Structure and Outline

You have come up with an amazing, riveting topic that is sure to wow whoever reads your paper. Now, all you need to do is sit down and put the pen to paper, right? No! Writing a college essay without a plan is like going on a huge road trip without a map. Sure, you can stop midway and ask for directions, but you are missing the point there and are wasting time. What you really need to do is set up the structure of your paper and you can do this by creating an outline.

Writing an outline is simpler than you think. You do not need to have multiple roman numerals with several subheadings underneath if that is too complicated for you. Of course, if that works, then that is fine and you probably do not need to be reading this post. If you are looking for a simpler way to format your outline, then here you go.

First, start with the basic structure for your paper. Remember in your early days of school when you were asked to write the five paragraph essay? The first paragraph is your introduction, then three paragraphs for the body and finally a conclusion paragraph. A longer college essay follows the same basic principles, except think in terms of pages rather than paragraphs. You will have at least two introductory paragraphs, several pages of the body, and a couple of concluding paragraphs.

To begin forming your outline, think of four to five subtopics within your main topic that you are going to discuss. Write these down. Introduce the topics briefly in your introduction. Then in the following pages of your paper, make sure to introduce each topic in-depth. Explain the origin of the topic and how it relates to the greater topic as a whole. If you are thorough, you will get at least a page out of each subtopic. Finally, in your conclusion, make sure you wrap up each topic and leave the reader something to think about.

An outline does not have to be as formal as the ones you slaved over in your early days of school, but if you do not have any structure to your papers your professors will see right through them and your grades will suffer. Follow these simple tips and your papers will flow with ease!