Essay Outline Templates

An essay outline consists of easy-to-read ideas or concepts to actually put your thoughts on paper. When you are writing an essay or thesis, it’s possible to get lost in the thoughts and lose focus of what’s important and how the body of the essay should be organized. The outline will provide a clear path that you can follow from the start of the thesis till the end. Not only that this way you can make sure not to skip any important details but it will also help the readers to evaluate essay’s content quicker than going through entire essay to confirm the key idea behind it.

A common essay outline would include:

  • Introduction to the essay
  • Statement or thesis to be proven
  • Some evidence to support the basic idea
  • Conclusion of the essay
  • Citations

Free Essay Outline Templates:

Here are 37 Free Essay Outline Templates to help you start drafting your own Essay Outline easily.


Essay Outline Guidelines:

Here are some guidelines to prepare essay outline:

  1. Development of Topic:
    The first and very important thing to do while writing essay outline is to understand the topic you have. Either this is an essay or thesis; you need to grab the basic idea behind the topic and how much information you have on it. This will not only allow you to see how detailed essay you can write but it will also assist you to search for missing data and factors. Understanding the topic and writing it on the paper is the first step. This part also includes the short introduction of the topic mostly in 1 sentence. This sentence will allow the readers to quickly get what your essay is about.
  2. Understand the Audience and Purpose:
    Now that you know what the topic is going to be, next thing is to understand who will read it and why you are writing this essay in the first place. This can be either an assignment for school or a thesis to complete your doctorate degree. Both have different rules to follow because you can’t write a PHD thesis like a pre-school essay which only be read by your teacher. The overall length and content you need to add can also be decided with the purpose and audience. If this is going to be published in a scientific journal, it needs to be detailed oriented with more than 1 evidence to support the idea.
  3. Selecting the Thesis Statement:
    Once you understand the topic you will be writing on in the essay and the people it’s intended to be ready by, it’s time to move on to the step where you need to give a thesis statement about the idea that you will prove in the essay. A thesis statement shouldn’t reflect what you think is true but it should just portray the idea on which you are going to argue. This statement has to be 1-2 sentences and not more than that.
  4. Select an Essay Format:
    Now is the time to actually start writing the essay. There are many formats for writing essays and thesis but using decimal and alphanumeric would provide better assistance throughout the essay. A decimal system would include numbers for each section and when there is a subsection, you just put a decimal and a number. For instance, it will start with 1.0, 2.0 as the main heading and for each subheading, it will go like 1.1 or 2.1.1. The more sections and subsections you have, the higher the decimal numbers will go. On the other hand, alphanumeric method only uses alphabets and roman numerals i.e. A, B, C or a, b, c and I, II, III, IV and V. These can be used for pointing out to each section and subsection or subheading.
  5. Closing it with Conclusion:
    The essay outline will be considered complete when there is a conclusion at the end. Conclusion should be brief with not more than 4-5 sentences and it should be precise and just give the overall idea of what you have proved in the essay and what evidences you shared to support your ideas or thesis. Bibliography is something that is not quite important or necessary for essays but it’s quite essential for thesis and doctoral disorientation. This part will include the references of books that you used for the research work, sources of evidences and names of other authors whose work you have used to support your ideas in the essay.


Looking forward to share related and useful Documents, Templates and Samples for your day to day tasks.

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