How to Write an Essay Outline: MLA and APA Style
1. First, decide on your topic. This is an important starting point to begin the outline writing process. Topics should be specific and interesting to your readers. If you’re not sure about a topic, look up resources online or read books that are relevant to the topic. 2. Make a list of keywords to describe your topic. These keywords will help you find information faster when doing research later. 3. Look for resources relevant to your topic and read in depth to find the information you need. Record all the resources used so they are easy to refer back to later when writing your outline. 4. Structure an outline based on the information gathered from the resource and add some personal opinion if needed. This structure should contain the main points of your essay and provide an overview of what the essay is about. 5. Write the first draft of the outline according to the structure that has been made before and make sure that each main point is presented clearly and accurately and easily understood by your readers. 6. After that, correct the draft outline according to positive feedback from the professor or other colleagues if necessary so that the results will be even better when the essay is complete.
What is an outline?
The outline of an MLA essay is as follows: Introduction: The introduction should provide background information on the topic covered. It should also outline the main purpose of the essay and provide an overview of how the topic will be developed. Body: The body is the most important part of an essay outline. It should have several paragraphs each discussing one important aspect of the topic. Each paragraph must have a strong argument to support it, and each argument must be supported by relevant examples or evidence. Conclusion: The conclusion should summarize all the main points made in the body of the essay and outline how they contribute to the main theme. It should also provide suggestions for the future or provide solutions to problems faced by the author.
First, you must create a title and include information about the author. Then, you must write an abstract for APA or a summary for MLA. After that, you must include a table of contents and a list of figures if you have one. Next, you should write the main body of your academic paper using well-organized paragraphs. Finally, you must include a list of references that fit the chosen format.
How do I write an outline?
Paragraph 1: Introduction. This is the opening paragraph that presents the topic and gives an overview of what will be covered. Paragraph 2: Thesis. This is a paragraph that states your opinion on a topic and explains how you are going to prove it. Paragraphs 3-4: The Body. This paragraph contains your main arguments to support your thesis, including examples, evidence, and other reasons to support your opinion. Paragraph 5: Conclusion. This paragraph concludes your argument by repeating the thesis and making a strong statement about the topic.
Key elements to decipher
- Research & Notes: Prior to the writing process, it’s important to find a credible source and take note of it. Search across credible websites, as well as academic search engines, Google Scholar or Oxford Academic, to find reliable references to include in academic papers.
- Prioritize your thesis: Since the thesis statement is the summary of the entire paper, start prioritizing it before working on the other parts of the outline. This thesis can guide you throughout the planning and writing process.
- Write down your ideas: Assuming you’ve written the basic title of the outline, write down all the main points from the sources you found in the thesis and the body.
- Where includes references: For Cause and effect , AP English API. , Sitting essay , Admission Essay , along with other formal writing styles, all references are included in the Body section. Excludes reflection papers and analytical papers, where it is acceptable to include a citation in the introductory paragraph.
- Introduction: For most academic styles, the introduction is the opening line to the paper. As such, it’s important to plan something that draws in an outline. As mentioned, writing styles, for example, a reflection essay or analytical paper, allow for the use of a quote as an opening.
- In conclusion: The entire paper should be summarized in the last paragraph, restating the thesis in the first sentence, adding suggestions, predictions, and/or opinions in the sentences that follow. As for the last sentence, it should summarize the purpose of this paper.
General outline format
- Essay title:
- Student’s name:
- Professor Name:
- Class (optional)
A computer is a tool used to complete various tasks. It can do a wide variety of things, from calculating to creating graphic designs. Computers can also be used to communicate with other people around the world via the internet. In other words, computers have become an important part of modern life. Computers have come a long way since the early 20th century. At first, computers were only used by mathematicians and scientists to solve complex problems. However, over time, computers have become more sophisticated and easy to use by everyone. Today, many people have access to computers and the internet in their own homes. This allows them to learn about new technologies and keep up with the times. In addition, computers have also helped humans in various other fields. For example, information technology has helped companies manage their data more efficiently and accurately. Network technology has also made it easier for people to collaborate remotely without having to physically meet. In addition, robotic technology has helped humans in their work in a faster and more efficient way. In conclusion, computers have had a major impact on modern human life. It has made human life easier and comfortable in a way that would not have been possible without this technology. Computers are also the main conduit for information available worldwide and are an important tool for researchers to find answers to their questions about the world around them.
- Open paragraph.
Una thesis es una firmación o proposition que se presenta como conclusión de un argumento. Una puede thesis ser la opinion de un author sobre un tema determinado, y normalmente se presenta en forma de ensayo o trabajo académico. The thesis es el punto central de la investigación y sirve como guía para el resto del contenido del trabajo. El objetivo principal de una thesis demostrar al lector que el autor ha desarrollado un argumento solid y convincednte sobre el tema en cuestión.
- Brief description of the entire paper.
- Link the sentence to the first body paragraph.
In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we live. Most people have had to adapt to a new life consisting of social distancing, travel restrictions and wearing face masks. Body paragraph 2. The need to adapt to this situation has forced many people to learn new ways to do their jobs, communicate with friends and family, and seek entertainment. Technology has played an important role in helping people adapt quickly and effectively.
- Evidence / references.
- Explanation (related to the thesis).
- Link the sentence to the second body paragraph.
When I was six, I spent a lot of time around the house. I play with my friends outside, building camps and playing adventure games. We also often play at the nearby amusement park and enjoy the beautiful natural scenery. I also like to see the birds and fish in the river near our house.
- Evidence / references.
- Explanation (related to the thesis).
- Link the sentence to the third body paragraph.
When we realize that we can make a difference, we start to see the world in a different way. We begin to appreciate the natural wealth and resources available to us. We are also starting to realize that there are many things we can do to help other people and the environment. We may not be able to see results right away, but every small action taken will make a difference in the future.
- Evidence / references.
- Explanation (related to the thesis).
- Link the sentence to the conclusion.
Based on the results of the analysis above, it can be concluded that consumers who buy products from this online shop tend to be between 25-34 years old, with male gender. In addition, they also tend to come from metropolitan areas and use credit card payment methods.
- Summary of the entire paper.
- Conclusive punishment.
“The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” – Steve Jobs Steve Jobs said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
- Footnotes or bibliography
MLA Outline: Author Name. “Article Title.” Journal Name, Volume, Number, Year of Issue, pages. APA outline: Author Name. (Year of Publication). Article title. Journal Name, Volume(Number), pages.
MLA outline example.
- Introductory sentence: Stonehenge is a sprawling center for ancient history.
- Link sentences to the thesis: Standing 13 feet high, it is one of the oldest structures in England.
- Paper description: This paper explains how Stonehenge was built and its purpose.
- First Argument/Claim: Stonehenge was built in 3001BC.
- Second Argument/Claim: Stonehenge is known as a place for religious worship.
- Third Argument/Claim: Other Stonehenge-like structures exist around Europe.
- Reference: The circular cut around Stonehenge is believed to have been built around 3000BC, according to research.
- Explanation/Claim: Around the end of the stone age, the pagans gathered and built the first segments of what has become the Stone Henge.
- Link Sentence: Which raises a trust issue.
- Reference: During the late Tudor era, most people believed that ancient Britons placed stones for the purpose of religious practice.
- Explanation/Claim: From the end of the 2nd millennium to the modern day, pagan practices were a common explanation for why the Rock-Henge was built.
- Link Sentence: More evidence emerges regarding the mysterious structure.
- Reference: Around 1100 BC, stones like Stonehenge appeared.
- Explanation/Claim : The structure is believed to have been built by migrants.
- Link Sentence:
- Paper summary: Overall, ancient stones have caused great interest throughout human history with science and assumptions.
- Conclusive sentence: No one knows for sure how they were built.
- “Stonehenge History” https://www.english-herbage.org.uk/visit/places/stoneHenge/History-and-stories/History/
“Why was Stonehenge built?”
“Stonehenge is not alone: 7 ancient Megaliths you’ve never seen.”
APA outline example.
- Title: The dangers of using a cell phone
- Student’s name: Jake Smith
- Professor Name: Stephen Miller.
- Class (optional): Class of 2019.
- Introductory sentence: Mobile phones have taken a drastic effect on our daily lives in the worst way possible.
- Link sentences to the thesis: The daily use of mobile technology has gotten out of control.
- Information: This paper describes the regular harms and negative effects on humans regarding cell phone use. The ordeal can be life-threatening, or just socially depriving.
- First Argument: High amounts of cell phone use result in negative health consequences.
- Second argument: Mobile phone use has a negative effect on human interaction.
- Third Argument: Texting while driving is worse than drinking and driving.
- Evidence/Reference: “The mobile phone communicates with the base station using radiofrequency (RF) radiation. If the RF radiation is high enough, it has a ‘thermal’ effect, meaning it raises body temperature. There is concern that the low RF radiation emitted by cell phones could cause health problems such as headaches or brain tumors. ” (“Your Phone and Health”)
- Explanation/Claim: The radiation from the phone has cancerous elements after long term use. In other words, long-term use of a person’s cell phone could put them at risk of developing a terminal illness, or worse. There is still a lack of evidence for these claims as cell phones are not very old.
- Link Sentence: Which brings us to how cell phones are destroying human interaction.
- Evidence/Reference: “Sherry Turkle argues that cell phone use when in social situations affects the quality of human conversation. Turkle says that it makes people less open and honest in conversation. She also says it makes people less empathetic. She uses children’s schools as an example, stating that children -children seem unable to understand one another or show empathy for one another.” (“Cell phones and human interaction.”)
- Explanation/Claim: The use of cell phones has come so far that humans are no longer communicating. Families go to restaurants, cafes and parks without interacting with each other because of their addiction to cell phones. Humans also have far less empathy than they did 15 years ago because of the lost interaction that could have been gained during this time period. It appears mostly in schoolchildren who have been born into this way of life.
- Link Sentence: Apart from that, the use of cell phones while driving also comes with life-threatening risks.
- Evidence/Reference: “The Transportation Research Lab found that drivers who use their cell phones to send text messages (…) Research found, with Texter’s steering control was 91 percent poorer than drivers who devoted their full concentration to the road.” (“Texting while driving is more dangerous than drinking.”)
- Explanation/Claim: Using a mobile device while driving a motor vehicle has more drastic effects than driving a drink. On record, there have been more deaths worldwide from text driving and drink driving.
- Link the sentences at the conclusion: Humans are completely addicted to cell phones, as far as dangerous driving, health risks and lack of interaction go.
- Summary of the whole paper: Restate the thesis.
- Conclusive sentence: Continuation of excessive use of mobile phones is becoming a major threat to humanity in every aspect.
“Your phone and health”
“Cell phones and human interaction.”
“SMS while driving is more dangerous than drinking,”
Video Guide: How to Write an Essay Outline
Common essay formats also help writers organize their ideas more effectively. By having a clear structure, writers can better organize their ideas and avoid mistakes such as repetition or missing storylines. This also allows the writer to easily incorporate relevant information and prevent it from drifting off topic. In addition, the general essay format is also useful for editors. With the same format, the editor can quickly see whether the article has been structured correctly or not. This makes the editing process easier and faster because the editor does not need to go through every paragraph looking for errors or discrepancies. The general essay format also allows the editor to provide suggestions on how the article can be improved without having to overhaul the entire text. In conclusion, the general essay format is very useful for writers and editors. With this format, writers can easily structure their ideas and prevent mistakes such as repetition or missing storylines. In addition, this format also facilitates the editing process because the editor can see quickly whether the article has been compiled correctly or not.