No matter what grade you are in or what year of college you are currently taking on, essays will be part of your normal schedule and, as such, you should know how to construct a strong outline that will make the writing process easier. Naturally, your essay will be in the introduction, body, and conclusion format. So, let’s begin with the introduction.
Your introduction should be captivating and interesting from the jump, but it also must be general. Don’t get too specific with your introduction, because this is the portion of your paper where you are simply letting the reader know what you will be writing about. Your thesis statement will be contained in your introduction, of course, but again, try not to get into too much detail at this point. Introduce your topic, perhaps provide a scenario, anecdote, or a quote that is relevant to your topic, and finish it off with your thesis. Remember that your thesis will shape your entire paper, so think of it as the cornerstone or foundation of everything you write, including your introduction.
When outlining your body paragraphs, it is important to gather all the research you have done and look over it carefully. Your research should act as a general guide to how you structure your outline and, ultimately, your actual paper. Consider your research and identify which pieces present the strongest argument for your thesis. Each section of the body should be centered on a specific portion of your research. In other words, structure your outline so that each body section is arguing one topic that relates to your thesis. Your first body section should be reserved for your weakest argument and it should get stronger from there, until you come to your final body section, which should be your best and most well thought out point.
Once you have the topics of your body paragraphs outlined, the hardest part is over. Your conclusion should be a recap of all the information you provided in your essay and some final thoughts from you, the writer. Structure your conclusion section like this: a recap of your research and points you discussed in the body, a tie-in to your thesis statement (your conclusion should always tie into your thesis and possibly into any other valid points you made in your introduction, no matter how broad) and final thoughts or opinions from you.