Writing an outstanding outline for an investigative essay


The outline for any essay is an important step in the writing process. It is a way to organize information into cohesive material that flows together. The process consists of taking the results of your investigation and using them to prove a thesis, this means organizing the information from sources that support the stated thesis.

The layout of most outlines, despite the type of paper, is very similar with a few possible differences. It also depends on the length of the assigned assignment. We will discuss how to write an outline that you cannot go wrong on. The steps provided below will allow your outline to flow in the proper direction while helping record what source the information came from. All essays should have citations for the sources used.

Outline Model


  • Use the roman numeral ┬ástyle outline
  • Start with your thesis statement
  • Use the ┬ámain body paragraphs for supporting information
  • Write a conclusion
  • Make a works cited page
  • Use citations and references

This list may look short, but it is just the basic of writing your outline. The first thing to remember is using roman numerals for the levels of your outline. The first will be your introduction, indent and add three brief reasons you believe your thesis to be true. The next bullet should be even with the bullet for the introduction/thesis bullet point. It will hold your first supporting bit of information. It is okay to add sub-bullets to help keep information properly organized. There will be at least three main body paragraphs to support your thesis. Each paragraph will host your one point of your research and evidence. The last paragraph will be a summary of the entire paper. It will be flush with the introduction much like the introduction and first bullet for each piece of supporting evidence. On a new, clean sheet of paper, create a works cited, or bibliography, page with the information for your resources.

The paper should now look organized, writing the rough draft will allow you to insert full sentences and elaborate details. The result will be an outstanding outline that is easy to follow, easy to use, and makes it easier to write your essay. The information should easily be able to format into the rough draft. You should be looking at the skeleton draft of your paper, a few sentences and you will have a rough draft.

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