Tips on How To Create an Excellent Paper Outline

Tips on How To Create an Excellent Paper Outline
Table of Contents
  1. Tips on How To Create an Excellent Paper Outline
  2. How to Write an Outline
  3. Why should you make an outline?
  4. Typical Structure of the Outline
  5. Introduction of the Paper
  6. Body Paragraphs
  7. Conclusion
  8. Outlining: Main Steps
  9. Plan the Outline
  10. Find Your General Goal
  11. Search For Information
  12. Choose Your Outline’s Type
  13. Write Your Outline
  14. Plan How To Write A Conclusion
  15. Some Tips for Effective Outline Writing

Doesn’t matter which writing piece you are working on, essay, research paper, thesis, you should create a successful and logical structure for your paper. It can be one of the most difficult parts of the whole writing process.

Making a good and effective outline before writing your assignment is a good step which makes your work look professional. Place all your ideas, information, arguments, points, and facts that support your statements in a correct order. In this way, people who will read your paper will see the level of your writing and analytical skills.

A well-done outline can ensure the high quality of your paper and that all your ideas and statements are effective and empower each other. Read how to write a successful paper outline in the article.  

How to Write an Outline

If you create a successful paper outline, you will see all logical & hierarchical connections between your thoughts and ideas.

Why should you make an outline?

  • It helps to arrange major ideas and in a logical order;
  • It presents facts in a chronological way;
  • It shows all relationships between ideas in your essay or research papers. You can read more about how to write a research paper here.
  • It shows the purpose of the paper, the problem which is raised & the solution or supportive argument;
  • It saves your time spent on revision.

Typical Structure of the Outline

Usually, outlines in papers include three main parts: introduction, body part, and conclusion. The body can consist of several parts. Each part is devoted to different arguments, ideas, statements.

Introduction of the Paper

In the introduction of your paper, you should get acquainted with your audience, see the purpose of your writing assignment clearly. You should give your thesis statement here. Tell about the way in which you are going to reach your purpose and disclose the topic. From the introduction, the reader should learn your major points which you are going to cover & why they should continue reading.

Body Paragraphs

It is the biggest part of your writing assignment. Here you will present your points, facts, arguments which will support your thesis statement. It’s good to find 3 effective arguments for each point. Every next time use the stronger argument to empower the previous one, it is the great method to persuade your reader.


In the conclusion, you should give your thesis statement again. Then, sum up all your facts, arguments which support the statement & explain to the readers why exactly you came to this conclusion.

Outlining: Main Steps

Plan the Outline

You should search for a common sense of the problem about which you will be talking in your paper. You should choose a topic. If you write a research paper, you can choose a broad topic, but if it is an essay, narrow it down.

Find Your General Goal

Think well & distinguish the main goal of your writing assignment. You will try to persuade your reader. Tell him about the topic, show your argument, information, describe the experience, choose the main goal, specific arguments, write your thesis statement while making the structure of your work.

Search For Information

You should know that every page of your final paper should contain meaningful and important materials. It will support your statement & arguments. Note the parts of the paper which include supporting materials like statistics, ideas and make them the major parts of your outline.

Choose Your Outline’s Type

You will have to choose between two main types of outlines.

  1. Topic outline - the one which uses only a few words, short phrases. This type is useful when you have many different ideas, issues that you can arrange in different ways.
  2. Sentence outline – it uses long sentences. Choose this type of outline if you are describing many points, a list of details, talk about different arguments & when your assignment will have many pages.

Write Your Outline

First of all, place your main subtopics in a logical order. Don’t forget about the chronology if it is a crucial aspect of your paper. Pick the subtopic which is supported by the most persuasive materials & background information, it is perfect if one subtopic flows slowly to another one.

Plan How To Write A Conclusion

For sure you are not going to write it now but you should understand which statement you will give in the conclusion to explain your arguments in order to make your paper look persuasive. You should plan & see whether you have enough ideas, evidence, which can support the conclusion you are going to make. It shows is your outline effective or no.

Some Tips for Effective Outline Writing

Choose your own approach. There is no single approach which is the best one: choose your own topic, type of the outline & the writing style. You can choose the sentence outline or topic type, just think which one will work in a more effective way.

  • It’s good to use Arabic & Roman numerals for any type of outline, you can use capital and small letters.
  • Choose the order of the parts & follow it, but stay flexible writing your assignment. When you start writing, sometimes you find some other interesting ideas or thoughts considering the topic which you are investigating. Don’t be afraid to include them. Even if the focus of your paper may change or you need to add some new points & sections, you can reorganize your outline.
  • If it is possible, try to organize your main sections of paper outline in chronology order.
  • Don’t include non-meaningful information & sections to your outline in order just to add some more pages. It makes your paper look unprofessional & shifts the focus of the reader to unnecessary things.

Creating an effective outline before writing your paper can make writing process & organizing of all thoughts & ideas much easier. We tried to give useful information & some tips. If you have any questions or suggestions, please leave them in the comments & our professional writers will answer them.