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Stages of Writing
Developing Outline

Developing Outline

After you have defined the topic of your essay, analyzed it, brainstormed ideas, performed literature research and formulated a statement, it is high time for you to develop a proper outline.

At this stage your main objective is to create a plan, which will show how adequately you can develop and support the idea you manifested in your statement. Support usually depends much on the examples provided and the reasons given. The key to success here is to make the essay as clear as possible.

So, the action plan for a successful outline is as follows:

  • Carefully analyze the information you obtained at the stages of topic analysis and brainstorming.
  • Briefly summarize your thesis.
  • Start writing an outline by naming the paragraphs first with lots of space in between the lines.
  • Then develop the idea of each paragraph in the way it would contain an example, the reason why the example is used and some supporting arguments.
  • Make sure you have at least four paragraphs in your essay; if you feel that there are more ideas you can use to support your statement, add more paragraphs.

Below you will find a sample outline for an essay on the topic “Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? A teacher should always stick to the subject matter of the course. Use specific reasons and examples to support your response.

  1. Introduction: an ambiguous issue – there are pros and cons.
  2. Supporting paragraph 1: positive aspects:
    • Examples – moral influence apart from education.

      Reason – a good teacher bears the responsibility for the students.

      Personal story – an example when such deviations did you good.

  3. Supporting paragraph 2: negative aspects:
    • Examples – too little time and a huge syllabus.

      Reason – teachers simply do not have time for everything.

      Personal experience – an example when you legged behind the program.

  4. Conclusion: support the idea of teachers spending time on moral issues.

Remember, well-written outline is a key to perfectly structured and clear-cut essay that is highly evaluated by teachers and professors.

Now you have a proper topic, analyzed it, got a list of ideas, performed literature research, formulated the main statement and composed detailed outline and you are ready for the next stage.