6+ Basic Outline Templates – PDF

“Write the way an architect builds, who first drafts his plan, and designs every detail,” said German philosopher and writer Arnold Schopenhauer who was known for being an artist’s philosopher owing to the inspiration his aesthetics has offered to artists of every kind. His phrase about writing, however, resonates to everyone who wants to write and come up with a piece, which when read, provides clarity of thought, at the very least. You may also see blank outline templates.


Just like a carpenter, a writer has to have a plan on how to build and develop whatever it is he wants to tell people, and for those who need to write as a requirement in school, your paper shouldn’t be any different. You need to “design” your details, in a way that can be understood and possibly contribute to the academic community, if you’re lucky, or if that was the goal, just like a research paper.

Literary Analysis Essay Outline Sample

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Formal Sentence Outline Format

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Five-Paragraph Essay Outline

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The Writing Process

People who make a living out of writing and people who write to make it through the walls of their schools, people who write out of passion for writing, all of them can tell you that it would take a good amount of evaluation of one’s own work and self-criticism before you can reach the final stages of your written work and what you intend it to be. It takes someone brave enough to be brutally honest with himself to edit his work and remove anything unnecessary, rewrites for about the 5th time and crumple papers he thinks renders his words as something that lacks sense and thought before he can finally say to himself that his work is good ago. You may also see autobiography outline templates.

For anyone who pours himself completely and offers everything to his writing, I’m necessary for the people who will read to feel the seriousness of the work he had put into, just to send a message, to contribute to research, or to simply write. You can’t give the reader anything less than that. Because when you do, they will know. Especially in academic writing, where your compositions and written assignments are going to be mercilessly evaluated by your professors. You may also see essay outline templates.

Importance of Writing an Outline

In writing, sometimes it’s too easy to choose a topic, or your subject when you’re given the freedom to choose. Justifying it and being able to write down what you want to tell about the subject, is an altogether different story. Your ideas are generated through brainstorming, or maybe through a source of inspiration and free writing is well, free. Your working thesis is created, and the final step would be performing the pre-writing stage by creating an outline you can build your final work from. You may also see formal outline templates.

An outline allows a writer to organize the main points of his topic and put paragraphs in an order that makes sense and to ensure that each sentence, each paragraph will turn into something tangible so that the writer won’t get stuck once he’s ready to get down to the actual writing of his essay or research. You may also see program outline templates.

Having an outline provides a road map for your essay. A well-developed outline will be able to show the essay thesis, the main idea of each paragraph body and the supporting arguments or sentences that will be offered in each paragraph to lay out the main points. You may also see course outline templates.

1. Clarity of thoughts

Oftentimes we think of an essay or anything else that requires writing, as one finished whole, but it doesn’t work that way. Staring down at a blank paper or looking at a blank page on your computer screen is pretty intimidating and sometimes, downright nerve-wracking. Writing an outline can help you get through any stumbling block, writer’s block, whatever you want to call it when no words want to come out, even though there are quite plenty doing the rounds in your head. You may also see research outline templates.

Your outline can also serve as a tool for brainstorming guiding you to the right places in your thoughts, in order for you to know just what it is you want to write. It also helps you gain clarity of thought so what may start out as just a topic or some mundane idea can become a tangible argument that you can support well as you map out a plan for your ideas and the structure to go with it before you actually start writing. You may also see printable research paper outline templates.

2. Determining Weaknesses in Arguments

An outline breaks down lengthy texts into its main points with the arguments that support them. As you go along your outline for any writing assignment or research paper, you will be able to identify certain points that makes your arguments weak. The outline will give you a better chance to check if the main idea or that your proposed support doesn’t hold much weight when making a case. You’ll also be able to organize your points better and put e in their proper place, with an outline. You may also see outline examples.

3. Staying on Target

Without an outline, it’s easy for research papers, essays, and other written projects to lose all focus. We are always at the mercy of our own thoughts, and too often we allow our ideas swim in a haze. As a result, we discover that we have put into words lacks coherence and find our supporting details somehow already gone. This happens a lot because we can, and we will go off tangent when we don’t have a proper outline of say, an information that needs to be included, or a helpful trivia that helps the argument. You may also see formal outline templates.

Having an outline helps ensure that the writing maintains its focus. It can help you have your ideas organized so that they are emphasized enough to make an impact. In some cases, for example, it’s necessary to put a strong argument right at the start of a paragraph so that you can strike the point with a punch because that’s what strong arguments are made out of. You may also see book outline templates.

4. Save Time

Because an outline allows a step by step guide for the actual writing part to be easier, it saves you a lot of time so that you can proceed to write and make necessary revisions without fear of going beyond the set deadline. You may even go as far as using what sentences you have come up with, in your outline to write paragraphs of your paper once t is already finalized. When the outline is completed, the actual paper would mostly focus on adding of citations, some more supporting details if necessary, connecting the ideas together so that they can flow through a smooth interval and it won’t seem like you’re jumping from one to the next without expanding them. You may also see resume outline templates.

By the time you’re ready for the actual writing process, you would have been able to address issues with your paper already, complete with the organization of your ideas, arguments and main point. You wouldn’t be wasting time on too many revisions for a paper that’s too weak and lacks the focus of thoughts. You may also see training outline templates.

Essay Outline Worksheet Template

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Basic Paper Outline Template

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Tips In Writing an Outline

1. Gather information

In planning on organizing the details or information you have used in your essay, you first have to gather them. Therefore, your first step should be planning the structure of the paper and identify the kind of information you should gather. Once you have all the information you need, check all of the materials you have and evaluate their relevance to your writing project. Separate the information in order of importance and put aside any stuff you think are unnecessary, and sort them out. You can transcribe your notes or outline into a file and store them on the computer after writing them down on paper so that you have a secured digital copy that would be accessible when you need it. You may also see training course outline templates.

2. Pick your statement

Once information has been gathered and organized well, you need to ask what it is trying to tell you. For your writing to have unity of thought you must also acquire a theme that pervades its parts. This can be really challenging so try asking yourself this question after reading through what you have written in your notes: What is this trying to tell me? Is there a message waiting to be uncovered in this maze? Once you’re able to determine what that is, write it down in one sentence and read if it’s strong enough to be your thematic statement. This will also help you regain your train of thought because you can always go back to it, as you do your actual writing. You may also see thesis outline templates.

3. Write the outline

Approach your article the way you want to, or by picking a style you are most comfortable with and develop your outline according to this style. After you have written an outline, go over it again and make sure you have left nothing out. Is it already ready for you to build an essay from? Is your statement clear enough to use and are all ideas an points in your paragraphs organized? You may also see marketing plan outlines.

Basic Outline Template

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Basic Essay Outline Template

basic essay outline template 788x1020

Outlining can really be very time-consuming, but the process as a whole is well worth the blood, sweat, and tears you pour into it. Once you’re already comfortable with the way you write an outline you’ll realize that it is probably the best way to come up with a structured, well-thought and organized written piece. You may also see proposal outline templates.

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