After deciding on essay topic, the writer should consider the structure of the written work and plan the parts and chapters, which will appear most useful for the discussion of the issue assigned. Creation of an outline is particularly important to those writers, who have a lot of research information, some components of which will naturally be reduced, others- excluded from the discussion. Writers should remember that the initial purpose of outline is organizing their own ideas, so this step should be made basically for their own convenience. By definition, outline implies dividing the essay into parts.

Instructors often have requirements concerning the structure of the paper as well as the outline - for instance, the author might be assigned to provide an expanded outline, which would include subdivisions for each part of the paper. For instance, when writing a pros-and-cons paper, the author might wish to construct a simple outline, composed of the formal parts like "Introduction"; "Arguments in favor of..", "Arguments against.." and "Conclusion", but it might be necessary to expand the second and the third point in order to make the nature of the arguments more concrete and give the instructor a basic idea of the tools the author operates in the discussion.

In order to create an outline, the writer should take a sheet of paper and write the topic at the top. Further, it is necessary to list the aspects to be discussed. For instance, if the writer is assigned to discuss domestic violence, they might divide this issue into the following aspects: violence against children, violence against women, and violence against the elderly. Finally, for self-assistance, the writer might the basic ideas, deriving from these aspects, as well as other useful information like references to the earlier research. Importantly, a formal outline should not contain the results of this final stage of work over the outline, but only clear structure in the point form.

Further information on Essay Writing Basics:

- Topic
-> Outline
- Thesis
- Body
- Introduction
- Conclusion
- Finish

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