How To Write An Outline For An Essay About A Book

How to write an outline

If you want to know how to start an essay about a book, you need to begin with an outline.

It’s an essential way to help improve your writing skills.

Writing an outline for an essay or a book is very similar, but the only difference is the length or amount of words.

With any kind of essay, you usually need to write an introduction, your body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Outlining for writing a book is similar.

While it consists of many chapters, it also needs a beginning, middle, and ending.

Even though the middle might be a whole lot longer, the process of outlining is almost the same.

Now, let’s look at how you create your essay outline.

Book essay outline

Write down the date, name, class, or module, and any extra information you think is necessary.

It doesn’t include any information about the essay or book yet, but you should note these details before you start your outline.

If you’re a high school or college student, you might be working on various class essays or projects at the same time.

You can quickly look at this information and see which project it is.

It’s also necessary for your teacher or publisher to check who is sending the information.

 

Thesis / Synopsis

Your thesis statement or argument should be robust and provide the reader with information on what to expect when they read your essay or thesis.

It doesn’t need to be a lengthy, drawn-out statement, but the important part is that it should communicate a clear message.

When you write down your notes, be sure that you can argue your point.

When writing a literary analysis essay about a book, you might relate to this section more if you think of it as a synopsis.

It is a quick summary of what your text will cover.

Some publishers will have a set number of words, while others leave it up to the writer.

Check with the publishing house you want to work with and make sure your synopsis fits their requirements.

 

First paragraph / Chapter

Your opening paragraph is probably one of the most critical sections of your writing project.

An essay introduction is where you want to hook the reader and create a spark.

Many readers will form an opinion about your writing in the first paragraph, and it’s essential to convince them that your thesis is correct.

Once you have convinced the readers of your thesis, you can keep them interested throughout the essay or book.

Focus on the strongest point in your first topic sentence and paragraph to set all doubts aside.

As this paragraph also stands as your introduction, it is crucial to introduce readers to your way of thinking.

Once you’ve stated your most valuable fact, you can move on to the rest of your paragraphs or chapters.

 

The Body / Middle

Now that you have started with your most compelling paragraph and fact, it’s time to add more information.

Don’t think that the body of your work doesn’t need to be strong.

If you are writing an essay or a book, there are always other people competing with you.

If you are a student in the class, you want to be one of the top students.

Being an author isn’t any easier because there are many writers out there trying to get published.

You need to do sound research to prove your thesis, and this is the section where you will state most of those facts.

Seeing as this is just the outline for what will eventually be the final product, you need to make sure you understand the flow and structure.

You can jot down ideas or facts and insert them when you write a body paragraph.

Your work needs to have a flow to it, and this is where you create that. The body is where you organize your thoughts in a logical order.

You already know your thesis and your opening fact, but what else do you want to say, and in which order do you want to say it?

 

The Conclusion

After you’ve created an outline for all of your paragraphs, it is time to start your conclusion.

Your conclusion should sum up all the facts you stated in the essay or book.

Don’t be afraid to remind the reader of your most impactful facts.

It’s a summary of what you have discussed and to leave the reader on a high.

You can’t start with a bang and then slowly lose your audience at the end.

Use the hook you started with, stay consistent with your writing style, and let them know why you chose to write your piece to the end.

 

Call to Action

Once you have convinced your readers that your thesis is correct, what actions would you like for them to take?

You provided a lot of facts in your writing, and the reader should start thinking about your point of view.

Now you have to direct them to test your theory for themselves.

What do you want them to do now?

 

Summary

In any type of essay, it’s easy to draft a great outline once you have your structure right.

You can also go online and look at some examples and apply the ideas to your work.

There’s no right or wrong way to do an outline if you have a logical flow to your ideas.

You prepare an outline to prevent rambling in your writing or stating random facts that don’t connect.

Your final draft will come much later than your outline, so don’t rush the process.

Your outline will help make writing your essay much easier.

You can take each heading as a new project and focus on your transition to the next section.

When you write the ending sentence of a paragraph, think about the opening sentence of the next one.

That way, you know that there will be no sharp endings, but rather a smooth transition between paragraphs.

It doesn’t matter if you are writing an article, an essay, a novel, or a research paper.

If you plan well, you’ll write well.

Derek Haines

A Cambridge CELTA English teacher and author with a passion for writing and all forms of publishing. My days are spent teaching English and writing, as well as testing and taming new technology.

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