Outlining your ideas is important as it helps you to:
- see the structure of your main points and sub-points clearly.
- check the logic and completeness of what you will be writing, revealing any gaps, repetition, or illogical steps in the development of your essay.
- manage your time more efficiently.
Break down the outline into manageable sections, and then assign yourself reasonable time to write the first draft of each section. Remember, the introduction can be very time consuming. Leave it until the end because it is much easier to write the introduction when you have finished the first draft.
- Begin your essay with an opening sentences or "hook" about your topic that catches the readers' attention.
- Include context; provide the information the reader will need to understand the topic.
- State your thesis, your arguable position on the topic. What side will you take? What will you prove in your essay? What are you going to explore?
- Write a general topic sentence that states the main idea of the paragraph.
- Write down the specific textual evidence or evidence from other sources that you are using to support your thesis.
- Analyse your evidence; tell the reader what is significant or important about this evidence. How does the evidence support your thesis?
- Do not forget a transition sentence. Connect each paragraph with a sentence that demonstrates how each idea leads into the next.
- Refer back to your thesis, but do not simply restate it. Make connections for the reader in your conclusion. Provide the readers an overview of the main ideas.