Essay Outline: Professional Writing Guide with Exclusive Templates (2019)

Essay Outline 

Table of Contents

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.

Structure of an essay outline

Another important step before starting to write your essay is to understand the essay outline or the structure of an essay outline.

It is really important for effective writing as it gives your writing a smooth flow and enables the reader to understand your point of view easily.

Whatever the essay type; be it a narrative, persuasive, descriptive or an expository essay it is best to follow the general five paragraph essay structure.

This will include an introductory paragraph that will introduce the topic in the form of a thesis statement and some argument or story.

Three body paragraphs that will defend the thesis statement or argument with supporting material such as examples or statistics.

Lastly, the  introductory paragraph that concludes the whole argument by stating its significance and giving your opinions or suggestions.

Let us discuss these parts of an essay outline in detail:


Your introduction will depend on the type of essay you are writing for instance if you are writing an informative or persuasive essay you will provide your readers some context through the background information about the topic.

This will be an overview of the topic which you will gradually narrow down to the thesis statement of your essay.

You will have to prove this thesis statement in the later paragraphs therefore it should be based on some fact.

Thus your thesis statement will serve different purposes depending on your choice of the essay type.

Body Paragraphs:

The same goes with the body paragraphs.

These also provide content in different styles depending upon the type of essay you are writing.

For instance in an informative or persuasive essay your body paragraphs will include information or facts and logic to support your thesis statement or persuade your readers.

But in an argumentative essay, body paragraphs will defend your thesis or point of view.

In short, body paragraphs serve the purpose of proving the validity of your opinion with the support of the researched outside information.

In creative writing the body paragraphs will gradually move the story from its initial phase to the last moment going through different phases like falling action, rising action, climax and anticlimax or denouement.

It does not clearly relate these to the thesis but the words and symbols make these narrative levels clear.


Conclusion is very crucial to any writing as it wraps up the whole argument and puts an end that satisfies the whole discussion.

In a persuasive as well as expository essay it is better to restate the thesis using different words and thus finalize its validity.

It proves you to be an apt writer as you explain the overall significance of your argument and validates the value of your side of the argument.

In creative writing, the information given in the body is explored.

In other words you explain the significance of your written piece in your conclusion without directly stating it.

This can be done by explaining the effect of the ending on certain characters. Thus readers can infer the theme portrayed by the writer.

Sample Essay Outline structure

  1. Topic
  2. Introduction
  1. Hook Statement/ thesis statement
  2. Background Information and Context;
  3. Thesis Statement/ hook statement
  1. Body Paragraph 1/2/3
  1. Topic Sentence (Shift of idea from the previous paragraph )
  2. Claim (argument put forward)
  3. Evidence (Information added from outside sources to support your point of view i.e. claim)
  4. Explanation ( explaining evidence to defend the claim )
  5. Concluding Sentence ( wrapping up of Argument in Paragraph )
  1. Conclusion
  1. Rephrasing Thesis Statement
  2. Restating Main Arguments (1,2,3)
  3. Overall Concluding Statement (giving Significance)

You can use this template for argumentative as well as persuasive essay as a reference.

Structure of a Personal Narrative Essay Outline

  1. Topic
  1. Introduction
  1. Hook Statement (Intrigue the reader)
  2. Set Up The Scene/ Context by giving background information.
  3. Thesis Statement
  1. Body Paragraphs

Beginning Action → Rising Action → Falling Action (Paragraph 1→ 2 → 3)

  1. Use picaresque words
  2. Follow Linear Progression of events by displaying passage of time
  3. Use transition words to ensure a smooth flow of the events
  1. Conclusion
  1. Analyze and Reflect on the action.
  2. Explain the significance of the story’s theme!
  3. Relate back the theme to the real world?

For Narrative Writing all you need to do is keep the plot in motion and be very careful and particular in the intro and conclusion as not to lose the flow of the narrative!

Polishing Up!

Before you submit your essay, you need to polish it up and make it presentable. By following a few simple steps you can make your essay a perfect piece.

The Break Rule:

After you finish writing your essay, take a break to refresh yourself.

Take a break for at least 24 hours and give time to refresh your brain.

Proofreading and editing should not be done right away as writing is a mentally tiring task.

So you need to enjoy and refresh your brain to complete the last step of proofreading and editing the essay.

Proofreading and Editing:

When you take at least a 24 hours break then go for the grammar and spelling check and correct any mistakes.

This includes punctuation, use of contractions as well as sentence structure. Then you can further improve your essay by improving the vocabulary and removing phrases that are repetitive.

The sentences you use should make a logical sense and flow smoothly. The essay should be a coherent whole.

Use transition words to connect the different ideas and thoughts. Your essay should be simple, easy to read and understand.

Peer Editing:

Ask your peers to reread and edit the piece for you.

This will confirm that your paper is a well written piece.

The more people read your essay, the more confident you will be about the quality of your work making it comprehensible.

This is the last step that completes your essay.

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Rhetorical Analysis Outline

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Examples
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Examples

Literature students have to handle rhetorical analysis essays.

Essentially, this essay requires you to write about another piece of literature.

A student is required to analyze the text to bring out the pathos, logos, and ethos the author portrayed in their work.

In most case, students are required to analyze speeches and other forms of text from famous and influential individuals.

How To Prepare A Rhetorical Analysis Outline

To write an excellent rhetorical analysis outline, you have to learn the art of reading and analyzing text simultaneously.

You should pay special attention to who the author is, their target audience, the purpose of the text, and the setting of the text.

Remember, like most other types of essays, you are trying to persuade or sway the reader to your arguments and point of view.

When writing this type of essay involves analyzing text based on the three rhetorical appeals:

Ethos. How credible is the author? Write about the author’s expertise, pedigree, and accomplishments.

Example: I have been in the Curriculum Development Institute for the past ten years.

Pathos. What is the emotional appeal in the text? In most cases, authors appeal to readers emotions by drawing the feelings of pity or sympathy, and inspiring anger towards the subject of discussion.

Example: Looking at the rate of poor performance among students, and the low rate of employment, how can we not feel obligated to change the education system?

Logos. Look at how the author used the voice of reason and logic. Authors do this by citing statistics, stating facts, and using practical analogies.

Example: According to Statistics South Africa, the youth unemployment rate was 55.2% in the first quarter of 2019, which was a significant increase compared to the same period two years ago.

After analyzing the text, prepare the outline of your paper using the format below.


The introduction, which is the first paragraph, should be brief and straight to the point – the paragraphs in the body are the ones that should provide your detailed analysis.

That said, your introduction should tell the reader about the work and author you are about to analyze.

More importantly, it should clearly present your thesis.


The body is where you will write your analysis; the one you derived from the rhetorical appeals discussed above.


Like the introduction, your conclusion should inform the reader more about the analyzed text.

It should also summarize the main points in the body.

Remember to remind the reader of your thesis by relating it to your main points.

Rhetorical Analysis Outline Example

The following is a rhetorical analysis essay outline template.


  1. Let the reader know the title of the text you are about to analyze and the author.
  2. Mention the purpose of the text. What is the central idea behind the author’s work?
  3. How does the author convey his message?
  4. Mention the target audience.
  5. Context of the work. Mention the publication date and the publisher.
  6. Your thesis. Is the text good? Does it clearly communicate the intended message? Write the thesis of your essay towards the end of the introduction.


  1. Summary. Start the body of your essay with a paragraph that summarizes the main points in the text.
  2. Ethos. What is the credibility of the author? Mention the expertise and/or credentials of the author.
  3. Pathos. How does the author appeal to the emotions of the author? List examples of pathos in the text.
  4. Logos. Is there a voice of reason and logic in the author’s work? List the examples of logos that you identify in the author’s work.


  1. Author’s effectiveness. Was the author effective? If so, why. Also, if you think he/she was not effective state the reasons. In short, you are returning to the thesis you included in the introduction.
  2. Restate the main point of the author.
  3. Briefly state the rhetorical appeals used, and how they were used.
  4. Mention any mistakes in the author’s logic.


Writing a rhetorical analysis outline is not as difficult as it seems.

You just need to understand the rhetorical appeals and identify how the author has used them.

The next step is to create an outline that will guide you as you write.

The rhetorical essay outline template above will help you come up with your own outline.

Copy it or bookmark this page for future reference.

Synthesis Essay Outline

Synthesis Essay Outline

Synthesis essay trouble most students, mainly because they do not understand what these essays require.

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Also, you are likely to experience difficulties when writing this type of essay if you do not plan before you start writing.

Planning before writing an essay involves creating an outline.

In this article, we will explain what a synthesis essay is and how to create a synthesis essay outline.

What Is A Synthesis Essay?

Before you learn how to create an outline, you need to know and understand what a synthesis essay is.

To effectively define what a synthesis essay is, you have to understand the verb ‘to synthesis’, which means forming a single whole by putting together different pieces.

A synthesis essay will require you to put together information from different sources and develop a single argument revealing your position on a given topic.

It is very important to use sources that support your argument.

Also, make sure your paper demonstrates the relationship between your sources.

Tips For Writing A Synthesis Essay Outline

Before creating an outline for your synthesis essay, follow the following steps

  1. Identify good sources

Sources for a synthesis essay can be journals, articles, books (fictional and non-fictional), websites, and even non-written sources such as interviews and lectures.

2. Carefully analyze your sources

As you go through your sources, not down strong and relevant points.

You are analyzing your sources to identify those that support your point of view, or to have a point of view on a given topic if you do not already have one.

3. Create an interesting title

You want to discuss a topic that not only interests you but also catch the attention of readers.

People find titles that touch on social and emerging issues to be captivating.

Also, consider creating a title around a debatable issue.

But, most importantly, pick a title based on an issue or topic you are familiar with and one you can relate: that way, you will have an easier time writing and conducting your research.

4. Come up with a thesis statement

At this point, you have identified sources that support your position, analyzed them to come up with strong arguments, and you have a catchy title.

It is now time to come up with a strong thesis statement: the claim you will be supporting in the body of your synthesis essay.

Creating a thesis statement is simply writing your point of view in strong and convincing wording.

However, remember, your thesis will only be as convincing or strong as it sounds if you use credible and reliable sources.

How To Create A Synthesis Essay Outline

Like most essays, a synthesis essay structure has an introduction, main body, and conclusion.

Synthesis essay introduction outline

  • Explain the relevance of the topic of discussion.
  • Write your thesis: inform your reader about your point of view on the topic of discussion.
  • Briefly mention the arguments you will use to support your thesis.

Tip: consider starting the introduction with a catchy statement (hook), such as an intriguing question, an interesting fact, or a piece of statistical data.

Synthesis essay main body outline

In the main body outline, you highlight the points you will use to support your argument.

Remember, each point should be in its own paragraph.

Consider the following tips when writing the main body:

  • Clearly state your main arguments using topic sentences.
  • All your main arguments should be connected to your thesis.
  • Thoroughly develop your main arguments – use one or more references to support your arguments and even consider using examples to elaborate your point.
  • Use appropriate transition when moving from one paragraph to the other.

Pro Tip: An excellent synthesis essay does not summarize one source after the other. Instead, the paragraphs are organized based on specific themes and features identified from the sources. If you used this approach, each paragraph contains information from more than one source.

Synthesis essay conclusion outline

In the conclusion, you simply have to restate your thesis and sum up your main arguments.

However, the conclusion has to be strong and well-written as it is your last chance to convince a reader that you had a valid and sensible argument.

It helps a lot to end the conclusion with a call-to-action, a rhetorical question, or a statement requiring your reader to conduct further research.


To write an excellent synthesis, first understand what it is, then, create an outline to follow when you start writing.

Those two things have been expertly explained in this article.

How to Write an Amazing Narrative Essay Outline

Narrative Essay Outline

In a narrative essay, you write a story involving you, the writer.

You are supposed to form an argument based on personal experiences.

Since it is a story, you should invoke feelings and emotions from the reader.

Similarly, since it is a story, there should be characters, a setting, a plot, a climax, and a relevant outcome.

All these aspects make a good story.

Still, you will need an outline to guide you as you write.

An outline is more of a roadmap that keeps you from straying off topic and acts as a reference whenever you get stuck in the middle of your writing.

Structure Of A Narrative Essay Outline

Your narrative essay outline should follow the structure of an essay, which consists of the following sections:

  • Introduction. The introduction tells the reader what you will talk about, the significance of the topic you are about to discuss, and the focus idea of your essay. Since it comes first, this is where to catch the reader’s attention. Otherwise, you lose them completely (for an essay losing the curiosity and interest of the reader means a bad grade).
  • Body. This section is where you write your story and convey the central idea of your essay. In most cases, the body has three paragraphs. You should vividly describe events to communicate your point clearly. Consider using some humor. It is a personal narration – it should be enjoyable.
  • Conclusion. The conclusion, like the intro, should be interesting. It is probably the only part of your essay that a reader will remember.

How To Write A Narrative Essay Outline

The following is a guide on creating a narrative essay outline with illustrations from a narrative essay written by a mother about their son.

Introduction of a Narrative essay outline

In your outline, highlight the following aspects:

  • Hook
  • Description of the topic
  • Significance of the topic
  • Thesis statement

The hook, which should be the first sentence of your intro, is supposed to engage a reader and make them interested in reading the rest of the essay.


Who doesn’t think that their child has a unique set of talents and skills?

Illustration of how not to do it:

My son is unique.

Both statements are directing you towards the topic of discussion, a child.

But the second illustration is dull and does not inspire interest in the topic.

The first illustration, on the other hand, will get a reader to think about their own child, and want to know if their child is as skilled and talented as yours.

After hooking the reader explain the purpose of your essay and the significance of your topic.

You maybe trying to prove a point, convince a reader of your point of view, or justify a certain chain of events.

For example:

From the first day, we, parents, often feel we can immediately identify unique talents and skills that set them apart. Being objective when it comes to your own child is quite difficult. Often, we, parents, are tempted to exaggerate the qualities of our children.

After informing the reader about the significance and purpose of the topic, state your thesis.

A thesis is a claim you will support in the body of the essay.

The thesis is also defined as the central idea or theme of an essay.


My son, Gabriel, is an exciting young boy who has managed to change my life.

Put the thesis statement towards the end of the intro paragraph so that it can have more weight.

Narrative essay body outline

In each experience, or event, you include in your essay, make sure the reader understands:

  • Who was involved?
  • The setting of the event or experience
  • Why things unfolded as they did
  • The significance of the event – why you are describing it.

Strive to begin the paragraphs with a topic sentence, then follow up with supporting sentences.

Illustration of topic sentence:

I have concluded that my son possesses the innate talent and skill to be a great leader one day.

Supporting sentences:

On a particular day at playgroup, a young mother brought over a little girl into the group. They were new in the area, and to the adults, the young mother seemed a bit arrogant. The child was shy and stayed away from group games, opting instead to play with dolls and other independent toys. My son, having observed for a few days convinced his friends to bring the girl into group play. Apparently, after watching an episode of “Dora, the Explorer” about kindness, he had just the right skills to convince an entire group of children. As we watched amazed, the young children, led by my son, carried out a vote and elected to include the young girl forcefully into their group play. Today, she is an open, excited, and an exemplary confident young girl.

From the illustration above, a clear and sequential flow of events is what will make the body paragraphs of your narrative essay outline appeal to readers.

Narrative essay conclusion outline

In the conclusion section of your outline, highlight the following:

  • A restatement of the thesis – it reminds the reader of the main focus of your essay. Rephrase the thesis you wrote in the introduction.

Illustration: I would like for you to have an opportunity to meet this amazing toddler who has completely changed my world view.

  • A summary of the main points – briefly state the main points to prove how they relate to your thesis.

Illustration: He has leadership skills and has reminded me of the importance of values such as honesty, keeping time, and caring for others.

  • Lesson learned from the story you have narrated.

Illustration: I know that with his innate character and natural abilities, he can be molded into becoming an influential person in the community.

  • A call-to-action (if applicable) – makes your work memorable, and the topic appears to be more significant.

Illustration: It is good to appreciate the good things we see in our kids, but will the world not be a better place if we nurture these skills and talents?


With such an outline, you will complete your narrative essay assignment in no time.

Remember, a narrative essay is personal, meaning it should be enjoyable.

Not only will the outline make you write quickly, but also help you identify the content to include in the intro, body, and conclusion.

We have also included illustrations to help you better understand the outline and the tips shared.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a narrative essay outline?

A narrative essay outline is more of a roadmap that keeps you from straying off topic and acts as a reference whenever you get stuck in the middle of your narrative essay writing. In a narrative essay, you write a story involving you, the writer.

How do you write an outline for a narrative essay?

(1) Introduction- highlight the hook, description of the topics, significance of the topic and the thesis statement

(2) Body- include the following in the body. Who was involved? The setting of the event or experience, why things unfolded as they did, and the significance of the event – why you are describing it.

(3) Conclusion- A restatement of the thesis

How do you write a descriptive essay outline?

(1) Introduction- highlight the hook, description of the topics, significance of the topic and the thesis statement

(2) Body- include the following in the body. Who was involved? The setting of the event or experience, why things unfolded as they did, and the significance of the event – why you are describing it.

(3) Conclusion- A restatement of the thesis

Literary analysis outline

hOW TO WRITE Literary analysis outline

A literary analysis, as the name suggests, scrutinizes and evaluates a given text.

You are required to breakdown a piece to identify its constituent elements so that you can understand, and appreciate a piece of literature.

For instance, an analysis of a play might look into how a subplot relates to the main plot.

An analysis of a poem might look into the symbolism used by the poet or even the connection between the content and the form.

When analyzing a play or a novel, you could focus on the character flaw of the protagonist and how the writer reveals it in the text.

In essence, a literary analysis should convince a reader to your interpretation of the text.

Preparation and organization are critical factors if you are to come up with an excellent literary analysis essay.

An outline will help you with both factors, i.e., preparation and organization.

How To Create A Literary Analysis Outline

The following is a guide on a literary analysis outline with illustrations form an analysis of ‘The Lonely, Good Company of Books’ by Richard Rodriguez.

  1. Thesis

Before you even start working on your introduction, you need to develop a thesis.

A thesis is a statement that informs your reader point you are trying to prove and what to expect in your essay.

For example:

The reading of a complicated large volume of books by students without absorbing the content thus failing to learn is a complete waste of time as realized by the author later on since initially, his major purpose for reading was acknowledgment by his teachers.

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Your thesis statement should come at the end of your introduction.

In a thesis statement for a literary analysis, do not:

  • Address the reader
  • Use the first-person narrative
  • Tell the reader what they will read

2. Introduction

A good introduction should engage a reader so much that they will be interested in reading the rest of the essay.

You should consider starting your introduction with a quote, a provocative question, a controversial statement, or a brief anecdote.

In the introduction of a literary analysis, it is important to include background information related to your thesis, that will guide the reader to the position you are going to take.

The following is an example of a good introduction:

How much do you read? How much information do you retain after reading? The Lonely, Good Company of Books by Rodriguez exploits the misconception of the meaning and purpose of reading by students that have proved lethal in the long run. Reading can be very productive as a mode of learning as it assists in widening the individual’s scope of knowledge and horizon but futile if done for the sake. The reading of a complicated large volume of books by students without absorbing the content thus failing to learn is a complete waste of time as realized by the author later on since initially, his major purpose for reading was acknowledgment by his teachers.

Your introduction should not:

  • Include statements designed to impress rather than add meaning to your work.
  • Be equivocal, i.e., be open to more than one interpretation.
  • Hugely praise the work of literature under analysis.

3.  Body

In this section, you expound on points that support your thesis.

Not only are you supposed to explain a point, but also use textual evidence (from the play, novel, poem, etc.).

You can paraphrase textual evidence, summarize it, or use direct quotes.

Each idea should be in its own paragraph.

Additionally, each paragraph should begin with a topic sentence.

The goal of a topic sentence is to tie together the supporting points the main idea and to connect the paragraph to the thesis statement.

The following is a body paragraph of the literary analysis essay we introduced above:

Rodriguez experience illustrates the weakness in the education system that overemphasizes certain concepts like reading but fails to provide proper guideline concerning the reason for its importance and how to go about it. For instance, Rodriguez just knew reading was vital for his success academically, but he had no idea why or how just like most students, and since academic excellence is the center of the education system, they fail to find out instead tug along due to their teachers’ support. Also, most students’ orientation to reading is always poor as they fail to understand from the begging that the information from books acts as a guideline in the learning process and can be challenged just like Rodriguez

The paragraph is a good body paragraph because it starts with a topic sentence, which is related to the thesis.

The topic sentence is then developed through explanations, summaries, and paraphrasing of text from the book.

4.  Conclusion

The conclusion sums up your essay and lets your reader know you have come to an end.

It should provide your essay with a sense of completeness by restating the thesis and summarizing the main points in the body.

The following is a conclusion of the literary analysis of ‘The Lonely, Good Company of Books’ used as an example for this guide:

It makes no sense to read a large volume of books without learning. Reading as a learning method is good but requires proper directives in regard to purpose, reading methods as well as book selections since not all books are productive. Furthermore, the focus in reading ought to be placed in understanding, and students whose satisfaction in reading does not reflect the joy of learning new things should be discouraged early. So, it is about time students evaluated whether they read to learn or read to gain praise from their instructors and peers.

This conclusion starts with a restatement of the thesis, then a summary of the main points.

It finishes off strong due to the call-to-action in the last sentence.

Note that, the conclusion is your last chance of convincing your reader you had strong, valid, and relevant arguments.

So, you should not make the mistake of writing the conclusion in a rush.

In your conclusion, do not:

  • Introduce a new idea
  • Write an overblown remark about the author’s work


That’s how to create a literary analysis outline.

If you create a good outline, you will have an easy time writing the essay.

That said if you feel you still cannot come up with an excellent literary analysis essay, contact us for professional help.

 Persuasive Speech Outline

How to Write Persuasive Speech Outline Excellently in 2019

The ability to present a good speech seems more like a talent that a skill that you can learn.

The fact of the matter is there are some people with seamless public speaking ability.

When such people start talking, people just find themselves listening keenly.

Nonetheless, even without inborn public speaking ability, you can write and deliver a good persuasive speech.

Persuasive speeches involve, first, informing your audience of your main idea, and then breaking it down in a way that is easy to understand.

The following is a persuasive speech outline that will help you develop a good persuasive speech.

Introduction: Engage Your Audience And Stir Curiosity

The first step of a persuasive speech is to draw the attention of the audience and make them interested in what you are about to say.

Therefore, the introduction of your speech has to be engaging and exciting enough to make your audience curious about the information you are about to deliver.

You can make your intro enjoyable by telling a short story, for example:

Have you ever made a friend in the park?

Well, I recently did. I was taking a walk in the park when this stranger started following me.

And, no, I didn’t feel unsafe or uncomfortable since it was a dog, and I love dogs.

Seeing it was not giving up on following me, yet I was not paying much attention, I decided to take it to an animal shelter.

That is how I found out there are no animal shelters in my neighborhood.

To cut the story short, I now have a beautiful Staffordshire terrier to take morning and evening walks with – I have a friend.

Or, begin with an astonishing fact, for example:

The population of the USA is about 5% of the global population, yet we produce 30% of the world’s waste and deplete about 25% of the global natural resources.

Or, a rhetorical question, such as:

How many trees have you planted this year? Leave that alone – how many trees have you planted in your lifetime?

Or even a joke. Jokes break the ice; they warm up the audience, and boost your confidence, especially if the audience laughs.

However, do not make a lame or generalized joke, or a joke that offends someone else.

Jokes that tend to work well are those that are personal and tend to insult you, the speaker.

The introduction should also provide a summary of what you are going to talk about.

Reveal The Problem in your Persuasive speech Outline

After breaking the ice, and giving your audience a general idea of what you are going to talk about, reveal the problem you want to address.

Remember, the purpose of a persuasive speech is to convince your audience that there is a problem that needs to be solved.

You can reveal the problem in one or more of the following ways:

  • Explain the issue using real-life examples and illustrations.
  • Use statistics and data to prove there actually is a problem.
  • Demonstrate to the audience why they should be concerned and the likely results of continuing to ignore the problem.

When revealing the problem, do not provide solutions.

You want to create anticipation in your audience.

Therefore, you should not reveal all your cards in one go.

Solve The Problem

This section is the most important in a persuasive speech.

The solutions to the problem, ought to be well-explained; in a manner that your listeners can understand, relate, and apply.

Your audience needs to see that, by following your solutions and recommendations, they are actually going to make a difference.

To be more persuasive, consider:

  • Giving direct instructions.
  • Proving your points are utterly right by providing counter-arguments to opposing views.
  • Avoiding vagueness, ambiguity, and the use of equivocal phrases.

Offer Perspective

Your solutions should make a difference, right?

Demonstrate that to your audience.

In fact, tell them what might or will happen if they do not consider your solutions.

Provide perspective by:

  • Comparing the future of those who follow your solutions and those who do not.
  • Illustrate the effects of the lack of action towards the problem.
  • Explain and demonstrate the positive effects of taking action.

Conclusion: A Call-to-action

In this section, provide a sense of urgency for taking action – a persuasive speech should be a call for quick action.

At this point, you are finalizing your speech.

It is your last chance to convince the audience that they need not hesitate in taking action.

However, do not introduce a new idea in your conclusion.

That is the persuasive speech outline.

Follow it for a persuasive speech that will ring in the minds of your audience for a long time.

Informative Essay Outline

2 Informative Essay Samples
2 Informative Essay Samples

Are you skilled in writing informative essays?

You should be because such essays are very common in middle school through to college.

In an informative essay, you are required to inform and educate your reader on a given topic.

These essays focus on providing factual information on a topic, as opposed to providing your personal opinion around the topic.

An excellent informative essay provides a reader with new information on the topic of discussion.

In some cases, your instructor will provide the topic, while in other cases, you are supposed to pick your topic.

Either way, it is always advisable to write about something you are familiar with.

Even with a good topic, you need to think before you write, which means creating an essay outline.

That is the focus of this article: How to create an outline for an informative essay.

Informative Essay Structure

You will not create a good essay outline if you do not know the structure.

Like most other essays, the structure of an informative essay includes:

  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Conclusion

So, your outline, which basically is a rough draft of the essay you will write, should have these three sections.

Tips On Writing The Introduction

The introduction should capture the attention of the reader enough to make them want to read the rest of the paper.

In an informative essay, start your introduction with a lead-in, then write your thesis, which should be followed by a summary of the main points in your paper.

  • Lead-in

A good lead-in serves two purposes:

  • It introduces the topic of discussion
  • It captures the attention of the reader.

In other quarters, a lead-in is referred to as the hook.

It could be a rhetorical question, a lesser-known fact, a piece of statistic, or a quote that is related to the topic.

Whatever you choose as your lead-in, make sure it perfectly paves the way for you to state your thesis.

  • Thesis statement

The thesis is the main argument your paper focuses on.

In an informative paper, the thesis statement is what you are going to explain and educate your reader about.

A good thesis statement is clear and concise – avoid vagueness and ambiguity.

  • Proof points

The proof points are the arguments or ideas that you are going to use to support your thesis.

Briefly highlight them after the thesis so that the reader can know what to expect in your paper.

Emphasis on briefly – you do not want to spill everything in the introduction.

Just state your proof points in a way that will inspire the reader to read the rest of your paper.

Tips On how to Write An Informative Essay Outline Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs, which in most cases are the three paragraphs following the introduction, should support the thesis statement.

So, you should have three points or arguments to support your thesis, where each point is in its own paragraph.

You should begin each paragraph with a topic sentence.

The purpose of a topic sentence is to provide a summary of the main idea in the paragraph.

You should organize your point from strongest to weakest.

Validate your points using references from books, journals, and other authoritative sources.

References make your work credible and show your readers you took your time to research your work.

Finish each paragraph with a statement that gives a general idea of the argument you have just presented.

The purpose of this concluding sentence is to remind your reader what your point was and to show that your argument is the correct one.

Tips On Writing The Conclusion

In your informative essay conclusion, restate the thesis statement (do not repeat it exactly the way it is in the introduction).

Then, restate your main points in a way that they perfectly blend together with the thesis statement.

READ:   The Ultimate Flowchart to Using Apostrophes (Infographic)

You should also explain to the reader the significance of your argument and how it relates to the real world.

Informative essay outline Example

The following is a sample of an informative essay outline on the topic of alcohol abuse.

Alcohol abuse

  • Introduction
  • Start by giving starts on the prevalence of alcohol abuse or the effects of alcohol.
  • Write your thesis statement – focus on the effects of alcohol on one’s health.
  • Body paragraphs
  • Paragraph 1 (Point #1): Alcohol and liver damage
  • Paragraph 2 (Point #2): Alcohol causes heart disease
  • Paragraph 3 (Point #3): Alcohol affects the central nervous system, including the brain.
  • Conclusion
  • Rephrase the thesis, and relate it to the main points. Then explain the significance of your research.

Final thoughts

An informative essay outline helps you be better prepared before you start writing.

With an outline, you know which point comes first, the reference for each of your points, and the supporting ideas for each of your points.

Therefore, you will not get stuck or have to start rereading your sources for more insight.

An outline in an informative essay is especially important because you are not supposed to write your personal opinions – every assertion you make should be objective and backed up with facts.

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 with information about how each type of essay outline works.

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
Analytical Essay Outline Template

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
Critical Essay Outline Templates

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
Argumentative Essay Outline Template

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.

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.

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?

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

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 the 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.

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.

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