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College Essay Outline - Writing Guide for Students

Many students consider developing an outline for a college essay a mere formality. It is a made-up requirement of their professors, isn't it? But, the only challenging thing about an outline is that many students of high school or college don't know how to prepare it. Hence, we've made this guide for you. Here, you will know more about the main points of the outline and how it can simplify your college essay writing. Also, you will have a chance to study several templates and get an in-depth insight into this issue.

First, let us consider a few features of the outline's role in your academic writing :

  1. It will help you develop an essay structure where every major and minor point of yours is in its place.
  2. An outline is important for published writings - that process is more formal and complex.
  3. It can prevent the use of redundant information in your assignment and make your main idea clear and well-developed.
  4. It can show whether your supporting points back a central argument enough to satisfy the target audience.
  5. Papers with outlines can bring you higher grades. A thoughtful preparation has a positive impact on the quality of any assignment.

While writing your essay at college, you have to be aware of relevant academic standards, and an outline is one of those. To make it perfect, let's recall the basic structure of this element.

How to Prepare an Essay Outline for College

Regardless of the essay format to use, the outline will come in handy. It is like a road map of your paper that:

  • Shows the order of your thoughts and development of any big ideas throughout your writing
  • Helps to express a major point of the essay sections and a central message of your assignment
  • Presents a topic sentence for each of the body paragraphs to explore your general argument from different angles
  • Helps you understand whether you've answered all essay questions by the end of the writing

Usually, in outline, every section of your college essay has got a title. Of course, you don't have to include those titles in actual work, and none of them influences the topic of your assignment. You may just keep them in mind while working on a paper. Naming the sections will help you stick to the ideas and statements you want to dwell on in your essay. There could also be your notes made to remember where to cite sources or what examples to provide as a support to your thesis statement. But the role of an outline is in making your narration smooth and coherent from the very beginning.

Many learners write a college essay outline after they are done with an assignment. But the purpose of that element is to simplify your process of college essay writing. After developing a relevant and sound plan, you just group the notes, ideas, references, and evidence according to the sections you've made. However, you can make an outline after finishing your paper too - for example, if you need to submit it for assessment. Then, you can think about more appropriate names for your assignment's sections.

Templates of Your Essay Outline for College

We hope, now, you have a basic understanding of why this element of your essay is important for academia. But, to strengthen your competence, we think it will be useful to provide several templates for consideration. By studying an essay outline example, you can see how the theory is put into practice.

Defeat in World War II Made Germany Successful

Here is an example where your argument is focused on the discussion of an idea. So, we have a statement about Germany and World War II: how to describe the benefits a country received?

  1. Introduction
    • Some background information
    • A "hook" for the reader
    • Thesis statement
    • Transition to the next section
  2. First body paragraph
    • A topic sentence about long-time economic benefits
    • Reliable data that backs a statement
  3. Second body paragraph
    • A central sentence highlighting the benefits for society and culture
    • Examples and facts that prove an idea
  4. Third body paragraph
    • Discussion of opposite views
    • Any impact of the opposite viewpoints
  5. Conclusion
    • Summarizing the aspects in which Germany has succeeded
    • Strengthening a thesis statement
    • Coming up with a final thought

In this template, we've named the sections of an essay according to their purposes. Now, let's look through the example with a slightly different strategy.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Living in a Big City

This topic is more common for compare and contrast college assignments, and its outline may look the following way:

  1. Introduction
    • Background information about the big city's features
    • Being an inhabitant of a megapolis has its pros and cons
  2. People have more options for making money
    • Provide employment statistics
  3. Living in a large city encourages cultural development
    • An example of a certain big city with its establishments like museums, galleries, theaters, and events related to them
  4. The big city makes people stressful and always-in-a-hurry
    • Data from statistics, interviews, reports
  5. Conclusion
    • Benefits of a big city life outweigh its challenges

In this template, we name the point by a precise statement that is the focus of a paragraph.

College Essay Topics to Consider

Your chances to prepare a relevant college essay highly depend on the topic you choose. After deciding on your subject matter and some research, you are ready to present your intentions and can organize the ideas appropriately. Hence, we would like to offer you some college-level topics. This way, you will have a good understanding of the issues you may face and use in various writings.

  1. How traveling abroad inspired me to learn foreign languages
  2. The changes to implement in the modern educational system
  3. The interdependence of the parents' behavior and the child's character-building
  4. Why is social network a key for successful business development?
  5. Can smartphones be a useful tool in education?

In college, learners frequently assigned to work on complicated matters. And, an outline is what you need to be confident in your project's quality. Here, we have provided you with an extensive guide, covered various aspects of the college essay outline issue, and discussed some examples. Now, you can simplify your studying process and make every essay a top-notch one. So, good luck with your college assignments!

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