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How do you write an essay outline?

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Quick Answer

Writing an essay outline entails prewriting tactics and then generating an outline that includes an introduction, the current state of the topic, the need for the solution or action and the conclusion. The outline process involves thoroughly thinking through the topic and generating possible ideas.

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How do you write an essay outline?
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Full Answer

Following these steps will help a writer create an outline for his or her paper, essay or article.

Step 1: Prewriting for ideas

The first step is prewriting, which can include both brainstorming and free writing. These steps involve thinking through the topic and all of the things that the writer wants to include in the paper. The writer should consider the topic, the reason why the topic matters, the current state of the topic and the need for action or the solution for the topic.

Step 2: Introduction

The introduction in the outline should include points such as the thesis statement and the background or the history of the topic. Format the outline in simple bullet points without complete sentences. Include facts and statistics for the topic as well.

Step 3: Current state of topic

These bullet points should include analysis of the topic and how the facts and statistics gathered support the argument (if made) or the informational summary presented. Then include primary and secondary source research that supports the topic.

Step 4: The need for the action or solution

This part of the outline should have bullet points that list the action or solution that the writer wants to support in the paper.

Step 5: Conclusion

The conclusion bullet points should point to the solution or the future possibilities related to the topic. Think of answering questions such as, "What happens now?" or "What is next?" for the topic in this section of the outline.

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