Teach English in Mexico



Construction of the Outline

  • When one goes about the task of writing an outline for an essay, one wants to be sure to conceive of the entire project. One wants to be able to take the project from beginning to end and then construct the outline.
  • One must conceive of the idea, research it, gather the notes, organize them, and finally write the outline.

The Outline Must Flow

The outline must flow in an orderly fashion. It must open with a summation of the thesis statement, develop the idea in the first subheading, go into detail in the next subheading, and repeat or flow from there with the second major heading.


It should look something like this:

  1. Major Heading
    • Subheading
    • Subheading
  2. Second Major Heading

Central Thought

Firstly, the student must identify a central thought, a thought that is important to him because of an event that happened to him that traumatized him or created a central question within him. Or he could identify an issue in society or have a thought that is related to a current event. What is important is that the question is significant enough to the student that he becomes passionate about the subject and is able to convey that passion to the reader through the essay.

The student will then convert the salient points of his thought into outline form, listing the major points of the thought in the major headings.

Thesis Statement

The thesis statement should appear in the first major heading. The topic sentences should follow as listed in the subsequent major headings. The theme should be developed throughout the outline and finally the throughout the essay.

The Stimulation of Discussion

As the student lists the subheadings, he should have in mind having a discussion around his notes, as the outline is just a guide toward further discussion. He should just be making a few notes to stimulate discussion. The notes should serve as triggers for ensuing development.

The outline should be in a constant state of revision. It should be revised after the first draft is written. It should be revised again as the second draft is written. The outline is the basis of the essay. It should act as the skeletal structure of the essay. The theme should be developed as an argument is developed or a thesis is proven. Actually the thesis should be proven along geometric lines so that each corollary offered supports and eventually proves the argument.


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