Academic Writing For Dummies: A Free Essay Outline

Academic writing does not need to be difficult. Nearly every style of writing follows a relatively similar format. Once you learn the format, you can write most essays and you can do so with very little trouble at all. After you learn the format, you can put aside your worries with organization and simply focus on the content of your essay. There are several places you can go find free essay outlines that you can use over and over again.

Find Free Outline Templates Online

The first thing you need to do is decide what type of outline you want to use. Many students shy away from the traditional type of outline with Roman numerals. They tend to prefer block-style outlines or blank templates that include the parts of the essay. These can be found by conducting a search for a blank essay template or blank essay outline. Most of the outlines will have blocks for the paragraphs, with special sections for the claim, as well as topics sentences.

Requirements for the Introduction

Each essay needs to have the same parts. The first is the introductory paragraph. It should have three parts: the hook, the bridge, and the claim or thesis. These parts all need to go in one paragraph. The bridge will connect the hook and the claim so the reader is not confused about the purpose of the essay.

Build the Body Paragraphs

The middle of the essay includes a number of body paragraphs. These each should have at topic sentence that connects back to the thesis. The rest of the paragraph should include examples and explanations to support the thesis. Many writers will end the paragraphs with a wrap-up sentence that will link to the next paragraph. The typical essay has at least three body paragraphs that continue to support the claim. The body paragraphs are usually organized in chronological order, spatial order, or order of importance. Some instructors will ask for a paragraph that includes a counter-argument, which shows why the opposite opinion to your claim is wrong.

Write the Easy Conclusion

The last paragraph in an essay should be the conclusion. It should be a relatively easy paragraph to write because it restates the information presented in the body of the essay. Most conclusions start with a restatement of the thesis (using new words), then includes a few sentences that summarize the main idea of the paper. The conclusion should end with a connection back to the hook.


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