How to outline an essay to get a higher grade?

Can’t make an outline of another essay? Then you might like the fact that even professional reporters got stuck on the stage of outlining. Sometimes it can take days to craft an outline and only a couple of hours to write an essay. But the purpose of any outline is to clear up the whole process of essay writing. For instance, when you want your day to be productive, you plan each hour no to miss anything. This is how your essay can become winning when you become aware of what data fills each paragraph. Developing an outline you can compose your thesis statement easier and structure all your arguments from more to less persuasive.

3 Steps To Outline Any Type Of Essay


Do not rush to the library until you determine the purpose of your essay and its topic target audience that can share your arguments.

Let’s concentrate on 4 purposes that might help you narrow a general issue and compose an engaging topic. Ask yourself about the actual reason to dwell on such a topic?

Is it just to inform your reader?

From this point, you have to put aside your personal opinion and broadcast the actual facts. Moreover, you mustn’t include other people’s opinions to certain facts, because it will imply subjectivity. Double check your resources and rely on information from trustworthy sources. The informative purpose is usually applied in the expository type of an essay.

Is it to convince?

If your aim is to persuade your target audience about something, you should study a couple of political campaign brochures and understand the style of addressing the audience. Or you can follow an example of advertising articles as your source of inspiration in which a target audience is clearly persuaded to buy some product. Since you share the same goal to persuade a reader who hasn’t formed a certain stance or own steadfast arguments, you have to borrow the same approach to the issue. The persuasive purpose predetermines an argumentative essay type. Here you have to support any arguments with valid information and surveys.

Is it to explain or describe?

If your goal is to explain, you might be writing a descriptive or narrative essay. Imagine yourself in the role of an instructor who explains to his students how to achieve certain results or do something. Get acquainted with “how to” samples of different editorials or essays and craft your own original instructions.

Is it to entertain?

This goal seems quite easy to reach yet if you got used to writing in an expository style, crafting an entertaining essay will become a considerable challenge. The best chance to entertain a reader you receive in a narrative essay where you can tell a story to the reader from your own experience.


Spend 10 minutes on brainstorming some ideas regarding a chosen or assigned topic. When you set a limit on your thinking process, you become more active and focused on the task. First two minutes you’ll get panicky but then you’ll begin engaging your past experience and a range of ideas will pop up on the surface. At this stage, you can involve your 5 senses: hearing, touch, sight, taste and smell. For instance, if your topic is “Should students get more time for having lunch outside the campus?”, you can imagine yourself in the favorite café with a sandwich in your hands, smelling its warm rye bread… Visualizing you can make your essay more emotional if we talk about descriptive or persuasive essay. Though if you are composing an expository essay, you must keep your emotions aside and operate with facts.


At this last step you must craft a structured outline. There are 2 generally accepted types of an outline: alphanumeric (topic) and decimal. An alphanumeric format requires Roman numerals for the main titles. Write subtitles in capital letters. Moving from general issues to more specified, distinguish your points with Arabic numerals and lowercase letters. Each category in a topic outline describes a separate idea.

A topic outline looks like this:

  1. The Main Idea
  2. The sub-Idea
  3. The first detail to the sub-idea
  4. Specification to the sub-idea
  5. The second detail to the sub-idea
  6. Specification to the sub-idea
  7. The sub-point
  8. The first detail to the sub-point
  9. Specification to the sub-point
  10. The second detail to the sub-point
  11. Specification to the sub-point

A decimal outline demonstrates a strong relation of any category and sub-category to a thesis statement.

A thesis statement mustn’t be numerated.

  1. Introduction
    • Main topic
      • Sub-topic
      • Sub-topic
  1. Main topic
    • Sub-topic
      • Supporting argument
      • Supporting argument

An outline can take a lot of time. And you will have to create 3 outlines during the whole essay writing process. The first will be a rough draft to gather sources and information. The second draft can appear completely different from the first one because you will narrow the topic and name some categories. And the final draft must be dressed in one of above mentioned outline formats. However, if you can’t spare even a minute and need the high-quality essay asap, you should take help from writers. These professionals have gained a huge experience in delivering 100% unique academic papers.