Study Tips 101 :: How to Write the Perfect Essay

As I've mentioned in multiple posts before, my schoolwork and grades mean a lot to me. I've developed various tips and tricks to enhance my performance in school, and one of them is how I outline essays. Whenever I'm assigned an essay to write, I always outline it before writing it because it's just so much easier for me.


The picture above is the outline I did for a history essay. (Side note: The picture is kind of small, so let me know if you want a larger version!) I always break my outlines down into different sections, so I'll show you guys exactly what sections I do.

First section | Write exactly what your essay topic is about. It's so much easier to me have the question right on my paper instead of having to keep looking at my computer or another piece of paper to see what I have to write about.
Next three sections | Divide the paper into two columns. In the left column, write one of the specific details you have to write a paragraph about. The three specific details I had to write a paragraph each about were public education, temperance, and women's rights. In the right column, write down any notes about that topic that you are going to include in your essay. You can either use bullet points or full sentences - whichever works best for you.

For this essay, I didn't make an outline of the introduction and conclusion paragraphs, but I usually do. The introduction and conclusion paragraphs can go on a separate piece of paper, and just like the specific details, you can either use bullet points or full sentences. For the thesis statement in the introductory paragraph, make sure to include the three specific details you are going to be writing about in the bulk of the essay.

My history teacher didn't make us cite our information for that essay because all of the information came from our history textbook, but if you are using various sources and have to cite your sources, make sure to keep track of the sources you used and where you used them in your outline.

This type of outline really only works for writing informational essays; I do a whole different type of outline for writing an essay about a piece of literature or something, so let me know if you guys want me to show you how I do that outline, too!

Do you outline your essays in a similar way?

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