Why it is important to have an outline before writing a paper?

It is good to do an outline for your academic paper before you write it because the outline helps you to organize your thoughts and organize how you will write your paper.  An outline allows you see whether or not the topic selected is worth writing about.  An outline gives you the set-up for how you will write the paper, how many paragraphs will be in the paper, and the flow of the academic paper.  The outline gives the professor an overview of what the academic paper will be about.

How to write a good outline for an academic paper?   

You should take your time when writing the outline because from the outline is where you get the topic, the main points for the paper, and format for the paper.  The outline for the academic paper makes it easy for you to begin writing the paper on the topic selected.  If done in a timely manner, the outline will give you synopsis of whether or not the topic is worth the time and effort to write about.  If the topic is not worth the time and effort to write about, you still have time to select another topic to write about in the paper.

Here are a few tips and pointers in writing a good outline for an academic paper:

  • The main parts of a good outline are: Introduction, body, and conclusion.
  • The Introduction includes: thesis statement, overview of what the paper will be discussing, ideas for the paper, beginning sentence that will grab the targeted reader’s attention to read more, and end with the thesis statement.
  • The Body includes: the main points of the topic, the paragraph order for each main point, and provides evidence and facts to support the main points of the academic paper.
  • The Conclusion includes: rephrases the thesis statement, gives a summary of the main points of the paper, and the last sentence of the conclusion should be the clincher to get the targeted reader to agree with your position on the topic.
  • The outline should briefly state your position on the main topic of the academic paper.
  • Always write the thesis statement and main points first when doing the outline.
  • Keep the thesis statement in mind when writing the outline for the academic paper.

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