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13+ Free Outline Templates – PDF

Every kind of writing needs to be planned before actually starting the writing process. Without any plan, the writer struggles with what he really wants to write. This blocks his ideas from getting written down. That is why an outline is important and useful for any kind of writing. It creates a clear plan on how the writer should write his piece. You may also see blank outline templates.

34+ FREE & Premium Outline PDF Templates - Download NOWBeautifully Designed, Easily Editable Templates to Get your Work Done Faster & Smarter.

A free outline can be used by writers in writing. It can be in any format that is used before writing an actual piece. Writers have used this since then, and it is proven to be helpful in many ways. You may also see essay outline templates.

Basic Essay Outline

Basic Outline Template

Essay Writing Outline

Importance of Outline

Now that you have an idea of what you want to write about, the next step should be planning everything carefully. The outline serves this very purpose. Some writers reject the idea of preparing the outline and would rather write everything on the go, which makes them stuck when they have no ideas left. You may also see program outline templates.

Making an outline enables the writer to experience the following:

1. Develop ideas.

The writing process starts with a single idea. In making the outline, ideas have to be developed. It takes some time to make this happen. You have to think and rethink your web of ideas before putting them into actual writing. This process helps you in coming up with a clear concept of the piece that you are writing. It makes you stay on one theme and be able to go a long way from there. For writers, developing the ideas is no easy task. However, it is something that should not be skipped and plays a very crucial role in the entire writing process. You may also see autobiography outline templates.

2. A clear flow of thoughts.

When the ideas are fully developed, they are arranged according to the writer’s preference. This arrangement puts the ideas in order on how they will be written soon. Having an outline serves as the writer’s blueprint in writing down his piece. It makes the ideas organized. All the writer should do is follow his outline when writing. In some cases, some parts of the outline are not written down due to some last minute changes. Snap decisions about the idea being fitting for the whole piece are being made. Some ideas may be junked, but it’s just part of what writing really is. You may also see formal outline templates.

3. Identify weak points and polish them.

As you begin writing your piece, some weak points in your outline come out. These can prevent you from writing well. As much as possible, polish that weak point and turn it into something useful. Make sure it still fits your piece. If the idea does not fit any part of the piece, might as well let it go. Better ideas are coming along the way and be more open to possibilities. You may also see outline templates.

Blank Argumentative Essay Outline

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4. Focus on one idea.

The outline that you have makes you focused on a certain idea. Your thoughts are more organized when you have an outline. From there, you have a certain theme in mind that makes all of your ideas cohesive from start to finish. Focusing on one idea creates clarity and enables you to write better and faster. You may also see speech outline templates.

5. Save time.

Writers get stuck with what they’re writing when there’s nothing left to write. The outline can make you save a lot of time and energy when writing. When you find yourself stuck with what you are writing, the outline helps you in getting back into focus. You can use it as your reference whenever writing does not make sense anymore. Your outline has an abundance of ideas waiting to be written and used. You may also see outline examples.

Informative Speech Outline Sample

Dissertation Outline Template

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Business Plan Outline

Uses of Outline In Writing

All pieces of writing should have an outline. Some of the most common pieces of writing are used in entertainment, media, and other mediums.

1. Investigative news articles.

Outlines are used when writing investigative news articles. These kinds of articles go deeper than the usual news articles which are short and simple. Investigative news articles are made through research, data gathering, and interviews. It takes time to complete one. It is written using literary devices while still sticking to the factual writing of most news articles. In outlining this kind of article, it has to start with the most important detail then narrow down to the least important ones. It also makes use of statistics to back up facts stated in the article.

2. Scripts.

Scripts of any kind such as movies, television series, and stage play also use outlines to perfectly create a story to be executed on stage and on screen. It follows the three-act structure: the beginning, middle, and end. In making an outline, you have to list down the plot points on a piece of paper. This is called the sequence treatment. As soon as you’re done with it, you can begin writing the script with minimal chances of getting stuck in between. You may also see best outline formats.

3. Fiction and nonfiction.

Outlining a fictional book follows the same process as writing scripts for entertainment mediums. The three-act structure remains to be the most useful and effective method of outlining your thoughts. You also have to create character maps and focus on building your own world that readers can enjoy reading. For nonfiction, arrange the details according to its level of importance and degree. It still uses the literary style of writing, however, it is more factual and real in nature. You may also see product outline templates.

4. Research paper.

Research papers benefit so much from written outlines. There is so much data to be used and written down in these kinds of papers. You start by choosing a topic and making a thesis statement out of it, as part of the outlining process. Then you introduce the topic, the statement of the problem, its scope and limitations, and the methodology used in gathering the data. You need to present a comparison of the facts and how it would make sense in your study.

Speech Outline for College

Job Resume Outline

5. Essays.

Writing an essay needs a clear outline. It starts with the introduction, where the snippet of the idea is being told about. It goes down to the body of the essay, where the main idea with all the arguments is told to the reader. Essays usually conclude in the last two paragraphs. In essays, the ideas of each paragraph support the succeeding. It should lead to a clear conclusion. You may also see training course outline templates.

6. Documentaries.

Writing scripts for documentaries need an outline as well. You have to map out how the scenes will go. Documentaries tell stories of real people visually. Every scene should be written with a vision of telling something real and organic to its audience. You may also see sample proposal outlines.


Outlines are important blueprints of ideas whenever you write anything. It helps you in overcoming writer’s block and organizing your writing. You would have to face minimal edits in terms of idea build up. This is the very basic thing writers of all kinds should not forget before bleeding out words in front of their computers. You may also see sample marketing plan outline templates.

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