How to Write a College Essay Outline: A Full Guide for Student + Template

To many students, a college essay is a different breed. It requires more thought and effort than papers that students wrote in the past. Because of this, learning the process of writing a college essay outline can be a massive learning tool. Not only does it save time in the long run, but it helps students to better organize thoughts and paper as a whole. Moreover, you can always use our college essay service to ease the assignment for you. 

What is a College Essay Outline and Why is it Important?

A college essay outline is a basic guide to follow so that the structure of the paper makes sense. Even when students are concerned with what should a college essay be about, an outline helps the process. In writing a college admissions essay, it is important that all thoughts and ideas are presented in a logical manner. Without that logic, it is possible that those in admissions will not see the value of having the student at their university. Understanding how to outline a college essay is the beginning of presenting a student’s best self.

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How to Write an Outline for College Essay?

The perfect college essay outline exists, and it is as easy to follow as any other. By following the guidelines of a college essay template, a student can complete the task without the need to buy custom college essays. A basic essay outline has all the capabilities of working for a university admissions paper as well. The basics include an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.

How Should an Introduction be Structured?

A college application essay should start with a wonderfully written introduction. While the topic may vary from school to school, an introduction is important no matter what the subject matter is. Whether it is a personal statement for college or a response to a modern social issue, one thing remains true. Writing a college essay outline starts with the first aspect: the introduction.

The first part of the introduction is responsible for getting the attention of the reader. This is known as the hook or attention grabber. In the middle of the introductory paragraph, the writer should inform of the main points in the body paragraphs. The last sentence is typically the thesis statement – the single sentence that summarizes the purpose of the paper.

What is Included in the Body Paragraphs?

The body of a paper is the most important part, as it contains the details of the topic. Most usually, the body paragraphs are split up into three sections. Each section has its own main idea that is explained and analyzed throughout the paragraphs. The best of body paragraphs in a college essay begins with a topic sentence that identifies what that section is about. That sentence is then expanded upon to build up the section.

What Information Belongs in a Conclusion?

A conclusion is often the easiest part of a college paper because it simply revises the wording surrounding the body. It typically starts with re-explaining the thesis statement, which reminds readers of the overall takeaway of the piece of writing. Then, the conclusion branches out into a brief explanation of the body paragraphs. The last sentence should wrap things up nicely and make it clear that the document has come to its end.

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What is a Good College Essay Outline Template?

There are a couple of versions of a college paper outline template that can come in handy for an aspiring college student. The basic essay outline is a simple template that can help with any number of topics.

First college essay outline example:

  1. Introduction
    1. Attention grabber
    2. Foreshadow body main points
    3. Thesis Statement
  2. Body Paragraph #1
    1. Topic Sentence
    2. Evidence
  3. Body Paragraph #2
    1. Topic Sentence
    2. Evidence
  4. Body Paragraph #3
    1. Topic Sentence
    2. Evidence
  5. Conclusion
    1. Restate Thesis Statement
    2. Rehash body points
    3. Close

The above is the most basic essay outline.

Second college essay outline example:

The second style of the outline has a way of working just as well, but also includes a level of creativity.

  1. Introduction
    1. Main Thought – Thesis
    2. Importance of Thesis
    3. Preview points
  2. Body Paragraph #1
    1. Point 1
    2. Evidence
    3. Relation to Thesis
  3. Body Paragraph #2
    1. Point 2
    2. Evidence
    3. Relation to Thesis
  4. Body Paragraph #3
    1. Point 3
    2. Evidence
    3. Relation to Thesis
  5. Conclusion
    1. Rehash points from the body
    2. Relate points to Thesis as a whole
    3. Explain why it is important

By using one of the two outline examples from above, a college essay is sure to include all of the relevant data and thought processes. In a multi-faceted paper, using an outline to construct a logical document is key.

Know how to structure your paper

  • 12-point Times New Roman
  • 0″ between paragraphs
  • 1″ margin all around
  • double spaced (275 words/page) / single-spaced (550 words/page)
  • 0.5″ first line of a paragraph
Proceed to order

PapersOwl editors can also format your paper according to your specific requirements.

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What is the Proper Format for a College Paper?

Choosing between the multiple formats and styles for citations can be difficult if the basics are not understood. However, if the prompt fails to notify the writer of a preferred format, there is a standard. MLA and APA are most common for this kind of writing, but it varies depending on the specific topic. Keep in mind the list of topics to avoid in college essays. APA citations are generally used in Psychology and the Sciences and MLA is preferred by Humanities topics. Chicago is most commonly used for business.

Creating an outline to follow prior to drafting the actual college essay is huge in finding success as a student. A basic essay outline can shine a light on any gaps in thought and also save time within the writing process. When writing a college admissions essay, it is smartest to put an outline to use. Acceptance into a quality college may depend on it. If you have any difficulties with writing college essays, you can always ask us “write my college essay” and we will help you!

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