5 Outline Template Samples
Whether you start with one in the beginning or must reorganize in the end, an outline is the basis of all good writing. We believe starting out with an outline template keeps you on track and in better shape along the way.
What Is An Outline Template?
An outline template is a writer’s roadmap: a map to get you from a great idea to a wonderfully written product. The map or outline is an organizational tool for writing anything from recipes to novels. It gives a structure to your ideas and the content of the writing itself. The actual writing is made easier to craft and easier for the reader to follow.
Imagine if a cake recipe was written out of order with the ingredient list after the instructions and the other contents added randomly. It would probably not result in a happy birthday cake that actually tastes good.
With a recipe, we can pretty much figure out the order, number of servings, ingredients, and step-by-step instructions. But what if the writer was assigned an argumentative essay for school or needed to figure out the plot for their first graphic novel? That’s when an outline template would come in handy.
An outline template gives expert advice on how to organize an essay or a love sonnet or a motorcycle maintenance textbook. It takes some of the fear out of the blank page and focuses the writer on completing each part of the project before putting it all together. It gives the writer a time-out to think about what they want to say, how they want to say it and figure out the order that works best.
It’s a little like a cheat sheet—a way to work out all the details and experiment with ideas, concepts, content, and order before ever writing a word. And it’s all within a formula designed to foster room for creative freedom.
For example, the template for an argumentative essay would give guidelines on the purpose of each paragraph down to the sentence. The first paragraph, or introduction, would include a flashy sentence to hook the reader, a summary of the topic, and the argument’s thesis.
The next section would detail the writer’s arguments and give evidence backing them up. This would be followed by a section detailing and refuting counter-arguments. Finally, the conclusion would circle back to the thesis statement and explain why the writer’s argument is best. The template organizes the planning process so the writer can focus more on the contents. Having this outline template on hand saves the writer many panicky moments of wondering how to say what they want to say and get to the business of writing it.
Is There A Need For Outline Templates?
Writers can complete outlines themselves, but why reinvent the wheel? Using an outline template saves time and shapes writing to make it better. It’s a great teaching device and way to learn. Teachers from grade school to university often use outline templates to guide young writers to feel more confident with writing essays, letters, or any other writing project. Outline templates improve the quality of the writing teachers read, leading to higher grades for the students.
Outline templates can help with book-length projects too. It can also be a way to jump-start the process for more advanced writers when they are facing writer’s block or feel stuck. It provides a definitive starting point. You might not know all the elements or plot points but you can begin filling them in and in the process discover where to go next.
Creative writers use them to make sure they are writing towards their planned ending and hitting all the plot or character posts they need to hit along the way. There are as many outline templates for this as there are ways of organizing writing, and outlines can easily be created by writers themselves.
Create An Outline Template
Using an outline template is entertaining and helps to conquer the fear of the dreaded blank page. It leads to a better organization of ideas the writer already has and can help create new ones. Outline templates can be found through simple web browser searches and can be used as is or be modified by the writer for their particular project or style.
Writers should experiment with different types of outlines for their project to see which one best fits their needs. Regardless of the type of template, completing outlines may seem like extra work when writing, but in the end can make your writing time more efficient. They can help you avoid wild tangents and writing pages destined to be discarded and balled up for the trash.