Writing is a complex process. You have to consider many things at the same time: vocabulary, grammar, linking, paragraphing, use of source material and so on. As you are writing, you need to keep what you have already written in mind as well as think ahead to what you are going to write about next. Writing an outline is one way of making the process easier because you do not need to plan as you go. This means that you can focus on conveying your information clearly and effectively, using appropriate vocabulary and correct grammar.
What to include in your outline?
its simplest form an outline is a list of the main points you intend to
cover in your essay. Ideally, you will have prepared similar lists at
earlier stages of the research process, for example, lists to organize
your reading. When you create an outline at the writing up stage, it is
helpful to include more detail: headings for main points, subheadings
for subsidiary points, and notes from the source material you intend to
include under each. How you arrange your headings depends on the type of
essay you are writing. However, the structure of an essay is normally:
general information in the introduction ? specific information in the
body ? general points in the conclusion.
is worth taking the time to write a really effective introduction; it
gives a favourable first impression of you as a writer and prepares the
reader for the content of your essay. There are many possible ways of
structuring an essay introduction; however, you should aim to achieve
four main tasks, typically in the following order:
1. Motivate your reader
2. Contextualize your essay
3. State your purpose
4. Describe your plan
Organizing the body
your essay question requires you to take a descriptive approach,
organize the main body of your essay in whichever of the ways listed
below is most appropriate to the task.
- If you simply have to describe something, organize your points under headings based on principal features.
- If you have to present a narrative, you generally use a chronological structure.
- If you have to describe a process, group your points into stages.
Writing the conclusion
strong conclusion is important. Because the conclusion is the last
thing to be read, it is the part most likely to be remembered by the
reader. In a conclusion, it is common to do some or all of the
- Remind the reader of why the topic is useful, relevant or interesting.
- Summarize the most important aspects of what you have written.
- State your opinion on the topic (if appropriate).
- Make recommendations for future action (if appropriate).
- Make recommendations for future research (if appropriate).