Academic Tips On How To Do An Outline For An Essay: Things To Avoid

Using an outline to help you write an essay is a great writing tool. This can help get the essay written quickly with good attention to details. But, if your outline isn’t structured properly or you do not utilize it to the best of your ability, this could affect the outcome of your essay. Some students think an outline is not necessary when writing, but when constructed well in the beginning, it actually helps you write parts of your essay with little effort. The following points should be avoided when creating an outline for your essay.

  • Not knowing your main area of focus. You need to have a grip on the main idea behind your essay would be. This is how you develop your outline and talking points for your paper. If you do not understand the scope of the work go back over instructions and define your thesis statement better.

  • Using a weak thesis statement. A weak statement can make outlining your paper more difficult. This is because you do not have a clear direction in where you should take your topic. Your outline will help you write your essay based on what you want readers to know and what they need to know about your topic.

  • Not listing points in proper order (lack of organizational structure). An outline helps you organize thoughts and ideas to make a cohesive essay. You can write down your points but keep them in order. You can also take a few moments to review your ideas and switch them around to how you want them to appear in your essay. This will make your completed product make clear logic sense to your reading audience.

  • Not having enough points to discuss. The outline should be broken up into smaller sections that feature main parts of an essay (introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion). You should have a few supporting points with each point being one paragraph (this makes your body paragraphs between your introduction and conclusion). You will also want to review your points to make sure they are appropriately supportive to your main idea (thesis statement).

  • Not getting your ideas and points to connect with each other. You may have ideas and things you want to mention, but if they do not connect with each other your readers will have a hard time following your content.

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