The Outline

Before beginning a draft of a paper, a writer should consider it good practice to develop a working outline. As a part of the writing process, it is an initial means of organizing one's thoughts by providing a "map," so to speak, to help navigate the early stages of composition. It is important to realize, though, that the outline is not a contract written in stone; it is merely a tool to help one get started with the daunting prospect of writing a college paper. In the later stages of the writing process, one may deviate greatly from what the outline initially detailed. This does not mean that the outline was a waste of time. On the contrary, it is what propelled the writer onward.

This page will focus on how an outline addresses the following three basic parts of an essay: