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How to make a proper paper plan: an essay outline


Outlining has become a lost art in middle school, high school, and college. So many students today think they can quickly craft an essay without any plan. What those students fail to recognize is that when the write without a plan, they write unfocused essays that tend to fall short of expectations or tend to ramble on with no point at all. When students plan their essays with outlines, their grades tend to improve dramatically. If you are unsure about who to plan an essay, here are a few tips for writing an outline:

No need for Roman numerals: Students tend to fear outlining because they do not understand how to organize the outline with Roman numerals. You do not need to use this fancy form of organizing, because you can use bullets or commonplace letters and numbers instead. The numbering in outlining is simply the way that main ideas were kept separate from sub-ideas. You can develop your very own method of organizing with your own icons, as long as you know what the main topics, subtopics, and supporting details are.

Use essay formatting as an outlining format: If you organize your outline with the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion as the separate parts, you can quickly see what part of your essay needs help and what is complete. If one body paragraph only has two supporting details, but the rest all have five or six, then you know you need to find more supporting details to even out of the paragraphs.

No need for complete sentences: You are simply organizing the essay, not writing it. Outlines are better when they include individual words and short phrases because you can easily move those around to meet your needs. If you write complete sentences, you will be less likely to make organizational changes because you will need to change so much. Writing complete sentences tends to cause writers to become more committed to their own words.

Use outlining templates: Using an outlining template allows you to work more on the outlining than the organization. You will find that the outline templates are already organized, so you can see immediately what details might not fit and where they would be better placed. When you do not have to worry about organizing the outline, you can worry more about what you put in the outline, which is the whole point of outlining.