How to write a good composition? Often this question is asked not only by students but also by teachers who are looking for new ways and methods to teach children to write essays. For many students, this is a real test, and they look with perplexity on those who perform this task perfectly. This is because we are all very different. Someone likes to argue and fantasize. Such people like to write essays, they often even disregard the advice of teachers and write on inspiration. But others are completely lost in front of a blank sheet and a given topic. Their ways to solve the problem are the Internet, critical literature and friendship with writers. But you can try to do the task yourself, and in this case, it is best to start with a preliminary plan.

What is an Outline?

The plan is the concretization of the idea of writing and at the same time the way of realizing the author’s creative intention.  Work on the composition outline is one of the conditions for the systematization of the material, the sequence of its location, and therefore a complete disclosure of the theme of the work. And although writing an essay plan is not an obligatory requirement, but it’s rather difficult to write without a plan when working on a draft version of a composition.

 How to Create an Outline for an Essay?

To compose an outline of an essay is to break it into fragments (parts of the text), mentally highlighting the main stages of the path by which your thought will develop. Each such fragment is a microtext, which can be equal to one paragraph and can consist of several. Each microtext will correspond to the plan item. It is important that it be united by the main idea, which has its beginning, development, and completion within its boundaries.

As a name, not single words or sentences are put into the plan, but detailed phrases. Separate words are too “narrow,” concrete, the main idea or topic is difficult to convey. But complex sentences are not suitable because they represent an already completed thought. The phrase is more suitable for the plan. It is a kind of semantic unity that carries information in a collapsed form. And in the work itself this information “unfolds,” the thought reveals itself. It is possible to formulate the samples of the plan in the form of questions answers to which are given in the work.

It is important to remember that the plan carries information on how your essay is constructed, specific information about the content of each part of it. The writing should be “viewed” through the plan.

How to Outline an Essay for College

There are two types of outlines: formal (short) and basic (complex).

A formal outline gives an opportunity to underline the main course of thought, highlight the main issues of the topic. This, in essence, is the short version of the plan. On its basis, in the course of further work, a detailed, complex plan is created.

A basic outline reflects the main structural parts of the composition: the introduction, the main part, the conclusion (they are denoted by Roman numerals). Within these general sections, the subsections necessary to specify the provisions put forward are designated according to their volume by Arabic numerals, letters, etc.

Since a complex plan must accurately express the main content of a future work, it is necessary that it satisfies the following requirements:

1) It should correspond to the topic and most fully covered the issues related to its disclosure;

2) It should be purposeful and distinguished by logical consistency, harmony;

3) It should have a single basis in the formulations of all the points that were singled out, and be stylistically unified (the items of the plan should be uniformly and consistently in the form of one-type sentences).

How to Make a Topic Outline for an Essay

The most important thing for any text is that all points should be subordinated to the basic thought, the idea of the author. And the text structure is the most important thing in this list. The reader should not get confused and lose the “thread.” The text should be understandable to the reader.

Every text written in MLA format or in any other should have three parts:  an introduction, main part, and conclusion. You can write explanatory notes to each part. Then you will have a detailed plan, according to which it is easier to write an essay. You can write interrogative sentences and then you will create your text, answering questions.

What to Write About in Each Part of the Composition?

The introduction anticipates the main part, “advertises” it. Here you can express your emotions and feelings. Here you can give interesting statements of outstanding people or site sources of scientific direction. The introduction “sets the tone” for the entire composition and prepares the reader for the perception of the main part, in which the basic idea should be revealed. At the end of the composition, everything that was said in the work should be summed up. One cannot allow situations where the text is interrupted by unfinished thought. Therefore, in any work, there should necessarily be a conclusion.

All three parts are unequal in volume. It cannot be that the introduction or conclusion is greater than the main part.