The secret to writing a good essay lies in the ability of the writer to plan and write information systematically and clearly. The secret to planning in drafting an outline essay, or a good essay outline that guides the actual essay writing. First, every student should know that you can’t write an essay without outlining and still score a good grade. So, those in need of an A+ essay should first focus on creating an outline and organize their points before writing. 

A student once asked for help with how to write an essay outline; the response from AccessEssay was simple and straight; use the three simple steps. First, understand an outline or what it means by outlining an essays. AccessEssay has several examples of essay with outlines, which can help you understand what is an essay format. Secondly, learn how to write an essay outline. Knowing the meaning of the outline is not enough when you do not know to write it. Thirdly, use the outline of the essay to write a perfect essay for A+ grade.

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What Is an Outline?

In the simplest terms possible, an outline is a plan of action drafted in brief. So, an essay outline is the plan or skeleton of the essay that structures the major points and sections of the paper. When writing academic papers and scholarly articles, an outline is an important planning tool. One of the famous Elon Musk quotes stated that “If you failed to prepare, prepare to fail.” When outlining an essay, the major sections include headings for Introduction, Body, and Conclusion. Similarly, the main formats required for a college essay outline include MLA, APA, Chicago, and Harvard.

Even though writing an outline is not mandatory, it has been proven as a vital tool for writing a good essay that scores highly. Also, professors and tutors are increasingly asking students first to submit an outline essay that summarizes the paper. So, if wondering how to write an essay outline, AccessEssay is here with the best guide and help. Furthermore, if you need help writing your essay format, get professional help at AccessEssay.

Why Write an Essay Outline?

First, in the simplest terms possible, you need to write an essay outline to help you know what point goes to what section. When writing a good research paper or essay, it is evident that your mind will have massive ideas and thoughts. Also, when you research information for your essay, you will get tons of information. So, outlining an essay helps you structure your thoughts, and write academic works better and faster. Nevertheless, AccessEssay also offers a complete guide on how to write an outline for an essay.

Furthermore, by now, you have already realized that the outline is a roadmap of your paper. So, when outlining an essay, you simply draft what goes to the introduction, each paragraph, and the conclusion. Additionally, you can provide supportive arguments and draft headings for your paragraphs. However, for anyone not sure about writing a good essay format, get expert help now.

Some of the benefits of an outline of essays include;

  • Acts as a blueprint that shows what information goes where in the essay
  • Increases the understanding of the content of the essay, paragraph structure, and points
  • Helps you write essays faster and more accurately
  • It helps present the essay to the audience since you will know precisely where to find that piece of information you need when presenting your work.

How to Write an Essay Outline?

Every student who has written a college essay knows that the standard structure is Introduction, Body, and Conclusion. This is also the general format of your essay outline, except that you must also include a draft of each body paragraph. When outlining your essay, remember that it is like a summary of things you will discuss. The body of an essay outline also contains points numbered clearly, and citations included. So, here is the complete guide on how to write an essay format


The introduction must be short about 3-4 sentences that describe the topic, hook, and thesis statement. The points are numbered or bulleted as required in a good outline essay.

  • First sentence: introduce a topic that grabs the reader’s attention. Here is where you use anecdotes or shocking facts that are relevant to the topic.
  • Second sentence: write the hook or sub-point sentence that gives a brief background of the topic.
  • Third sentence: Write your thesis statement. Here is where you declare your argument or the position you wish to support in the essay.


The body is an essential section of an outline essay or any other academic writing paper. First, here is where you offer valuable information supporting the thesis statement and topic. AccessEssay also provides numerous examples of an outline for an essay that helps you understand the qualities of a good essay format.

  • Paragraph 1: write your first point or supportive sentence and number or bullet it. Also, write the fact, data, or information supporting, with proper citation. Finally, write the concluding sentence.
  • Paragraph 2: write your second point or supportive sentence and number or bullet it. Also, write the fact, data, or information supporting, with proper citation. Finally, write the concluding sentence.
  • Paragraph 1: write your third point or supportive sentence and number or bullet it. Also, write the fact, data, or information supporting, with proper citation. Finally, write the concluding sentence.
  • Use transition sentences that smoothly brings the reader to the next point.


An outline of the essay concludes with the last paragraph reminds your reader about the thesis, a summary of key points, and a concluding statement.

  •      Rewrite the thesis statement:
  •      Summarize the key points from each paragraph
  •      Concluding statement

Two Main Essay Outline Structures

When outlining an essay, there are different formats that you can apply depending on the type of essay. An excellent example of an outline for an essays will demonstrate a clear structure of numbering, such as alphanumerical or decimal. Moreover, when formatting a paper, you may use incomplete sentences but rich in points. However, ensure the outline is visually clear and organized.

Alphanumeric Structure Style

AccessEssay provides all the solutions you need to write a good essay outline using the alphanumeric style. This structure is considered as the easy essays outline, while other users also consider it as the most formal essay outline. Firstly, it involves subdividing the contents and numbering them in roman, alphabet, and Arabic numerals together.

  • Roman numerals: (i, ii, iii, iv…): an easy essay format uses the romans to identify major sections. Usually, each numeral represents each paragraph of the paper.
  • Alphabet letters (a, b, c, d …): A good essay outline uses the alphabets to number sub-points within each paragraph.
  • Arabic numbers (1,2,3, 4…): in writing a good essay outline with several finer details, the Arabic helps to number the points below each sub-point in a paragraph.

Decimal Structure Style

In other essay outline templates or examples, you may see numbering style where numbers are separated with decimals. Hence, the decimal structure is a multilevel numbering method that is often found in the word document. The structure is also preferred when outlining an essay since it is clear and easy to understand.

  • First level numbering: (1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0): this is used to present the first primary point within the introduction, body, or conclusion.
  • Second-level numbering (1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 3.2…): An easy essay outline uses the second level numbering to demarcate sub-points within each major point in the essay.
  • Third-level numbering (1.1.2, 1.2.3, 3.1.4 …): A third-level numbering of 3.1.4 implies that point number 4 is under sub-point number 1, under the main point number 3.

NOTE: Some students struggle on how to create a good essay outline without it appearing like the complete essays. The secret is straightforward, use the numbering structure and short sentences. Nevertheless, do not struggle to do it yourself, let professional essay writers at AccessEssay work it out for you at affordable prices.

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Best Essays Outline Template

Now, you know the types of essay format structures, here are the sample templates for outlining an essay. Firstly, before selecting a template, understand the type of essay you are writing. Secondly, understand the length of that essay; some essays maybe five paragraphs while others, even ten. Thirdly, understand the purpose of your essay, either persuasion, narration, entertainment, or whatever.

Outline for Argumentative Essays

An argumentative essay is an academic writing that uses logical reasoning and arguments to convince readers and justify a point of view. So, it uses solid evidence, data, facts, examples, and quotes from experts. Furthermore, a good persuasive essay also focuses on the counterarguments or the other side of the argument. AccessEssay provides many examples of an argumentative essays.

Narrative Essays Outline

A narrative essay is a story-telling written from a personal point of view or personal experience. On this note, it involves providing specific and sensory details to attract the readers’ attention. However, always remember that you do not need research, but must use proper writing skills to get a high score. Alternatively, get help with writing a narrative essay here at AccessEssay. Additionally, a good narrative essay should have a thrilling plot, include a conflict, use bright characters, and some exaggeration.

Research Essays Outline

A research essay is an academic paper writing that involves an analysis of works of others relevant to the given topic. First, you have to conduct detailed research, extract information, analyze, and then present in your own words. The outline for writing a research paper must also show citations and references.

How to Get Qualified Essay Help

Are you still wondering how to create a good essay outline? Now, get help from the professional essay writers at AccessEssay. We have compiled the best experts in writing, a complete guide for outlining an essay, and numerous examples of essay outlines. Regardless of the subject, academic level, or outline format required, we have the solution. Just send us a “write my essay” request now.

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