How To Write An Outline For An Essay: The Right Format

There is a standard way write an outline for an essay, it is easy to use and format.  It has an easy numbering system indentations, and punctuation.  When you have to doing an outline for your essay, make sure you follow the outline specifications given by your teacher or you can use this standard one because it is the most used format.  This format will put all of your information for your essay in one place that you can refer to later, when writing your essay.  Here are some tips on how to write this form of outline.

The Right Format

  • The numbering and indentations of this kind of essay are fairly simple.  You start with your thesis statement, then roman numerals, capital letters, numbers lower case number, lower case numbers, and then you start all over again. The indentations are zero, one, two, and three tabs.

    Thesis Statement:

    I.

    A.

    1.

    2.

    a.

    b.

    B.

    II.

  • The roman numerals are the main heading, and then the subtitles are below them.  Don’t go overboard on the outline because you don’t want to put too much information into it, it is just a break down of the facts that you will cover in your essay.
  • You will capitalize all first letters in the heading and any proper nouns.  You don’t have to put punctuation on sentences that are not complete but you do if you have a complete sentence in your outline.
  • Some students use outlines to gather their ideas, which is fine but you final outline should be one that has definite information and not indefinite information, this mean not writing unanswered questions or why in the subtitles.  Answer them for your final outline.
  • Be specific with you subtitles because then you will have more information on the subject and you won’t be just filling in random facts to fill up your outline.  These facts can be random but have to all be about the subtitle subject.
  • Make sure you do all of your research and have a good idea of what you are going to do your essay on.  This will save you time because then you will be able to sit down and write out your first draft of your outline fast and then you can go back and elaborate if you need to on the subjects.

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