An outline is an extremely important part of any academic paper. It will become the basis of the paper’s structure and make writing it an easier task.
Bear in mind that in order to achieve these goals, your outline must be detailed and well-structured. If you cannot create one like this, use the following tips:
Start with research.
You will need to study a lot of sources and take plenty of notes. Doing this will give you a good idea of what kind of arguments you will use in the paper. Organize your notes in the order you want these arguments to be presented.
Decide on paragraphs.
Each paragraph of the essay must have its own topic sentence, and present a single argument and evidence supporting it. This means that you will need to break down your main topic into sub-categories, based on the main points you need to prove and address in your paper.
Try to sketch your introduction.
A proper introduction and conclusion should be written after you finish working on the body of the paper. However, you should try to think of how your introduction will look like when working on an outline, because this part should include a short summary of the whole work.
Decide on the type of outline you will use.
Topic outlines consist of short phrases that express the main topic of each paragraph. You can use them as a basis for your topic sentences when expanding the outline into an actual paper. Sentence outlines consist of topic sentences.
Pay attention to details.
You should put some effort into making a detailed outline. The more details you include the better, because this will make writing the actual paper much easier. Also, you will be sure that you don’t miss anything when presenting all your arguments.
Go for complexity.
Make sure that each of your categories has at least two points. The more complex the outline is, the more professional and persuasive your essay will be once you expand it. An outline is the foundation of your work, so you need to make it as solid as possible.
Make adjustments while you work.
Do not be afraid to edit the outline and shuffle the points while you are still working on it. You will get new and better ideas when you start writing, and you should use them to improve your work.
Do not feel obliged to follow your outline to the letter.
If you think of a more impressive argument or a more effective order of presenting evidence when you start writing the actual paper, do not hesitate to deviate from the original outline.
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