A college essay outline is a valuable step in effective essay writing. This is done during the pre-writing stage, and aids the writer in organizing his thoughts in a logical, orderly fashion before he puts in the meat of the essay. Planning the essay beforehand will save the writer from unnecessary reorganization or even rewriting the whole essay later on. Starting off a college essay without an outline is similar to building a house without laying out the foundations. It is weak, disorganized and all over the place, which will not look so promising when presented to the college admissions.
A college essay outline is composed of three parts: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. The introduction, as the name suggests, orients the reader to what the essay is about. This is usually the length of one paragraph and will contain two vital sentences: the opening sentence and the thesis statement. Opening an essay can be in the form of a quotation, a question, a story, an experience, or anything else that can surely catch the reader’s attention. The thesis statement, on the other hand, will contain the topic and the purpose of the whole essay. The introduction can either make or break the whole essay since it will make the reader decide whether or not to continue reading.
The body of the essay is where the writer will put in the details to support the thesis statement. In order to sufficiently give support to the thesis statement, a minimum of three main ideas is required. If, for example, three main ideas are to be presented in the essay, they can be further elaborated on (each with its own paragraph) to fully explain how it is relevant to the thesis statement. In order to achieve a smooth flow of your essay, transition sentences for each main idea can also be added.
The final paragraph of the essay will be devoted to reiterating the thesis statement (but not copying it word-for-word) and summarizing the whole argument.
Writing an impressive college admissions essay is a daunting task for most of us. But by applying the concepts of a college essay outline to your college admissions essay, you will have a huge advantage of having a concise, well-written and well-organized essay that will surely put yourself on the accepted list of applicants.