How to Write an Essay Outline for High School

How to Write an Essay Outline for High School

Knowing how to write an essay outline for high school is essential for success as you advance to college, university and beyond. Although the task might sometimes look challenging to many students, you can easily master it with just a few tips. Besides, we will also offer you well written sample outlines for guidance on how to write an essay outline for high school.

An essay outline is a short draft showing the ideas that you intend to discuss in the paper. This implies it should always contain the particular points that will be addressed in the essay. On the other hand, an outline should also clearly indicate the format in which the essay will be written based on the subject of discussion.

Although you may not always be sure of what an instructor or lecturer wants in an essay paper, it is always advisable that you have a basic format on how to portray your ideas. Since essays are just like other academic papers, the skills on how to write an essay outline for high school can as well be applied in other assignments and term papers.

Guidelines on how to write an essay outline for high school

Writing an essay outline for high school requires dedication and creativity owing to its significance in the paper. There are certain things that you should bear in mind when crafting the outline in order to come up with the best.

The following tips will help you on how to write an essay outline for high school.

Pick a topic for the essay

Since the outline will show what is to be discussed in the essay, it is important that you first choose a subject or topic for the paper. However, there are cases whereby you will be directed on a particular topic to handle.

In case you are not directed on a specific idea to address, it is advisable that you choose a topic that is easy to discuss. Find a subject that you can comprehensively handle without any problems in order to make the task of writing the outline as well as actual essay easy.

Draft a thesis statement

As you get to the stage of crafting an essay outline, you already have an idea on the things that you want to talk about in the paper. A thesis will help in clearly defining the particular angle that you will pursue in writing the actual paper.

Although you may not write the entire thesis statement in the outline, you should note it down in a way that you can easily remember when crafting the paper. The thesis should give a blue-print of the ideas that you intend to sell in the essay.

The thesis should be a claim that you are able to effectively defend in the paper, so choose wisely.

Brainstorm on ideas to support your argument

Although the thesis statement highlights the claim of the essay, you have to acquire enough evidence to prove the importance of your assertion. In fact, it is always advisable that you re-write the thesis in case you are unable to get sufficient points to support your claim.

Identify three or four parameters that will be used as the pillars of your thesis. These are the key points that will be used to explain your argument in the essay. Clearly list each of the parameters and leave some space whereby the examples or evidence to support them will be listed.

In order to make your outline compelling, it is advisable that you find more than one example to support every topic sentence. This will also make readers to effectively understand your argument.

Another key element that you should also consider in order to effectively master the art of how to write an essay outline for high school is simplicity. An outline only gives a highlight of what is to be discussed in the essay and should not be very long. Hence, you should try to be very brief while making sure that all the aspects are addressed.

More on how to write an essay outline for high school

There is always a specific format that should be followed in writing essay outlines for high school. An essay paper comprises of three main sections that have to be vividly shown in the outline.

The steps outlined below will assist you on how to write an essay outline for high school with ease.

Write the title of the essay

At the top of the outline sheet, clearly indicate the title as it will appear in the actual essay paper. The title should be short, precise and clearly show what you want to discuss.

Avoid titles that are too fluffy or those with too many words. However, just choose one that is simple and can attract the attention of readers to your essay.


The introduction of an essay should give background information about the topic of discussion and also the thesis. Therefore, you have to also highlight the key points that will be used to provide background information in the outline.

You should also write the thesis statement. However, many students often prefer to write the thesis just below the title or at the top of the paper. Either way, just ensure that you write one which clearly indicates the angle you intend to pursue in the discussion.

Body paragraphs

Clearly list the points that you will address in the body of the essay in the outline. You can simply list the points using numbers or bullets for easy reference when writing the paper.

To ensure that your points are well illustrated, it is advisable that you write the key points in topic sentences. Under each topic sentence, include the examples or proof that will be used to support it.


At the end of the outline, you have to also draft the points that will be used in closing the discussion. At this stage, you should re-state the main claim. Besides, you should also indicate how the importance of the discussion will be shown to the readers.

Examples of Essay outlines for high school

It is also advisable that you look at a couple of samples in order to effectively master the art of how to write an essay outline for high school. In fact, examples can enable you to easily get the drift even on a personal level since they are typical essay papers.

Example 1

Sample Essay Outline; The Hazards of Movie going

Title: The Hazards of Movie going

  1. Introduction

Introductory statement

Thesis statement: I like watching movies but I prefer watching them at home.

  1. Body

First Supporting Idea (Topic sentence): Just getting to the greater presents difficulties.

Bad weather

Long drive and limited parking place

Long waiting to buy tickets.

Second Supporting Idea (Topic Sentence): Facing the problems of theatre itself.

Old weather’s problems such as smelly carpet, worn-out seat, etc

New theatre’s problems like smaller size, noise from next movie theatre etc.

Both floors will be rubber-like dirty at the end of the movie

Third Supporting Idea (Topic Sentence): Some of the patrons are annoying.

Bad behavior like running, talking loud etc.

Human noise disturbance.

  1. Conclusion…

Find the rest of this sample outline here.

Example 2

Sample Outline and Essay

Paragraph 1 (Introduction)

Leading sentence: ‘’ It took me eighteen years to realize what an extraordinary influence my mother has been on my life.’’

Summary of main points: ‘’I only came to the excitement of learning simply for the sake of knowing something new, but I also came to understand the idea of giving back to the community in exchange for a new sense of life, love and spirit.’’

Paragraph 2 (First Supporting Point)

Transition sentence: ‘’ My mother’s enthusiasm for learning is most apparent in travel.’’

Supporting point: Her mother’s enthusiasm for learning

Evidence: Learning through travel by suing the example of a trip to Greece.

Paragraph 3 (Second Supporting Point)

Transition sentence: ‘’While I value the various worlds my mother has opened to me abroad, my life has been equally transformed by what she has shown me just two miles from my house…

Visit to read the entire sample outline.

Example 3


Thesis Statement: There are various explanations for the trend depreciation of the real Canadian Dollar US Dollar exchange rate. An assessment of these explanations suggest that the long run decline of the Canadian dollar vis a vis the US dollar is not likely to continue.


Introduce the topic: the long run or trend depreciation of the CAD/USD real exchange rate

Define the real exchange rate; discuss plot of nominal and real exchange rate over last thirty years

Discuss briefly why it is of interest to understand this trend behavior…

Read the whole sample here.

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