The essence of outlining in writing

If you want to write an essay, it’s just as right to gather your thoughts or think about what you want to write about in order to get clear and logical content.

If you want to write an essay, it’s just as right to gather your thoughts or think about what you want to write about in order to get clear and logical content. The key to writing any successful paper is outlining the topics you wish to write about before you actually begin them down.


What actually is an outline in writing?

An outline is the main points of your essay listed in an orderly manner. Outlining helps you to organize and structure your relevant topics, subtopics and other supporting details.

An outline helps you to better structure your paper and organize your ideas about the specific topic ahead of time so that when you sit down to write, you are confident in what you are working on. Do you usually outline when writing?

If you ever want to write an essay, it is recommended you begin with an outline. It helps in better ideas in a logical structure. Let’s dive into some benefits of writing an essay outline


Maximum Clarity

In writing, you always need to have focus on the subject matter of the content you find yourself writing. You need to always have that in mind in every step of the idea you decide to develop. No matter the type of facts you present or how interesting you decide to make your content look, you must always make sure everything comes In line with the content you are writing.

An outline in this sense draws out your ideas and helps you make sure you are clearly focusing on the subject matter and not going astray from your main motive.  The purpose of your writing should be clearly felt in your writing without diving into unrelated matters.

Proper order of content

This helps you analyze the type of essay you are writing and helps you know the available options on how to better arrange your essay. It is important to note that there are different kinds of essays and quite often, each one of them has a unique order they follow.  Your outline will help you better determine whether you have gathered all your relevant points and have structured it well to suit what you seek to achieve.

Better Transitioning

The use of transition words is very significant when writing better essays. It helps improve the readability of the essay, makes it more appealing to read with the presence of appropriate pauses and breaks. Transitional words are words that help make a piece of writing flow better and connect one idea to the next. In the world of writing, there are different types of transitions that show variant sorts of relationships. This is because there’s more than one way to connect ideas. If a reader ever wonders how they jumped from one point to another, you’ve missed an opportunity for a crafty transition. A well-devised outline will help you see if your transitions are smooth and on point to ensure your content is in the right order.

Good organization

A better outline helps writers approach topics in a sensible and tactical manner. It can effectively lead you to be able to  cover everything you need to cover in the argument, hence, taking away all unnecessities.

Following a correct order always makes reading appealing to the reader and it makes sense to them as well

Detailed and informative writing

Over here, the right words can be set rolling in achieving maximum clarity. With outlines, there is concision and detail about the message being sent. 

Photo by Cathryn Lavery on Unsplash

Types of Outlines

Topic and subtopic outline

This is a type of outline that makes available the topics or main ideas behind what you are writing about. It shows the specific areas you want to write about.


Topic: Teenage Pregnancy in Africa

1.       Causes

  1. Family, community and social pressure to marry
  2.  Lack of education on reproductive health and rights
  3.  Curiosity
  4.  Peer influence
  5.  Poor health services

2.       Effects

  1. Rejection and stigma by society
  2.  Health consequences
  3. Childhood accidents
  4. Lower birth weight

3.       Preventive Measures

  1.    Education and awareness
  2.  Frequent counseling

Sentence Outline

A sentence outline is more detailed. As compared to the topic outline, the sentence outline is usually made up of statements or sentences.


Topic: Healthy Diet and its significance

A healthy diet is a diet that helps prevent malnutrition in all forms as well as a range of non-communicable diseases and conditions.

Groups of Food

The foods we eat are put into six Groups according to their sources and function.

These foods perform three main functions in the body. An item can only be classified as food if it successfully performs at least one of these functions and they are also known as functional groups;

1.       Body Building foods for growth and repair of worn-out tissues

2.       Protective foods for protection against diseases

3.       Energy-giving foods provide the body with heat and energy

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