Why Do You Need an Informative Essay Outline and How to Write It

Facing the Challenges of Writing

Writing a high quality essay is often a challenging task even for experienced writers. A student who is constantly dealing with pressing deadlines due to lots of other stuff to do, this is even more difficult. Composing a nice text, which would be interesting for a reader and would help the author to get a high grade, might take too much time. In order to do that quickly one needs to be well organized, motivated and avoid any delays.

One of the key steps that are recommended for reaching the highest efficiency is to create an outline first. It may start as a plan and then evolve into a brief sequence of main ideas of your future essay. As soon as you know what you are going to write about, it is recommended to cover all the main sections of the text, providing just a few words for each. This way you will not forget anything important and ensure logical ties between all essay parts right from the start

How Do You Actually Write an Informative Essay Outline?

Outline is a bit bigger than an essay plan but typically takes the same time to write. As soon as you come up with the key idea(s) for your essay, you can write them down, providing a very brief description for each one. The main purpose is to fix you thoughts on the subject, make sure that you have grasped everything essential about it and your text will be concise. 5 or 6 sections are usually enough for an average college or university essay, just make a short paragraph with just a couple of sentences for each one. You can elaborate on them at the next stage and your essay will be ready. 

These are the steps to create a proper and informative essay outline:

  1. Start with the introduction. It should introduce the topic, highlighting some background information helping to understand the context, provide a brief overview of problems involved with it and explain the terminology used in the paper. Itis good to have some attention grabber elements: a historical parallel, a funny example, or some striking statistic. 
  2. Compose the body part, where you clearly present main points listed in the introduction. Include some data to support one. List key evidence from your sources, including summaries and quotations. The outline body does not have to be too detailed, just make sure you have included everything important so that you will be able to elaborate later and turn it into a complete article body, making no less than 55 – 60% of the text.
  3. Make a conclusion part. It must summarize answers to the main points and describe consequences or outcomes of you research or overview. It is good to have a strong final statement here that ties the entire paper together – e.g. it may refer to the attention grabber from the introduction.

Here are some additional tips to take into account while writing it:

  • Outline is essentially a detailed plan. 
  • It contains all the necessary elements of an article, including the introduction and conclusion parts.
  • It lists arguments, features, main characters and other important objects that are to appear in your text. It is wise to prepare a complete list of them before starting to write about each one in detail.
  • Each section is logically connected with others.

An Outline Example on a Relevant Topic

Here is how you could write an informative essay outline about the influence of video games on people’s behavior:

  1. Introduction. List the popular theories about games causing violence. Use some bold historical claim about ‘games killing children’ attention grabber.
  2. Proceed to the outline body. Tell a brief story about the rise of video games. Mention your own or your friends’ experience if appropriate.
  3. Refer to well-known studies about such influence. Do not forget to properly cite them. If needed, talk about their context: what was their purpose and what gamer groups they were targeting.
  4. Describe the current state of this controversy.
  5. As a conclusion, give your own opinion. Mention main supporting facts. If appropriate, tell your thoughts about the future of games.

Some writers do not feel the need to plan ahead. They prefer to just start composing sentences one by one, and then the inspiration drives them ahead. However, if writing a good essay is just one of your numerous tasks for today, it is better to start with a good outline to save time and ensure quality.