How to Create an Outline for an Outstanding Paper?

How to Create an Outline for an Outstanding Paper?
Table of Contents
  1. How to Create an Outline for an Outstanding Paper?
  2. What is Paper Outline?
  3. Why is it important?
  4. How to Write an Outline?
  5. Creating an Outline: Structure
  6. Introduction
  7. Body Part
  8. Conclusion
  9. 4 Steps to Create the Perfect Outline
  10. Choose a good topic, determine the purpose of the paper.
  11. Make a list of ideas.
  12. Arrange your ideas.
  13. Review / revise the outline page.
  14. Conclusion

When you write a research paper, an essay or any other writing assignment, you need to create an outline. Even if some papers don't require the obligatory presence of the outline in their content, you should make it, because it will help to keep track of your thoughts, ideas, and statements. It will be like a tracking map for your paper. Papers such as dissertations, thesis, and research papers are impossible to be written without a paper outline. Read this article and you will find the information on how to create a good outline and succeed with your paper.

What is Paper Outline?

The outline is an important part of your writing process. It puts all your thoughts and ideas in a proper order, highlights crucial aspects which support your points and gives an opportunity to avoid empty things which can only fill the space in your essay or research and distract the attention of the people who will read it. Read the tips how to write outstanding essay here.

The outline is a common plan of the ideas and thoughts which you want to give in the paper.

Why is it important?

  • The outline helps to organize your work and make writing process much easier;
  • It is able to enhance your awareness and understanding of your topic
  • It helps to find the logical order in which you can present your material,
  • It gives your reader the understanding of the logical consequence of your statements and facts and connection between your ideas.

How to Write an Outline?

Writing an outline may take place whenever the author wants during his writing process. But the perfect time is before starting to write a paper or doing research, after searching for the information and reading sources. You can revise it if needed after finishing the paper or if you want to add some new points or paragraphs. In order to write a good outline one should:

  • Choose an interesting topic;
  • Make your thesis statement;
  • Choose the points which you want to discuss in your paper;
  • Put material in a proper logical order, find connections between the points and your statement;
  • Write smooth transitions between your paragraphs.

Creating an Outline: Structure

It is doubtless that the structure of your outline depends on the type of the paper which you are going to write, on your topic, on the requirements of your tutor. But there is a common structure of the outline which can be used as the rough template. Find it below.


The introduction is the starting part of your paper. It is the paragraph or several paragraphs reading which the reader will get a general understanding of your idea. It must be meaningful, capable to gain the interest. Your reader should understand why he should keep reading. Find some useful tips on introduction here in the article.

How to write an introduction?

  • Start with interesting facts, examples, ideas to grab an attention of your audience;
  • Talk about specific terminology if it’s needed;
  • Give a short review of the theoretical background problem if it is necessary to understand the topic and follow your ideas;
  • If there are important issues about your topic, give some overview of them to the reader;
  • Tell about the focus of your paper;
  • If you work on an argumentative paper, after the starting you can write an antithesis paragraph. It represents opposing points of view. You can give a quotation from sources which reveal the controversial nature of the topic. Read information about how to use quotes here;
  • Develop the list of the main points;
  • A good introduction should end with a thesis statement.

Body Part

This part of the paper outline should present your main points and analysis clearly. In this part you should:

  • Show strong explanations with examples, details, support your points with evidence, facts;
  • If you write your argumentative essay, give counterarguments, disprove arguments;
  • If you work on some persuasive paper, you can use strong evidence from reliable sources. Give quotations, make summaries of some information which can support the main ideas. You can find good tips for a persuasive essay writing here.


The conclusion of any paper reveals results of your work, shows your effectiveness and writing skills. You should:

  • Start with restating your thesis from introduction. Don’t claim the same, paraphrase it;
  • Then give a brief summary of each of your points which you have discussed in the body part;
  • End your conclusion with strong statement. Make your final sentence meaningful which is able to tie the points of paper altogether.

4 Steps to Create the Perfect Outline

paper outline

Choose a good topic, determine the purpose of the paper.

You should not only find an interesting topic but decide which idea will become a focus of your outline. Understand your main purpose, it is quite important. If you have your goal in mind during writing, it will help you to set limits on the content and build the appropriate outline.

Make a list of ideas.

Conduct some kind of brainstorm, distinguish your main ideas which can become the basis of outline’s content. Choose essential ideas from common list and talk about them in your body part. Include this step in your writing process and you can distinguish really good ideas, throw away unnecessary, weak ideas.

Arrange your ideas.

Here you need to put all your ideas into a logic line. Arrange them in your outline in the order which makes sense to your reader and can guide him to the whole idea of your paper. Use chronological, classification, cause and effect principle. It will help you to write your outline.

Review / revise the outline page.

Don’t think that your work on the outline ends when you start writing. During this process, you may want to add some ideas, some evidence, delete the idea which seemed effective, but lost its importance. That’s why you should check major ideas in your outline.


The outline is the basic step of the writing process which can ensure your overall success. Pay attention to outline, it will help you to make your paper meaningful and effective. You can order any academic paper from professional writers. Lack of time, lots of writing assignments which you have to submit make you feel nervous? Get a paper form the team of qualified writers and you will have no reasons to be worried.