The first thing that one must do before jumping right into the essay is to create an outline for it. This outline is also known as a research design which helps in framing your essay. It can also be defined as the plan, skeleton or blueprint of your essay. Writing an essay without being clear of what you are supposed to write can be hard and frustrating. By creating an outline for your essay, you make it clear for yourself as to what the essay is about. As a result, you can get done with the essay in a shorter amount of time.
A good outline for an essay should answer the following questions:
- What is the essay about?
- What is data required?
- What is going to be the sources of the data?
- How much time will it consume?
- What is the type of essay?
- What does the essay recommend or promote?
For a better understanding, follow the tips given below in the exact order to create a comprehensive outline for your essay:
- Title and purpose of the essay:
The first and foremost thing that you need to decide is the topic and the purpose of the essay. The topic must be in the form of a concise statement. If you have an essay writing job, then it is likely that the client will provide you with the topic and purpose of the essay. Otherwise, the purpose of the essay must fill a material gap which has been left empty by other authors.
- Define the type of the essay:
There are generally five types of essay, such as descriptive, experimental, correlational, review and meta-analytic. Descriptive is like a narration of previous studies with your analysis, and experimental involves field experiments in a controlled environment with a log of the report. A correlational is where you relate two or more studies with each other, and the result of one depends on the other. A review can be best described with the example of a literature review; however, a meta-analytic essay deduces the conclusion with the help of number, figures and statistics.
- Type of data, your methodology and its sources:
In most academic essays that you have to write for your own degree or as a part of your essay writing job, you have to write a literature review of the books that you have used as a source of your essay. It is always better to list down those books and select the material you are taking from them and organise it in a file. This way you will know where everything is and what each book says.
- Make a list of your main ideas:
By making a list of your main ideas, you will be able to point out your research questions rather quickly when you start typing out the essay. The research questions define what your essayis basedon. Throughout your essay, you will be answering these research questions.
- Organise your main points:
An excellent essay always has a good flow to it. You must not confuse the reader with random ideas thrown in at the most random ideas. So, make sample headings of your main ideas in a way that the ending of each connects with the beginning with the other.
Although outlining your essay may seem like a daunting task but, you will thank yourself when you start your essay. An outline, even the roughest ones, help in glueing your essay together.