It’s important to write a clear outline of your essay or paper to help see the overall structure. Below are some general tips to help you write a better outline:
(1) Provide background and an aim
Explain what you want to analyse/examine and why you want to do this or what the main focus of the question is.
State the purpose of your paper and what question(s) you hope to answer.
(2) Think about organisation
Divide your paper into sections/headings.
Don’t use too many separate numbered sections. Instead, try to group your ideas logically.
Give a brief idea of what points you will expand on in greater detail.
Indicate a rough word count for each section
(3) State what to include in your introduction and conclusion
A paper without a clear conclusion is like travelling without a map. You must know your final destination before you start travelling.
(4) Explain how and where you will use sources
These do not have to be in perfect format in your outline but you should have a list of your primary sources. Make a note of which sources you could use in each section. How do their ideas link to your argument e.g. as supporting evidence? as background context? as part of a wider academic debate?