Are you a student in college or a writer of blog posts and other long-form content? An effective informative essay outline is what you need to craft a high-quality work.
Read the article to master the art of outline writing. You’ll learn how to format outlines (examples included). Also, you’ll find an outline’s PDF template for your future stories.
Ready to check?
What Is an Informative Essay Outline?
An informative essay outline is a plan for a future paper. Think of it as a mind map, logically organizing all paragraphs and their data.
It’s like an essay layout for an author to see what components to include and where to place them.
The purpose of an outline for an informative essay is to structure your research on the topic:
- Organize claims and evidence before writing.
- Decide which points to use and where to mention them in a paper.
- Note down everything beforehand to save time and not miss anything while writing.
Outlines aren’t for academic papers only. Whatever text content you create, it’s worth having its plan. For example, I outlined this post before writing it to know what to tell you and ensure all the info will be up-to-date and practical.
So, long story short:
Your main reason for crafting an outline is to have a plan that describes your future work. It helps create an A-worthy paper, not forget anything, and write faster.
How to Write an Informative Essay Outline
An outline for an informative essay should include all core elements (1):
- Introductory paragraph
- Body (usually, it’s three paragraphs)
Below are the details on each part.
This paragraph of your essay consists of three parts:
- Hook — A sentence to grab readers’ interest.
- Background — A context about the topic. Why is it worth writing about?
- Thesis statement — A sentence about the issues you’ll cover in the essay’s body.
It stands to reason you won’t write everything word by word in the outline. Just specify what hook type you’ll use, what issues you’ll present in a thesis, etc.
As a rule, this essay part has three paragraphs. For each, prescribe the following components:
- Claim — An idea you’ll describe in the paragraph.
- Evidence — What you’ll use to support that claim (facts, statistics, examples, or others).
- Explanation — How your claim relates to the thesis; how your evidence supports it.
The final paragraph wraps up everything you wrote in the essay. Three components to mention here:
- Summary — A sentence combining all the ideas you presented.
- Thesis restatement — How your closing statement relates to the opening one.
- Final thought — A final remark.
Informative Essay Outline Template (PDF)
Below is a free outline for an informative essay. This template is downloadable. Fill it with the info you’ll later apply to your paper draft.
Informative Essay Outline: Example
Many samples of informative essays (2) exist to help you craft stellar writing. I’ve created two examples for you to see the format:
Outline Example 1:
Say you write an essay about key symbols in George Orwell’s “Animal Farm.”
Here’s what your outline might look like:
|Title: Key symbols in George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”
– Hook: A thought-provoking question related to the relevance of symbols in literature.
– Background info: Brief intro for George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” and its context, including its allegorical nature concerning the Russian Revolution.
– Thesis statement: The significance of symbols in the novel and how they contribute to the meaning and understanding of the story.
Body paragraph 1:
– Claim: The use of the character Napoleon as a symbol of Stalin.
– Evidence: Instances from the text where Napoleon’s actions mirror those of Joseph Stalin.
– Explanation: The parallels between Napoleon’s behavior and Stalin’s dictatorship highlight their authoritarian traits and manipulation tactics.
Body paragraph 2:
– Claim: The windmill as a symbol of progress and propaganda.
– Evidence: Examples showing the significance of the windmill throughout the story.
– Explanation: Analyze how the windmill symbolizes progress, the manipulation of ideas, and the deceptive nature of propaganda used by those in power.
Body paragraph 3:
– Claim: The farmhouse and its representation of inequality and elitism.
– Evidence: Instances where the farmhouse stands as a symbol of privilege and inequality among the animals.
– Explanation: Explore how the farmhouse embodies the betrayal of the revolution’s ideals, emphasizing the emergence of a ruling class and the erosion of equality.
– Summary: Recap the main points discussed regarding Napoleon, the windmill, and the farmhouse as core symbols in “Animal Farm.”
– Thesis restatement: Reinforce the importance of symbols in understanding the deeper layers of the novel’s political allegory.
– Final thought: Reflect on how Orwell’s use of symbols “tells” a cautionary tale about the corrupting nature of power and the dangers of unchecked authority, leaving readers with a lasting message about socio-political systems.
Informative Essay Outline Example 2:
And what about an informative essay on this topic?
|Title: The concept of free will and its development throughout centuries
– Hook: A thought-provoking quote about the historical debates or philosophical discussions surrounding free will.
– Background info: The concept of free will and its philosophical significance throughout history.
– Thesis statement: Highlight the evolution and shifting perspectives on free will across different centuries, emphasizing its importance in shaping various philosophical, religious, and ethical discussions.
Body paragraph 1:
– Claim: Ancient philosophical views on free will.
– Evidence: Explore the perspectives of thinkers like Aristotle, Plato, or other ancient philosophers on free will.
– Explanation: Discuss how ancient philosophers perceived and debated the concept of free will, including their arguments about determinism versus autonomy.
Body paragraph 2:
– Claim: Medieval and religious views on free will.
– Evidence: Examine the influence of religious doctrines, such as Christian theology or Islamic philosophy, on the free will concept.
– Explanation: Analyze how religious beliefs shaped the free will understanding during the medieval period: debates about predestination, divine will, and human agency.
Body paragraph 3:
– Claim: Renaissance and Enlightenment-era perspectives on free will.
– Evidence: Highlight the impact of thinkers like Descartes, Hobbes, Locke, and others on the free will concept during this period.
– Explanation: Discuss how the Renaissance and Enlightenment philosophies contributed to modern ideas about individual autonomy, rationality, and the relationship between free will and determinism.
Body paragraph 4:
– Claim: Modern and contemporary views on free will.
– Evidence: Discuss the contributions of 19th-century philosophers like Nietzsche and the existentialists in the 20th century, including contemporary neuroscientists and psychologists.
– Explanation: Explore how modern and contemporary thinkers have expanded or challenged previous notions of free will, considering scientific discoveries and advancements in psychology that influence our understanding of human decision-making.
– Summary: Recap the evolution of the concept of free will from ancient times through the Renaissance, Enlightenment, and into the modern and contemporary eras.
– Thesis restatement: Reiterate the significance of free will in shaping philosophical, ethical, and religious discourse across different historical periods.
– Final thought: Reflect on the ongoing debates and the relevance of the free will concept in today’s society, emphasizing its enduring importance in understanding human agency and responsibility.
Remember: These outlines of mine are samples! I wrote them for educational purposes only. Even if you write an essay on the same topics, please don't copy these outlines word for word. Use them as a reference when crafting plans for your own writing works.
So, now you can craft outlines for informative writing. The above templates work for students hunting for high grades. But anyone who writes can also use them.
An informative essay outline is a map. It has everything you need to mention in a paper and organizes it for better coherence. Follow the format — and you’ll save tons of time on essay writing.