Three Tips on Creating an Effective Essay Outline

All essays, and I do mean, all essays, follow one very specific structure which I will detail below.

  1. 1. The Introduction
  2. The Introduction begins with a few sentences of what I call “lead in.” For example, let’s say I’m talking about how to prevent type two diabetes in teens. I might begin by saying something like:

    “Today, with childhood obesity levels at an all-time high, parents are becoming fearful of their children developing diabetes two, even in their pre-teen years. In fact, scientists say that type II diabetes cases in teens are now diagnosed at a rate of ____________ in teens and this is only expected to rise by 2030.”

    Now, what do these sentences do for my essay? Do they get my reader’s attention? Yes. Do they make them care about my topic? Yes.

    Then, I’ve accomplished my goal—beginning my essay in an interesting manner to the reader that draws them into my topic and makes them care about it.

  3. 2. The thesis Statement:
  4. The thesis statement is what your “lead in” sentences are building up for—they tell your reader exactly what assertion you will try to prove with evidence.

    For example, “ In this essay, I will discuss how type two diabetes is on the rise in teens in America, why, and what we can do to combat this.”

    This statement typically comes at the end of paragraph one—if you have a short “lead in” or you can use two paragraphs of lead in that end in a thesis statement, if you have, say, lots of interesting snippets of information you want to use to whet your reader’s appetite.

  5. 3. Evidence paragraphs:
  6. Evidence paragraphs are where gather all the opinions of researchers, scientists and other experts who can help you prove that, say, type two diabetes is a problem in teens, then proving why this is a problem (too much fast food, for example, too much junk food, lack of exercise, video games and other sedentary activities), and more evidence of how we can combat teen diabetes with proper eating, exercise, and more!

  7. 4. The closing paragraph.
  8. Here is where you bring your essay to a close. Essays typically begin very narrow and then move out, and open up, and address the larger picture.

    Try to say something slightly dramatic but academic about what will happen, perhaps, if this problem is not addressed – quickly.

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