Grade 7 Essay Outline

Strategy

Essay Outline

Essay Map, Writing Blueprint

UDL 3.1UDL 6.2

An outline is a tool to help organize thoughts, ideas and information prior to drafting an extended piece of writing. In an outline, students typically include a category name or topic sentence, along with notes about what else will be included in a given paragraph. Outlines can be simple, with one-word headings followed by a list of bullets. Outlines can also be complex, using specific lettering and numbering to organize and prioritize key information. Constructing an outline commonly occurs during the pre-writing phase of writing, following the generation of ideas but prior to drafting. An outline is a powerful tool for early and advanced writers and can be effectively implemented for any genre of writing. Outlining may aid students in overcoming barriers related to writing such as anxiety or organization. For instance, the process of outlining can be helpful in managing and sequencing large amounts of information. Engaging in outlining may also reduce intimidation related to writing and help students more successfully transition from generating ideas to completing a draft.

Step 2 - Organize the Essay

Organizing an essay can be done in many forms. Some people like to use graphic organizers like a web. It looks like a spider web with circles connected. In the middle circle, write the main topic. Then make three "spokes" off of the main circle and make three more circles. These will be your body paragraphs' main ideas. Write the topics in those three circles. Then from those, add two to five more lines or "spokes" from those circles to become details you want to talk about in your essay.

Another way to organize an essay is to follow this basic outline form:

Topic______________

Thesis Statement (One sentence that tells the reader what the essay will discuss.)________________________________________________________________________________________________

Body Paragraph #1 main idea ________________________________________________________________

Detail #1_________________________________________________________________________________

Detail #2_________________________________________________________________________________

Detail #3_________________________________________________________________________________

Body Paragraph #2 main idea ________________________________________________________________

Detail #1_________________________________________________________________________________

Detail #2_________________________________________________________________________________

Detail #3_________________________________________________________________________________

Body Paragraph #3 main idea ________________________________________________________________

Detail #1_________________________________________________________________________________

Detail #2_________________________________________________________________________________

Detail #3_________________________________________________________________________________

Conclusion (Wrap up essay and leave reader with interesting thought.)_________________________________

For future reference, this basic outline can be used for many types of writing, such as a persuasive letter.

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