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Writing An Outline For A College Essay

  • By Daniel Millions
  • Published 03/6/2009
  • Writing

One of the responsibilities of a college student is to write a college essay. You will find that professors assign various types of essays and it is important to know how to tackle each one. There is the analytical term paper that requires you to take an issue or idea, analyze its key parts and the actual issue or idea itself, and present this entire process with your evaluation of it in the term paper. Another type is the explanatory paper which simply explains and issue or idea to the audience. This may be in the form of a summary. A common type of college term paper is the persuasive or argumentative kind. For this type, you usually present a claim about a topic and you must justify this claim with supportive evidence. You are required to create a thesis for persuasive essays. Your goal is to persuade or convince the audience to agree with you or arouse disagreement. A key ingredient of any essay writing is creating an outline. Regardless of the type of college essay you have to write, you should write an outline to plan out your thoughts and information. Outlines usually follow a format that is most comfortable to the writer. You can use ready-made templates or use a simple number or bullet format. Whichever format you use for the outline, remember to stay organized and maintain consistency. Try to use simple phrases in your outline and for once, you may use fragments that you will expand into full sentences in your essay.

The first part of an outlin

e is the introduction which may be one of the hardest parts for a writer. The introduction is important as it contains the thesis statement at the end which frames the entire paper. In your outline, jot down facts and quotations you have gathered from research material. Include your thesis in the outline so that you know what your college essay has to accomplish. The thesis statement is a couple sentences long and it will tell the reader your claim or opinion and how you will justify it. Following your thesis are the body paragraphs that use concrete details and commentary to support and prove your thesis. When you organize your outline for your college essay, you should divide it up onto at least 3 parts that will become 3 major points that your essay will use to argue a point. For each part, you should write a topic sentence in your outline, include facts and quotes for concrete detail and provide phrases of commentary that serve as your own opinions. You should also note page numbers and author names for citations, as well as vocabulary words and transition words as they come to mind. Once you have the body down, you can outline your conclusion or leave it out. Some do not include their conclusion because their concluding thoughts form as they write the actual college essay. However, you may write down any ideas or quotes that you would like to conclude your paper with.

An outline serves as a map for writing the rest of the paper. Having an outline leads to an easier time writing college essays rather than sitting in front of a blank computer screen the night before they are due.



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