How To Write A Perfect Essay: Begin With A Broad Outline

Do Not Write Without a Roadmap

A lot of talented writers prefer to compose their essays “by the seats of their pants”: in other words, by writing quickly and impulsively, without first creating an explicit plan. While prewriting skills and practices are emphasized in English classes from fifth grade to college, many students loath the process and prefer to write freely and speedily.

Nonetheless, writing without a plan can leave you lost in the woods. When you are attempting to craft a compelling or persuasive essay at the collegiate level, you must be certain that your paper contains all the necessary elements and progresses in a logical manner that the reader can follow. Writing without a plan will lead to meandering sentences, poor organization, confused thinking, and perplexed readers.

How Do You Prevent Disorganized Essays?

Even if you are compelled to write impulsively, you should begin with a broad outline of some sort. An outline does not necessarily have to follow a regimented, roman-numeral style format the way you were taught in high school English courses. An outline can consist of just a few very general bullet points, or a flowchart that demonstrates in a visual manner how the essay will move from one idea to the next.

If you want your papers to be organized and logically coherent, you should establish some kind of plan before beginning. If you are a visual thinker, consider writing an outline using a Venn diagram, a flow chart, a path diagram, or some other abstract representation of your ideas. If you prefer a more narrative structure, write a few very brief summary sentences of how you would like your essay to flow.

How Do You Write a Broad Outline?

If you do not like preplanning in too much detail, you can begin preparing for your essay by simply crafting a broad outline. A broad outline does not specify the content of every sentence or even every paragraph. Instead, it just touches on the absolutely most essential considerations that you intend to mention in your paper.

A broad outline might consist of just five to ten words, for instance; one for each paragraph. The goal of writing a broad outline is to cast a bit of light on the process, so you know where you are going once you start writing. If you keep the outline simple and open-ended enough, you still have plenty of room to be creative and exploratory when you actually sit down to write the paper.