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Essay Format Outline Templates

Types of Outlines and Samples

Alphanumeric Outlines

This is the most common type of outline and usually instantly recognizable to most people. The formatting follows these characters, in this order:

  • Roman Numerals
  • Capitalized Letters
  • Arabic Numerals
  • Lowercase Letters

If the outline needs to subdivide beyond these divisions, use Arabic numerals inside parentheses and then lowercase letters inside parentheses. Select the "Sample Outlines" PDF in the Media Box above to download the sample of this outline.

The sample PDF in the Media Box above is an example of an outline that a student might create before writing an essay. In order to organize her thoughts and make sure that she has not forgotten any key points that she wants to address, she creates the outline as a framework for her essay.

What is the assignment?

Your instructor asks the class to write an expository (explanatory) essay on the typical steps a high school student would follow in order to apply to college.

What is the purpose of this essay?

To explain the process for applying to college

Who is the intended audience for this essay?

High school students intending to apply to college and their parents

What is the essay's thesis statement?

When applying to college, a student follows a certain process which includes choosing the right schools and preparing the application materials.

Full Sentence Outlines

The full sentence outline format is essentially the same as the Alphanumeric outline. The main difference (as the title suggests) is that full sentences are required at each level of the outline. This outline is most often used when preparing a traditional essay. Select the "Sample Outlines" PDF in the Media Box above to download the sample of this outline.

Decimal Outlines

The decimal outline is similar in format to the alphanumeric outline. The added benefit is a system of decimal notation that clearly shows how every level of the outline relates to the larger whole. Select the "Sample Outlines" PDF in the Media Box above to download the sample of this outline.

Writing for college papers requires that you have research skills and the ability to write well. When coming up with college paper ideas, keep in mind that this covers admissions essays, research papers, persuasive essays and more.

College paper examples include both short essays, like narrative, persuasive and analytical, as well as longer form essays , which include full reports and stories with more background.

When writing a college paper outline, the first step is to identify the type of essay you need to write. You should begin with a list of good college paper topics and choose one. Then you can begin to work on what type of essay it should be.

Writing college papers is fairly simple if you stick to the 5 paragraph essay. This type of college paper format requires a very basic layout. Begin with an introduction, add three supporting paragraphs and then a conclusion. It’s the best way to write a solid college paper without stress.

How to Start College Papers?

Begin with an introduction. This is the first paragraph of the essay and will need to include the basics of your topic. You should also include a thesis sentence, which will set the tone for the rest of the paper.

Next comes the body. In the college paper format we looked at earlier, the 5 paragraph essay, the body will be just three paragraphs long. Every paragraph will have a main point, which relates back to the thesis statement in the introduction. As long as everything supports that original claim, you have the makings of an excellent paper.

Each paragraph should transition smoothly into the next, making it easy for the reader to follow along with your points. Ideally, even someone who has little knowledge of the topic will be able to read and learn.

Finally, you’ll write a single paragraph conclusion to sum up the entire essay. This section of the college paper format is fairly simple, since you are just summarizing the rest of the paper. Once you’ve completed this, you’ll want to go back over everything else and make sure you don’t have any mistakes.

The final proof is the simplest way to turn out a good product. Remember, you want to impress your teachers with your writing college papers.