophthalmology , 127(11), 1532. https://​​archophthalmol.2009.286.

Herron, M. (2009, May 6). Blind visionary. Retrieved from https://​​content/​articles/2009/05/​blind-visionary/.

Jiménez, J., Olea, J., Torres, J., Alonso, I., Harder, D., & Fischer, K. (2009). Biography of Louis Braille and Invention of the Braille Alphabet. Survey of Ophthalmology , 54(1), 142–149. https://​​j.survophthal.2008.10.006.

Kersten, F.G. (1997). The history and development of Braille music methodology. The Bulletin of Historical Research in Music Education , 18(2). Retrieved from https://​​stable/40214926.

Mellor, C.M. (2006). Louis Braille: A touch of genius . Boston: National Braille Press.

Tombs, R. (1996). France: 1814-1914 . London: Pearson Education Ltd.

Weygand, Z. (2009). The blind in French society from the Middle Ages to the century of Louis Braille . Stanford: Stanford University Press.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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An essay is a focused piece of writing that explains, argues, describes, or narrates.

In high school, you may have to write many different types of essays to develop your writing skills.

Academic essays at college level are usually argumentative : you develop a clear thesis about your topic and make a case for your position using evidence, analysis and interpretation.

The structure of an essay is divided into an introduction that presents your topic and thesis statement , a body containing your in-depth analysis and arguments, and a conclusion wrapping up your ideas.

The structure of the body is flexible, but you should always spend some time thinking about how you can organize your essay to best serve your ideas.

Your essay introduction should include three main things, in this order:

  • An opening hook to catch the reader’s attention.
  • Relevant background information that the reader needs to know.
  • A thesis statement that presents your main point or argument.

The length of each part depends on the length and complexity of your essay .

A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.

A topic sentence is a sentence that expresses the main point of a paragraph . Everything else in the paragraph should relate to the topic sentence.

At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays , research papers , and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises).

Add a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.

The exact format of your citations depends on which citation style you are instructed to use. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .

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Bryson, S. (2023, July 23). Example of a Great Essay | Explanations, Tips & Tricks. Scribbr. Retrieved June 18, 2024, from

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Essay Outline Templates

37 outstanding essay outline templates (argumentative, narrative, persuasive).

Writing an essay can seem like an overwhelming task, and planning beforehand is essential to success. An essay outline will help you to structure and organize your essay so that it flows coherently. Essay outlines work for all kinds of essays and will save you time and stress.

There are various different ways to structure an essay, and using an essay outline template allows you to decide on the best structure for your essay. Whether you want a balanced argument, or if you’re trying to persuade someone of your idea, then there will be an essay outline that works for you.

Table of Contents

  • 1 Essay Outline Templates
  • 2 What is an Essay Outline Template?
  • 3 Essay Outline Examples
  • 4 What Different Types of Essay Outline Templates Are Available?
  • 5 Why are Essay Outlines important?
  • 6 How Do You Structure an Outline for an Essay?
  • 7 Essay Outline Samples
  • 8 What is the Format of a Five-Paragraph Essay Outline? 
  • 9 How to Write an Effective Essay Outline
  • 10 Free Essay Outlines
  • 11 Create an Effective Outline Using an Essay Outline Template

You can download and print one of our free essay outline templates to help you plan the perfect essay.

Free Essay Outline Template 01

What is an Essay Outline Template?

An essay outline template is essentially the essay plan. It provides students with a clear structure before they write their essay, including all of the main points that are necessary for their writing.

Planning an essay outline beforehand makes the process of essay writing a lot less daunting, providing students with a guideline to follow whilst writing their essays in detail. In the world of academic writing , an essay outline serves as a tool to organize and structure thoughts before delving into the actual writing process. Many students underestimate the significance of creating an essay outline, often resulting in disorganized and incomprehensible essays.

Essay Outline Examples

Free Essay Outline Template 11

What Different Types of Essay Outline Templates Are Available?

Essay outlines can be used for any college essay, research papers, a contrast essay, speech writing, or an expository essay. There are a range of essay outline templates to use, and they vary depending on the style of essay you are writing. These include:

  • Argumentative essay outline
  • Narrative essay outline
  • Contrast essay outline
  • Literary analysis essay outline
  • Persuasive essay outline
  • Expository essay outline
  • College essay outline
  • Descriptive essay outline
  • Reflective essay outline

Depending on the purpose of your essay, there will be a different structure to suit your writing and your writing process. For example, an argumentative essay outline may follow a more traditional five-paragraph essay outline, while a literary analysis essay may follow a more detailed essay outline template.

Why are Essay Outlines important?

Of course, you can write an essay without planning. However, it will likely read as unstructured and lacking in coherence. Essays that follow an essay outline template present as more well-researched, clearer, and with a thoughtful structure throughout.

  • Planning makes perfect If you are writing to argue a point or explore a range of viewpoints, essay outlines are crucial to prepare before you begin writing in detail. Writing should not be an immediate, quick process; the best essays are drafted, re-drafted, edited, and finalized. If you use an essay outline, this will be reflected in the quality of your work. As a teacher, it is clear to me when students have not taken the time to plan their work. Their writing seems messy and rushed. Essay outlines provide structure and balance to any long piece of writing.
  • Save time during the writing process Planning is the hard part of essay writing. During the planning process, you will be brainstorming your ideas and cultivating your overall viewpoint or argument. This means that when you come to write the essay, those ideas are already there. All you need to do is formulate them into sentences and paragraphs. An essay outline makes the process of writing the essay itself so much simpler. With the essay outline template, you will have the bulk of your ideas and the structure of your essay there to follow. It will save you time when it comes to writing the essay out in full.

How Do You Structure an Outline for an Essay?

Depending on the assignment, essays can follow a range of structures, and there are many different ways to structure an essay outline.

Before you begin to structure your essay outline, there are a few things to consider:

  • Check your assignment guidelines . Your teacher or professor may have specified a certain number of words or pages for the essay, which can affect how you structure it.
  • Consider the purpose of the essay. Is it to argue, is it a persuasive essay, or is it to reflect upon something? This will greatly help you to form and structure your essay, as you may need to compare and contrast ideas throughout your writing.
  • Who is your audience? If this essay is purely for academic purposes, then your essay may follow a more traditional structure. However, if your essay is for a speech or a college application, then the structure may be more unconventional and include more of your own thoughts and experiences.

While there may be variations in essay outline structures depending on the specific requirements of the assignment, some general guidelines can be followed. You should edit and adjust your essay structure depending on the tone, audience, and purpose of your essay.

Typically, an effective essay outline comprises three primary sections: the introduction, the body paragraphs, and the conclusion. Each of these sections serves a unique purpose and contributes to the overall coherence of the essay.

  • Introduction The introduction section of an essay outline introduces the topic and provides relevant background information to engage the reader. It also includes the thesis statement, which presents the main argument or claim of the essay. To structure the introduction in the outline effectively, writers can utilize a hook to grab the reader’s attention, provide context, and end with a strong thesis statement.
  • Body Paragraphs The body paragraphs section of the essay outline supports the thesis statement with relevant evidence and arguments. The number of body paragraphs may vary depending on the required length of the essay. However, it is common to have three body paragraphs, each focused on a specific supporting point. In the outline, writers can include subpoints, evidence, and examples for each body paragraph to ensure a coherent and logical flow of ideas.
  • Conclusion The conclusion section of the essay outline summarises the main points discussed in the body paragraphs and restates the thesis statement. The conclusion should not be an afterthought in the essay writing process. This part of the essay helps to tie all of your ideas together and is reflective of a well-structured essay. It is crucial to end the essay on a strong note, leaving a lasting impression on the reader. To structure the conclusion in the outline, writers can briefly restate the thesis, review the main points, and provide a final thought or call to action.

Essay Outline Samples

Free Essay Outline Template 21

What is the Format of a Five-Paragraph Essay Outline? 

A five-paragraph essay outline is a common essay structure used for academic essays. It is particularly useful for shorter essays or beginners who are just starting to develop their writing skills. Many high school students or first-year college students benefit from following this structure.

The format consists of five paragraphs, as the name suggests – an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

  • Introduction In the introduction of a five-paragraph essay outline, writers should begin with an attention-grabbing hook to capture the reader’s interest. This can be achieved through a relevant anecdote, a rhetorical question, or a shocking statistic. This helps to immediately capture the reader’s attention and begin the essay strong. Next, provide some background information on the topic and end the introduction with a clear thesis statement that encapsulates the main argument of the essay.
  • Body Paragraphs The three body paragraphs of a five-paragraph essay outline each focus on a specific supporting point, which aids in the development of the thesis statement. Start each body paragraph with a topic sentence that introduces the main idea of the paragraph. Following the topic sentence, writers should provide evidence, examples, or arguments to support the main point. It is essential to ensure a logical flow between paragraphs and maintain coherence throughout the essay. This can be done through the use of connectives at the start of each body paragraph, such as ‘Firstly,’ ‘Secondly,’ and ‘Furthermore.’
  • Conclusion The conclusion of a five-paragraph essay outline restates the thesis statement and summarizes the main points discussed in the body paragraphs. However, it is vital to avoid introducing new information in the conclusion. Instead, writers should provide a thought-provoking final statement or reinforce the significance of the essay topic.

How to Write an Effective Essay Outline

Each writer will have their own unique approach to essay writing, but preparing an essay outline does not require you to reinvent the wheel. You can follow these simple steps to craft an effective, useful, solid outline.

  • Read and Understand the Assignment Before beginning the outline, thoroughly read and understand the essay assignment, including any specific guidelines or requirements from the instructor. This will help in determining the length, topic, and structure of the essay. Understanding the assignment in detail also enables you to plan how you will carry out your preliminary research for the essay. Adaquete reading and preparation also helps you to establish the purpose of your essay, which will determine which essay outline template will work best for you.
  • Brainstorm and Organize Ideas Start with brainstorming ideas related to the topic. Here, you should establish the key points of the essay based on your research. Once ideas are generated, you can organize them into meaningful categories or subtopics. In an argumentative essay outline, for example, you will need to compare and contrast ideas. By placing all the main points into categories in an organized manner, you can create a logical flow within the essay, making it more engaging for the reader.
  • Choose an Appropriate Outline Format Decide on the outline format that best suits the specific essay requirements. Depending on the complexity of the topic, your essay may be formatted differently. An expository essay will differ from a research paper, for example, so be clear on which outline will work for you. It is also essential to decide on the number of main points to be included based on the required length of the essay. Sometimes it is best to discuss fewer points in greater detail, particularly for a literary analysis or narrative essay.
  • Develop Thesis Statement and Main Arguments Craft a strong and clear thesis statement that encapsulates the main argument or claim of the essay. Then, determine the main arguments or supporting points that will be discussed in the body paragraphs.
  • Organize Supporting Points and Supporting Evidence Arrange the main arguments in a logical order, keeping in mind the flow of ideas. Ensure that each supporting point is backed up by sufficient evidence or reasoning to strengthen the overall argument. This will also help you to write a strong conclusion to complete your essay.
  • Review and Revise After creating the initial essay outline, review and revise it to ensure coherence, logical flow, and adherence to the assignment requirements. Make necessary adjustments and rearrange the outline if needed. Then, you can start writing your essay by following the outline.

Free Essay Outlines

Free Essay Outline Template 31

Create an Effective Outline Using an Essay Outline Template

Creating an essay outline is a crucial step in the writing process that should not be overlooked. Whether it’s an argumentative essay outline, a literary analysis essay outline, or a persuasive essay outline, an essay outline template can help you to structure and organize your points in a thoughtful and clear way.

By structuring an essay outline effectively, using the appropriate format for a five-paragraph essay, and following the steps to write an essay outline, writers can ensure a well-organized, coherent, and compelling essay. Utilizing an essay outline template not only enhances the writing quality but also saves time and effort in the long run.

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When you are able to develop a skill in essay writing , you will realize how it is able to take your time and a lot of patience to improve more. Writing an essay would help you talk about a particular worldly issue without showing any biases. Essays are more on facts and a little of your opinion. Essays give writers the chance to incorporate their own experiences, the way how they think and their ability provide research data. It is an essential part in the learning process that enables you to mark your point of view. In this article, you will be able to encounter more about the idea of creating a simple yet presentable essay plan .

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What is an Essay Plan?

An essay plan is an act of making you practice how to organize ideas and make further modifications. It serves as an outline that is essential to use for discussing or writing about a certain issue. The purpose of an essay is to practice your mind on how to focus on an area where it can bring you to make a quality conclusion .

Planning is the way how you are able to visualize regarding the content of your essay. You should make sure that your essay is well-planned. Otherwise, you will end up having a sequence of phrases that are not even organized. Your main points should be clear and logically stated.

10 Steps for Essay Planning

  • Read and analyze the essay questions.
  • Write down the essay questions.
  • Brainstorm or think of more ideas regarding the matter.
  • List down all of your thoughts and the scope that covers the essay questions.
  • Take note of the words or phrases that you think are essential in your work.
  • Write down the main points that can be used to answer the questions.
  • Look through any type of handouts that can be used to have a more detailed outline of your essay.
  • Do not forget to take note of the sources of all the information you got. This will be indicated in the reference list.
  • Do not make your outline too complicated.
  • Think about how many words you need to write, the elements that you cover in your essay and how much space you should be able to allot to each of your outline section.

Here is an outline of your essay that you need to follow:

  • Essay question or topic
  • Introduction – this includes your thesis statement
  • 1 st Paragraph – this includes your topic sentence and evidence
  • 2 nd Paragraph – this also contains a topic sentence and evidence
  • 3 rd Paragraph – just like the first and second paragraph, it contains a topic sentence or an idea that is supported by an evidence or claim
  • Conclusion  – provides the possible motivations and restatement of central idea
  • Reference – the list of the sources of your texts, data or images that you do not own

What is a good essay?

A good essay must have one clear main idea. Each of the paragraphs must have a topic sentence to be supported with a supporting detail. They should be organized logically and must be able to stick together. Always make sure that an essay would give a best impression to the readers.

What is the standard number of paragraphs per essay?

Essays must have at least five paragraphs.

What is the best way to start an essay plan?

The best way to start an essay plan is to prepare a box plan that consists of the essay elements. These elements will serve as your guide to be able to write continuously without getting lost of the usual standard arrangement.

Effective essay planning helps in making your work be done immediately. It speeds up your writing process and gives you precise direction while working on it. You just have to follow the correct structure and format of your essay. Always consider your audience when making an essay because they are the ones who will give you feedback about it. The attention that they should give also matters.


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Home — Essay Samples — Literature — Romeo and Juliet — Friar Lawrence’s Contribution to the Catastrophe in Romeo and Juliet


Friar Lawrence's Contribution to The Catastrophe in Romeo and Juliet

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Published: Jun 13, 2024

Words: 705 | Pages: 2 | 4 min read

Table of contents

Introduction, topic 1: friar lawrence's hasty marriage plan, topic 2: friar lawrence's failure to deliver a crucial message, bibliography.

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Essay on Gaming in 900 Words in English for School Students


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  • Jun 18, 2024

Essay on gaming

Essay on Gaming: Do you play PUBG or BGMI? If you do, then you might remember the auto-generated guideline at the beginning of every match; ‘This is a simulation game set in a virtual world and does not represent real life. Please play in moderation and responsibly.

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Playing multiplier games has become a trend. Everyone, young and old, likes sitting on the couch and holding the joystick in their hands. Gaming has come a long way. With growing technological advancements and better infrastructure, new and fast gaming consoles are being developed. Popular gaming companies are Tencent Holdings Limited, Microsoft Corporation, Apple Inc., Sony Corporation, Krafton, etc. 

Table of Contents

  • 1 Introduction to Gaming
  • 2 Importance of Gaming
  • 3 Advantages and Disadvantages of Gaming
  • 4 Career in Gaming: eSports
  • 5 Conclusion
  • 6 Top 10 Online Games

Games offer cognitive benefits, can help improve strategic and creative thinking and some even educate us. We all played the games of the early 2000s, like GTA Vice City or NFS Most Wanted. These games were so addictive that children like us would spend hours without caring about the outside world and delving into the missions and races. While playing games, a simple thing we need to understand is, ‘Anything too much is dangerous’.

Introduction to Gaming

Today, the Internet, Google Play Store and Apple Store are flooded with games. If you search for one game, you will get a list of 20 similar games as well. So far, the gaming market has evolved. However, this was not the case when games were first introduced. Do you know the name of the first computer game? Spacewar! 

This influential computer game was developed in 1950 while scientists were still discovering computer software for the gaming future. Then Microsoft Corporation took the gaming market by introducing interesting games Bubble Space, Spider Solitaire, Pinball, and Age of Empires. 

While Microsoft was leading the gaming industry, American gaming companies like Electronic Arts Gaming and Activision Blizzard took the world by storm with their new gaming series like Call of Duty, FIFA, Need for Speed, etc.

As technology improves, gaming platforms have switched from desktops and consoles to mobile phones. These days, mobile games like PUBG, Candy Crush, Subway Surfers, Clash of Clans, etc. are the most popular games. 

Quick Read: How I Spent My Summer Vacation Essay

Importance of Gaming

Playing games is important as it helps improve our cognitive functioning, problem-solving, creative thinking and situational awareness. Every individual must play games to learn how to solve complex problems and adapt to the changing environment and social interaction.

Online gaming encourages social interaction as we connect with online friends and players. Competitive gaming, or esports, has become a major industry. Professional gamers and teams compete in tournaments watched by millions, creating a sense of community among fans.

Might sound cliche but gaming also serves as a powerful educational tool. They enhance learning through engagement and interactivity, which can make difficult subjects more accessible. Some ‘Minecraft’ are used in classrooms to teach subjects such as mathematics, science, and engineering. They encourage creativity and logical thinking.

Quick Read: Essay on Child Labour in 1000 Words

Advantages and Disadvantages of Gaming

Games are interesting, some play for learning purposes, while others build a hobby. We get to learn a lot from games, which can improve hand-eye coordination, enhance memory and concentration, serve as a stress reliever, and lead to the development of persistence and resilience.

However, games are not just about benefits and cognitive development. There are disadvantages associated with gaming as well. Parents and lawmakers around the world are worried about the physical and mental health issues associated with excessive gaming. Long hours of exposure to computers and mobile screens weaken our eyesight and can lead to obesity, cardiovascular issues, and poor posture.

Continuous use of game controllers, keyboards, and mice can lead to repetitive strain injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Gaming addiction, also known as Internet Gaming Disorder, is a growing concern. It can lead to compulsive gaming behaviours, neglect of personal responsibilities, and significant distress or impairment in daily life.

Excessive gaming can also have negative effects on our social lives. Spending long hours on games can result in social isolation, as individuals may prioritise virtual interactions over face-to-face relationships. Its addiction can strain relationships with family and friends and lead to neglect of social responsibilities and interactions.

Other disadvantages of excessive gaming are behavioural issues, financial impact and ethical and societal concerns. 

Quick Read: Essay on Child Labour

Career in Gaming: eSports

Modern gaming has given birth to a new type of employment; esports. This new industry offers employment opportunities to programmers, game developers and designers, animators, etc. Professional gamers and online streamers compete in esports tournaments for prize money and sponsorships. This career requires exceptional skill in a specific game, dedication, and regular practice. 

Gaming involves a lot of research and development, such as the psychological effects of gaming, game design methodologies, and their economic impact. This role often requires advanced degrees and strong analytical skills.

Gaming is both good and bad. It is good when played in moderation, but bad when it disturbs our day-to-day activities. Gaming companies and governments are becoming more and more aware of the challenges posed by excessive gaming, and therefore several policies have been implemented. We need to understand that gaming is good for us and can improve our intelligence, but only when played in moderation.

Top 10 Online Games

Here’s a list of top 10 online games played today:

  • Call of Duty
  • World of Warcraft
  • Rocket League
  • Red Dead Redemption 2

Ans: Games are an important part of our life. They teach us many valuable lessons, improve our cognitive functioning and offer several other benefits. Online gaming encourages social interaction as we connect with online friends and players. Competitive gaming, or esports, has become a major industry. Professional gamers and teams compete in tournaments watched by millions, creating a sense of community among fans. It might sound cliche but gaming also serves as a powerful educational tool. They enhance learning through engagement and interactivity, which can make difficult subjects more accessible. Some ‘Minecraft’ are used in classrooms to teach subjects such as mathematics, science, and engineering. They encourage creativity and logical thinking.

Ans: Games present players with challenges and goals, giving a sense of accomplishment when these are achieved. Many games have multiplayer features that allow players to interact with friends or meet new people. Games often have built-in reward systems, such as points, levels, achievements, and in-game items. 

Ans: Playing games is important as it helps improve our cognitive functioning, problem-solving, creative thinking and situational awareness. Every individual must play games to learn how to solve complex problems and adapt to the changing environment and social interaction. Online gaming encourages social interaction as we connect with online friends and players. Competitive gaming, or esports, has become a major industry. Professional gamers and teams compete in tournaments watched by millions, creating a sense of community among fans.

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Today's NYT Connections Hints and Solution (Friday, June 14, 2024)


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Category clues for today's connections (#369), today's connections solution (june 14, 2024), how i solved today's connections puzzle, our top tips to beat connections every day.

Connections requires players to find the connections between 16 words, and place them in four groups of four. If you want some help, we have the solution to Connections for Friday, June 14, 2024, along with hints to help you solve it yourself.


Today, as every day, you need to split the 16 words that make up the Connections puzzle grid into four groups of four based on specific categories. It isn't as easy as it sounds. Fortunately, we're on hand to help you solve today's Connections puzzle .

If you want to jump straight to today's Connections solution, scroll past the next spoiler warning. However, if you'd rather see some hints designed to help you solve it without giving the answers away first:

  • Yellow: "Work that short-form writers produce"
  • Green: "A singer with a name that's also a color would belong here"
  • Blue: "Charlie Lima Uniform Echo is a clue, literally"
  • Purple: "Almost but not quite number one"


The Connections homepage on desktop

If those clues aren't enough, and you're still struggling to beat Connections #369 without running out of mistakes, here is the answer...

Today's Connections Categories

  • Yellow = "Writing Assignments"
  • Green = "Things That Are Pink"
  • Blue = "NATO Phonetic Alphabet"
  • Purple = "Associated With #2"

With the categories revealed, you should try to guess which words belong where. There are 16 words in total, with four belonging to each category.

If you are still stuck despite knowing the names of each category, continue scrolling down for the 16 words organized into their respective categories.


Today's Connections Solution

  • Yellow: "Writing Assignments" = ARTICLE, ESSAY, PAPER, REPORT
  • Green: "Things That Are Pink" = BUBBLE GUM, CARNATION, ERASER, FLAMINGO
  • Blue: "NATO Phonetic Alphabet" = FOXTROT, HOTEL, VICTOR, YANKEE
  • Purple: "Associated With #2" = DEPUTY, DEREK JETER, PENCIL, SILVER MEDAL

Takeaways from solving today's Connections...

  • The most obvious red herrings are "pencil," "paper," and "eraser" as three words associated with writing or drawing. There's also "Derek Jeter" and "Yankee," as the former spent his whole baseball career as a New York Yankee.
  • I found the Purple category impossible today, mainly as a result of being British. For starters, I didn't know who Derek Jeter was before Googling his name. I also didn't immediately think of #2 when I saw "pencil," as outside the US, pencils are graded on an HB scale. So it's a good job that these were the only four words left after solving the other categories.
  • Shuffle the words as many times as you need. Shuffling the words around means you're more likely to spot the connections.
  • Look for differences as well as similarities. The NYT is trying to trip you up, so look for what divides the words with similar meanings.
  • Take your time, and don't rush into a guess. Connections isn't a timed challenge, so you have the luxury of planning everything out.
  • Look for common themes over time. The more you play Connections, the more you'll spot recurring themes cropping up regularly.
  • Tune into the NYT editors' way of thinking. It's the puzzle setters you're competing against, so you need to understand their game plan.

Now that you have completed today's Connections puzzle (with a little help from your friends at MUO), you should check out some of the other free games from the New York Times.

Wordle is the best-known of them all, and challenges you to find a 5-letter word within six guesses. For every letter you find, you get told if it's in the correct place, allowing you to whittle down the possible options. If you need help with Wordle, check out our tips and tricks to improve your Wordle score .

There's also Strands, the newest addition to the New York Times' burgeoning list of games. Just like Connections, it's extremely challenging, but in a unique string-the-letters-together way. We recommend you check out our best tips for beating Strands to give yourself a leg up on the daily challenge.

Or, if you're really only into Connections but want more tips than are offered above, check out our longer list of Connections tips and tricks .

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What is Flag Day? Here’s a guide

WAUBEKA, Wis. (AP) — Each June, the people of Waubeka venerate perhaps the nation’s most enduring symbol, celebrating Flag Day, a holiday that escapes the notice of many Americans.

But this unincorporated Wisconsin town about 35 miles north of Milwaukee takes the day seriously. After all, it lays claim to being the birthplace of Flag Day, thanks to a tenacious teacher in a one-room schoolhouse.

Here are some things to know about the obscure flag-waving holiday.

What is Flag Day?

Flag Day commemorates June 14, 1777, when the Continental Congress determined the composition of the nation’s banner: “Resolved, That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

READ MORE: 8 things you didn’t know about the Fourth of July

President Woodrow Wilson issued a 1916 proclamation of June 14 as Flag Day and in 1949, President Harry S. Truman signed the formal observance into law. And it falls during Flag Week, after another congressional dictum in 1966.

What about July 4?

Yes, Independence Day makes prominent use of the flag. But the emblem is important enough to have its own day, according to David Janik, a Waubeka native and second-generation president of the National Flag Day Foundation.

“July 4th, we’re celebrating our independence,” Janik said. “But on Flag Day, we’re celebrating the birth of our flag, which is the symbol of our country, the symbol that is seen all around the world as the helper, the people who won’t leave you out in the cold.”

READ MORE: A beginner’s guide to celebrating Juneteenth

Why Waubeka?

On June 14, 1885, Bernard J. Cigrand, an 18-year-old Waubeka native teaching at Stony Hill School, put a flag in his inkwell and assigned his students an essay about what the flag means to them. Cigrand left the next year for dental school in Chicago, but he never gave up his advocacy for a national day dedicated to the flag.

Cigrand realized his dream in 1916 when Wilson issued his proclamation.

Although he died in 1932, Waubeka never forgot Cigrand and in 1946, community leaders established the town’s Flag Day celebration, which has run continuously since then.

Any other ‘first’ Flag Days?

Yes. The earliest mention of Flag Day involves a man named George Morris who organized such a commemoration on June 14, 1861, in Hartford, Connecticut, marked by a patriotic program and prayers for Union Army success in a young Civil War. But apparently, the festivities were never repeated.

Pennsylvanians will challenge Cigrand’s coronation as “Father of Flag Day.” Pittsburgh native William T. Kerr began his advocacy in 1888 and a year later became national chairman of the American Flag Day Foundation, holding that position for a half a century. Kerr was among those standing beside Truman when he signed the Flag Day law.

As for the expected friendly rivalry, Janik said his father, the late Jack Janik, “took care of that.” The elder Janik traveled to Washington and lobbied Congress, which in 2004 adopted a resolution naming Waubeka “the birthplace of Flag Day.”

What about the essays?

Along with the parade, the bands, the patriotism awards, the military honor guards and a dog named Harlow who turns 8 on Flag Day and sported a red, white and blue boater on her head, there are the essays.

In the spirit of Cigrand and his students of 139 years ago, the Waubeka Flag Day celebration includes an annual essay contest and draws entries from across the nation — this year from New York to Nevada and Wisconsin to Texas.

The Stars and Stripes “represent a nation where immigrants like my grandparents are welcomed, where diversity is celebrated and where justice is present for all,” wrote Neel Sood, a 4th grader from Bridgewater, New Jersey.

Adell, Wisconsin 7th grader Ryan Spang wrote that “the American flag represents unity. We are one nation, united by our similarities and differences. We support people in our communities in times of need and we cheer them on in times of achievement.”

Why isn’t it a day off?

Flag Day isn’t like Thanksgiving, Memorial Day and a smattering of other federal holidays that generally mean Americans can spend the day off work.

Instead, it’s officially recognized nationwide, and government services are still open and the mail still gets delivered. Only Pennsylvania marks it as a state holiday, allowing residents to stay home from work and school.

But another backyard barbecue isn’t required to feel the love in Waubeka.

“Our passion for the flag here is very deep,” Janik said. “The flag is the symbol of our country — it symbolizes individualism, success, loss, daring, chivalry. People need a compass to guide them, and the flag is a great compass.”

O’Connor reported from Springfield, Illinois.

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