03 22

Outline of writing a college essay

Featured Article

Categories: Featured Articles | Better Writing | Homework Skills

In other languages:

Español: hacer un esquema, Português: Escrever um Esboço, Deutsch: Eine Übersicht schreiben, Français: rédiger un plan, Italiano: Scrivere una Bozza, 中文: 写提纲, Русский: составить план, Nederlands: Een tekstschema maken, Bahasa Indonesia: Menulis Garis Besar, Čeština: Jak napsat osnovu, ไทย: เขียนโครงร่าง, हिन्दी: रूपरेखा लिखें, العربية: كتابة مخطط تمهيدي, Tiếng Việt: Lập Dàn ý, 한국어: 글의 개요 작성하는 방법

outline of writing a college essay Writing an essay for college | Essay-outline.com

outline of writing a college essay College essay outline - Essay Writing Service Deserving.

Go online, head to the library, search an academic database, or read newspapers. You can also ask a reference librarian.
  • Know which sources are acceptable to your teacher. Does your teacher want a certain number of primary sources and secondary sources?
    • Can you use Wikipedia? Wikipedia is often a good starting point for learning about a topic, but many teachers won't let you cite it because they want you to find more authoritative sources. Even if your teacher does not allow Wikipedia, you can still use Wikipedia articles as a starting point. If you have very little background knowledge about your research topic, Wikipedia can be a good place to get a general working knowledge of your research topic and find search terms. The "Works Cited" or "Bibliography" section at the bottom of the page can also be a good starting point for finding reliable sources. However, if your teacher forbids even that much, a normal encyclopedia can serve the same function.
  • Take detailed notes, keeping track of which facts come from which sources. Write down your sources in the correct citation format so that you don't have to go back and look them up again later.
  • Look at the ideas that you generated. Choose one to three of your strongest ideas that support your topic. You should be able to support these ideas with evidence from your research.
  • Write a thesis statement that summarizes the ideas that you plan to present. Essentially, let the reader know where you're going and why.
    • A thesis statement should have a narrow focus include both your topic and what you plan to present. For example, "Although Eli Whitney's cotton gin ushered in a new era of American prosperity, it also widened the gap in suffering for African-American slaves, who would soon be more in demand, and more exploited, than ever."
    • A thesis statement should not ask a question, be written in first person ("I"), roam off-topic or be combative.
  • 5

    Plan your essay. Take the thoughts that you brainstormed and assemble them into an outline. Write a topic sentence for your main ideas. Then, underneath, make bullet points and list your supporting evidence. Generally, you want three arguments or pieces of evidence to support each main idea.
  • "
  • Ex: "Many northern slaves were in danger of being kidnapped and brought down south to work in the cotton fields."
  • Ex: "In 1790, before the cotton gin, slaves in America totaled about 700,000. In 1810, after the cotton gin had been adopted, slaves totaled about 1.2 million, a 70% increase."
  • 6

    Write the body of your essay. You do want to think about length here; don't write pages and pages if your teacher wants 5 paragraphs. However, you should freewrite to let your thoughts reveal themselves. You can always make them more concise later.
    • Avoid sweeping generalizations. Statements such as "______ is the most important problem facing the world today," can cause your reader to dismiss your position out of hand if he/she disagrees with you. On the other hand, "______ is a significant global problem" is more accurate.
    • Don't use "I" statements such as "I think." Likewise, avoid the personal pronouns "you," "we," "my," "your" or "our". Simply stating your argument with supporting facts makes you sound much more authoritative.
  • Your title and introduction make people want to read your essay. If your teacher is the audience, then of course your teacher will read the whole piece. However, if you're submitting to an essay contest or writing an essay for college admissions, your title and introduction have to hook the reader if you want to meet your objectives.
    • Skip obvious expressions such as, "This essay is about, "The topic of this essay is" or "I will now show that".
    • Try the inverted pyramid formula. Start off with a very broad description of your topic and gradually narrow it down to your specific thesis statement. Try to use no more than 3 to 5 sentences for short essays, and no more than 1 page for longer essays.
    • Short essay example: Every year, thousands of unwanted and abused animals end up in municipal shelters. Being caged in shelters not only causes animals to suffer but also drains local government budgets. Towns and cities could prevent both animal abuse and government waste by requiring prospective pet owners to go through mandatory education before allowing them to obtain a pet.
    Summarize your points and suggest ways in which your conclusion can be thought of in a larger sense.
    • Answer questions like, "What are the implications of your thesis statement being true?" "What's the next step?" "What questions remain unanswered?"
    • Your arguments should draw your reader to a natural, logical conclusion. In a sense, you are repackaging your thesis statement in your concluding paragraph by helping the reader to remember the journey through your essay.
    • Nail the last sentence. If your title and first paragraph make the reader want to read your essay, then your last sentence makes the reader remember you. If a gymnast does a great balance beam routine but falls on the landing, then people forget the routine. Gymnasts need to "stick the landing," and so do essay writers.

    Part 2 Revising Your Essay

    1. 1

      Wait a day or so and re-read your essay. Get your essay done a couple of days before the due date so that you have time to go back and revise it to make it polished.

    Avoid using exclamation points.
  • 3

    Check your statements.
    • Look for mistakes involving than/then, your/you're, its/it's, etc. Make sure you know how to use apostrophes correctly.
    • Look for mistakes involving general punctuation. Check for run-on sentences, commas and periods inside quotation marks, as well as sparely-used dashes, colons, and semi-colons.
  • 4

    Remove any repetitive or unnecessary words. Vary your language with the help of a thesaurus. Also, consult a dictionary to make sure that you're using unfamiliar words correctly.
    • At the same time, try to keep your language short, sweet, and to the point. A thesaurus is a great tool, but don't just use big words to sound fancy. The best essays are clear, concise, and easily understood by a wide audience.
    • Focus on writing killer verbs for sentences. Verbs communicate the action in a sentence and drive the action.
  • Try to let the verbs and nouns do most of the heavy lifting before you focus on adjectives.
  • 5

    Avoid colloquial (informal) writing. Do not use contractions or abbreviations (e.g., don't, can't, won't, shouldn't, could've, or haven't). Your essay should have a serious tone, even if it's written in a light or lyrical style.
  • 6

    Analyze how your essay flows. Does each sentence lead smoothly to the next? Does each paragraph flow logically to the next? Good connections will help your ideas to flow:
    • When events happen in sequence: I first started to realize that I was in the minority when I was in middle school...My realization was confirmed when I proceeded to high school.
    • If sentences elaborate on each other: Plants need water to survive...A plant's ability to absorb water depends on the nutrition of the soil.
    • When an idea contrasts with another idea: Vegetarians argue that land is unnecessarily wasted by feeding animals to be eaten as food.
  • Comments

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>