Before you draw a portrait, you always draw a rough outline to it
Similarly before you build a house, you refer to the blueprint of the house for construction. It is always important to have a structure or a draft in mind before we construct or make anything. In the same way before you draft an essay, you must draft an essay outline. An essay outline provides skeletal structure to the essay.
Generally professors distribute sample outlines for essays so that the students understand how to draft an outline for their essays. These sample essay outlines are specially designed to answer queries related to essays on a particular course. Every course follows a particular format for their essays.
You cannot use an essay outline of one course for drafting an essay of another course. An essay outline provides the framework for the essay. It may not provide detailed ideas. It will only consist of different bullet points that need to be explained further. These outlines are written with a view to help the writer arrange his thoughts and ideas in a logical manner. It ensures that the essay speaks about the central theme and writer does not get diverted to other topics.
Now that you understand the importance of an essay outline, you must be wondering when you should draft it. The ideal time to draft an outline for the essay is after you have selected the topic, collected all the necessary research documents and formulated a thesis statement in mind. Subject, research and problem statements are the raw materials for your essay outline. Do not think of the outline as a draft, it is much more than that. Essay outlines are created with a view to structure your essay. It helps you to stay focused and avoids poor quality essay. Generally; one page essay outline should suffice your essay requirements. Please keep in mind that main purpose of creating the outline is to organize your thoughts logically.
Your essay must be divided into three primary parts of introduction, main body and conclusion. The introductory part provides background about the essay topic whereas the main body provides your views on the topic. It discusses the topic in detail. Lastly the conclusion paragraph summarizes your essay. Your conclusion paragraph is the sum of your introduction and the main body of the essay. If you want to master the skill of drafting qualitative essays then you must learn to use the outlines to your advantage. The best way is to chart the outline into bullet points or sentences that can be elaborated further.