Outline Templates

Oct 10, 2019 | 0 comments

Outline Templates

Oct 10, 2019 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

9 Outstanding Essay Outline Templates to Get Your Essay GoingEssay

What is an Essay Outline?

Writing a good essay requires you to come up with a good outline.

An outline is more like a rough draft of the actual essay.

It is the plan or foundation for your essay.

Without a good outline, you might get stuck or run out of content to write halfway through your essay.

In essence, an outline helps with the structure of your essay.

More importantly, it helps you with the flow of information and organization of your points as you write.

Therefore, it helps you to stay focused and not stray from your original ideas.

However, it should be flexible to accommodate new information.

With an outline, you will have a clear idea of how the paper will go and the transition of ideas.

As such, an essay outline is one of the best tools if you do not want to run out ideas when writing. 

Essay Outline Templates

Once you have come up with one essay outline, you might not need to write one from scratch every time; you can use the original as a template.

However, not all essay outlines will work for each type of essay.

Below are essay outline templates for each type of essay.

All you have to do with our templates is to fill in the blanks.

Also, we have provided information about how each type of essay outline works.

1. Analytical Essay Outline Template

This template helps you come up with a topic and support it in the body of the essay.

Remember, an analytical analyzes a given topic.

Most students make the mistake of writing an analytical essay like a summary essay.

You need to understand how the author composed the piece of literature.

Why does that piece of literature exist, what is the theme, and what message did the author try to convey?

Overall, you are trying to explain why a particular piece of literature is a masterpiece.

You are not only supposed to answer those questions but also convincing your reader of your standpoint.

Your standpoint helps narrow down the focus of your paper.

Of course, you should back up your points with evidence from the book, poem, movie, or whatever literary piece you are analyzing.

Analytical Essay Outline Template
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2. Critical Essay Outline Template

A critical essay outlines the advantages and disadvantages of something.

You should clearly explain to the reader the good and the bad about what you are discussing.

Note that, an analytical essay focuses on the meaning behind a given text while a critical essay analyzes whether a given text is well written or not.

Our critical essay outline templates will help you analyze the text by carefully looking into all of its elements.

It will allow you to focus on each element, thereby making it easy for you to identify the excellence or the flaws in the text.

Critical Essay Outline Template
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3. Argumentative Essay Outline Template

In an argumentative essay, you have to convince a reader of your point of view on a given topic.

It is similar to a persuasive essay, only that you need to back up your points with facts and credible evidence.

Our argumentative essay template helps you structure your essay in an easy-to-follow manner.

More importantly, it will help you develop your introduction, come up with good arguments in the body, and close with a definite conclusion.

Argumentative Essay Outline Template
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4. Persuasive Essay Outline Template

Like an argumentative essay, you should convince readers of your point of view in a persuasive essay.

However, in a persuasive essay, you need not support your points with concrete evidence.

You can write this essay based solely on your personal opinions.

You are allowed to persuade the reader by using an authoritative tone and appealing to their emotions.

Use this template to organize your ideas.

Persuasive Essay Outline Template (5 paragraph essay) notes…

  1. Introduction paragraph:
  1. Get the readers attention by using a “hook”. Pull your audience in!
    1. Quote, Fact, something interesting to start essay
  2. Give some background information about topic. Explain what the topic is and why it is controversial or important to you.
  3. Thesis or focus statement (MUST BE STATED in the LAST sentence of your introduction paragraph).
    1. This is a sentence stating your opinion about the topic and will be proven in the rest of your essay with 3 strong reasons and support.
      1. Example: I am in favor of ____________ because ____________, ______________, and ___________.
      2. Example: I am against _____________because _____________, _____________, and ___________.
  1. Body Paragraphs:
  1. (1st body paragraph)First argument or reason to support your position
    1. Topic sentence explaining your first reason.
      1. Example: My first reason for being against ___________ is __________________________.
    2. Provide support/evidence to prove your first reason.
      1. Facts, data, examples, etc.
    3. (2nd body paragraph) Second argument or reason to support your position.
      1. Topic sentence explaining your second reason.
        1. Example: Another reason I do not support _____________is _______________.
      2. Provide support for your second reason
        1. Facts, data, examples, etc.
      3. (3rd body paragraph) Counter argument and third reason to support position.
        1. State what the other side believes or may argue
          1. Example: Some may argue _______________
        2. Challenge their argument with your third reason and provide support.
        3. Example: but I disagree because _____________.
        4. Give support such as facts, data, examples, etc. explaining why your opinion is right and the other side is not right.
        5. Conclusion Paragraph:
        6. Sum up your main points and 3 reasons.
        7. Restate your thesis. Example: I am strongly against ______________.
        8. Final words: last comments or call to action. Encourage the reader to agree with you and take your side on the issue.

5. Expository Essay Outline Template

An expository essay demonstrates your knowledge in a given topic.

This outline will help in organizing your ideas and backing them up with facts and other credible evidence.

Expository Essay Structure Outline 


  1. Begin with a hook. Tell a detailed story that pulls the reader in.  The story should relate to the thesis of your essay in some way.
  2. Tie-in – This is a sentence (or a few sentences) that provides a link from your hook to the thesis of your essay.
  3. Thesis statement – This sentence is typically the last sentence of the introduction. It responds to the prompt and provides the main idea of the entire essay.  The thesis statement should NOT include 3 supporting reasons.  Sample thesis statement for the prompt “What is your favorite time of the year?”:  “Without a doubt, Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite time of the year.”

Body Paragraph 1

  1. Begin with a topic sentence – The topic sentence provides the direction for the entire paragraph and should include one reason/example that supports your thesis statement. For example, with the prompt and thesis statement mentioned above, an appropriate topic sentence for body paragraph one might be “Undoubtedly, I eat better on Thanksgiving than any other time of the year.”
  2. Extension sentence – This sentence provides further clarification on the idea presented in the topic sentence. It allows you to start moving into the details you will develop in the paragraph.
  3. Details – Provide detailed examples that support the idea you presented in your topic sentence. Personal anecdotes provide excellent details.
  4. Closing sentence – This is the last sentence of the paragraph and should summarize the main idea of the paragraph or put a finishing thought to it.

Body Paragraph 2

  1. Transition – This should summarize the main idea from the previous paragraph and lead into the new idea for this paragraph. Note that this also serves as the topic sentence for this paragraph with a new supporting reason.  Possible transition structures include:

Not only do I eat like a king on Thanksgiving, but I also get to spend precious moments with family members I rarely see.

Besides eating like a king on Thanksgiving, I also get to spend precious moments with family members I rarely see.

Eating well on Thanksgiving is only the beginning; I also get to spend precious moments with family members I rarely see.

While eating well on Thanksgiving is a pleasure, even more important are the precious moments I get to spend with family members I rarely see.

  1. The rest of Body Paragraph 2 follows the same structure as Body Paragraph 1

Body Paragraph 3

  1. Most important supporting detail/reason should be reserved for this paragraph to end your essay with a bang. Ways to transition to this last idea include:

Above all else, Thanksgiving is a time I get to show my gratitude for everything I have.

Most significantly, Thanksgiving is a time I get to show my gratitude for everything I have.

  1. The rest of Body Paragraph 2 follows the same structure as Body Paragraph 1


  1. Restate/summarize your three supporting reasons/examples from each topic sentence. Example:

I savor every bite of the food I eat on Thanksgiving.  Also, I appreciate the opportunity I have to spend quality time with my family and show gratitude for everything I have.

  1. Link back to your story in the hook and finish it up.
  2. Restate your thesis using different words.

6. Compare And Contrast Essay Outline Template

In this type of essay, you take two objects, ideas, persons, pieces of literature, etc., and highlight their differences and similarities.

Before you start writing such an essay, have a goal in mind.

Ask yourself what the purpose of the essay is.

You can either compare two things to clear a misunderstanding or to prove one is superior to the other.

Compare and Contrast Essay Outline Template

  1. Introduction
    1. Introduction to the broad topic
    2. Specific topic
    3. Thesis statement
  2. Body Paragraphs
    1. Body paragraph #1—First aspect that’s similar or different
  1. Subject #1
    1. Detail #1
    2. Detail #2
  2. Subject #2
    1. Detail #1
    2. Detail #2
    1. Body paragraph #2—Second aspect that’s similar or different
  1. Subject #1
    1. Detail #1
    2. Detail #2
  2. Subject #2
    1. Detail #1
    2. Detail #2
    1. Body paragraph #3—Third aspect that’s similar or different
  1. Subject #1
    1. Detail #1
    2. Detail #2
  2. Subject #2
    1. Detail #1
    2. Detail #2
  1. Conclusion
    1. Summary of main points—Restate thesis while synthesizing information from body paragraphs
    2. Evaluate the similarities/differences and discuss any future implications (if applicable)
    3. Significance—what’s the point you’re making?

7. Reflective Essay Outline Template

In a reflective essay, you reflect on how a past event or experience relates to a given topic.

In most cases, you have the freedom to choose the topic of the essay.

Students find such essays to be easy to write because no research is required, and you get to talk about yourself.

Still, you have to plan well and have an outline to produce an excellent reflective essay.

This template will help you create a catchy introduction with a hook and come up with a body that is descriptive enough to immerse any reader.

It also guides you in creating an exciting conclusion.

Reflective Essay Outline
(To save a copy for yourself choose “file>download as” or “file>make a copy”. Cheers!)

  • Introduction
      1. Hook—give a quick preview of the most exciting part of that story
      2. Thesis Statement—without giving too much away, write how this experience influenced you.
  • Body Paragraph
      1. Description of an influential person, place or event
  • Body Paragraph
      1. The effect of the person, place or event had on you at the time
  • Body Paragraph
      1. Lesson learned from reflecting on person, place or event
  • Conclusion
    1. Summary of the experience
    2. Overall impact/lesson learned

8. Cause And Effect Essay Outline Template

In this type of essay, the goal is to explain how something happens.

What causes a specific result is a question this type of essay attempts to answer.

This template will help you structure our essay and create a good flow and link between the causes.

9. Process Essay Outline Template

A process essay explains how something works.

It is easy to confuse a process essay and a cause and effect essay.

The difference between these two essays is that a process essay is more like a tutorial.

A process essay should explain a process in a way that an amateur would comprehend.

It helps to divide a process into parts and explaining each part separately.

This essay outline template will help you achieve just that.

Look at the sample cause and effect essay format:

1. Introduction
1.1. Attention grabber
1.2. Basic information about the topic
1.3. Thesis statement (indicate what the essay will be about: causes, effects, or both)
2. Body paragraph I
2.1. Topic sentence (indicates causes, effects, or both)
2.2. Cause 1/effect 1 (detailed explanation with examples)
3. Body paragraph II
3.1. Topic sentence (indicates causes, effects, or both)
3.2. Cause 2/effect 2 (detailed explanation with examples)
4. Body paragraph III
4.1. Topic sentence (indicates causes, effects, or both)
4.2. Cause 3/effect 3 (detailed explanation with examples)
5. Conclusion
5.1. Restating the thesis statement
5.2. Reminding the reader of the main points
5.3. Concluding sentence


An outline guides you as you write.

Moreover, it saves you time when you start writing, as you will refer to it whenever you get stuck.

An outline template makes coming up with an outline easier – you do not have to create it from scratch.

The outline templates we provide are easy to use as you only need to fill in the blanks as you conduct your research.

Contact us if you experience any difficulties using the essay outline templates.


Just follow the formula:
Our outline + your text =
perfect essay

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