How to Write an Outline

For this week’s blog post, we’re going to take a look at how to create an outline. An outline is a rough idea for any written subject. Outlines are an easy and time-efficient way to understand complex subjects, and they can help you learn about what you want to write about in a paper and why. And if you follow these tips, you’ll have yours done in no time. Let’s get into it!

Before you start, it’s important to know what you’re going to write about. Your professor probably gave you a general topic, but what are you specifically going to write about? What do you want to write about? For situations like these, it might be best to have a brainstorming section first. Brainstorming is a chance to get all of your ideas down without having to worry about what you’re going to do with them. Think of it as a chance to let your mind wander until you find a topic/aspect of your topic that interests you.

For example, let’s say your Digital Marketing professor wants you to write about one of the forms of online promotion and why it is beneficial. A good way to brainstorm for this would be to write down everything you know about the forms online promotion and see if there’s anything that interests you:

Once you have a better understanding of what you want to write about, you have to find your thesis statement. A thesis statement is essentially the main idea of your paper. It’s the specific viewpoint/opinion of your topic that you want to develop and explain to your audience. 

To continue the example: let’s say you’ve decided to write about blogs. Ideally, you’d try and craft a statement talking about what a blog is and how someone can use it for self-promotion:

When all that’s done, you want to organize your ideas through a bulleted list. You should have sections for your introduction, your main ideas, and your conclusion. In each of those sections, you should add what you want to talk about in them. Your introduction should include any relevant background information the audience needs to understand the subject. Your main points will include evidence to support them. And your conclusion will feature a restatement of your thesis and a review of your main points, and a potential call to action at the end of the post. At the end of everything, your outline should look something like this:

And that’s how you create an outline!  Remember, this is a great way to figure out what you want to do for an assignment before you even start writing. It may not be mandatory, but every little bit helps. Good luck and happy writing!