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Essay Outline Template

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Written by
Dr. Helen Johnson
  • Icon Calendar 17 May 2024
  • Icon Page 694 words
  • Icon Clock 4 min read

Many people in the whole world write essays for different purposes. However, newcomers in writing may not know the main structure and principles of writing essays. In this case, they need an essay outline template to learn how to write academic papers. Basically, the essay consists of four main sections, including the introduction, body paragraphs, conclusion, and reference list of used sources. Also, in the introduction part, people need to develop a thesis statement that is a central claim of the essay. Hence, this essay outline template includes some tips on main sections of the essay.


By considering the essay outline template, an introduction should start with a phrase that attracts the reader’s attention. In turn, other sentences must provide clear background information on the essay. For example, they should help a reader to understand the scope of the article. Besides, these sentences should focus on the topic and lead to the central claim. In this case, the introductory paragraph should end with a thesis statement. Along these lines, the central claim should contain a concise purpose of the paper made by the writer. Besides, the thesis guides the scope of the body paragraphs. Thus, the introduction must provide an overview of the essay and state the central claim.

Essay outline template

Body Paragraphs in the Essay Outline Template

A body is another part of the essay outline template. Basically, each body paragraph must begin with a unique topic statement, dwelling on a single idea. In this case, this sentence contains the primary purpose of a paragraph. For instance, a paragraph should provide evidence and explanation to clarify the topic statement. Besides, one must provide a sentence or two to explain the in-text citation. Then, the third sentence in the paragraph should describe the evidence and relate it to the topic statement. In turn, the explanation should be clear and straightforward to understand. As a rule, a person can provide a maximum of three examples to support the topic statement. Besides, the last sentence in a paragraph should link the topic statement to the thesis and the next section. Thus, each body paragraph should dwell on a single idea, related to the central argument, to provide evidence and justification.

Conclusion of the Essay Outline Template

The conclusion should reaffirm the thesis statement and summarize the essay. For example, this element of the essay outline template should connect the essay back to the thesis. In this case, one should not merely restate the argument but also connect it up to the body paragraphs. Besides, the conclusion should not contain new ideas because this part summarizes the essay. In turn, the conclusion provides a better understanding of the audience. Thus, an article should end with a clear and relevant conclusion.


The list of references is the last section of the essay outline template. Basically, it should start at a new page with full bibliographic details. For example, the reference should appear on a separate page in the essay. In this case, the title of the reference list depends on the paper format. Besides, the title should be in plural even when the reference list contains one source. In turn, the reference list must provide enough bibliographic details to identify sources. As a rule, every entry of a source must have names of the author, the title, and date of publication. Besides, the entries should include the place of publication, range of pages, Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, and volume and series numbers where applicable. Thus, the reference list should contain sufficient bibliographic details.    

Other Features

The reference list in the essay outline template should contain all sources used in in-text citations arranged in alphabetical order and with uniform spacing. For example, sources should appear in alphabetical order of their author’s last names. The spacing and indentation of the list of references should be uniform. In this case, all the entries should have equal spaces. However, one should not leave spaces between the entries. Besides, the second line of every item in the reference list must start at half an inch from the left margin. Thus, the reference section should have all cited sources organized in alphabetical order.

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