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There are several different ways to write an outline for an essay. Students can use the formal structure with Roman numerals or they can use a tempalte that they found online. No matter what style students prefer to use, there are specific parts of the descriptive essay that should be included in every outline.
Students should always begin their descriptive essay outline with a complete thesis statement. Without the thesis, the essay will not have any structure or focus. The thesis should be included in the introduction section of the outline. Some instructors will advise their students to only write a few words or a phrase for each part of the outline and some will advise their students to write complete sentences for all of their outline. When it comes to the thesis, it should always be written as a complete sentence so students can see exactly what they are going to prove all of the time.
The introduction of the descriptive essay should have two more parts. The hook and the bridge. Unlike the thesis, these sections can be written in a few words or phrases. The outline is just a tool to help you organize the essay, so you do not need to waste any time writing the whole hook and bridge during this organizing time.
The next part of the outline is the body of the paper. You should have a separate section for each paragraph. They need to have topic sentences and details. Many instructors will ask their students to write complete topic sentences, but short phrases for the details. The topic sentences should reflect the thesis, with some keywords or synonyms of those keywords mixed in. The details should support those topic sentences.
The conclusion also needs to have three distinct pieces. It should have a restated thesis, which should also be written in a complete sentence. The rest of the conclusion can be phrases and should include the restated details from the body paragraphs and a tie back to the hook.
In total, the outline should have at least five complete sentences. They include the thesis, the topic sentences, and the restated thesis. The rest of the outline should only be short phrases or even a keyword or two so you know what to write when your craft the actual descriptive essay.