How to Write the Basic Essay Outline?


Hook – something to intrigue the reader

Background – information on the author, time period, or context

Summary of the text you’re writing about  (be concise)

Thesis statement – what is your point?  (usually include the author & title)

(Samples: -Beowulf is an epic hero because he travels far and he is strong and humble.

-“The Pardoner’s Tale” reveals the message that greed is dangerous through the use of irony.

-“Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” is an example of romance literature because it has a near-perfect hero who goes on a quest, where he encounters supernatural elements and a female figure.)



Topic sentence – explain the focus of this paragraph

(Samples: -Beowulf is clearly an epic hero because he travels long distances to save people who are strangers to him.

-The Pardoner shows that he is a hypocrite when he explains that he is greedy.

-Sir Gawain encounters supernatural elements when he is given a magical green Sash as a present.)

Text evidence – integrate and cite quotes

Analysis – analyze the text in order to prove your thesis to be true

-Elaborate – be specific with the information that you provide to the reader



-Thesis – restate it here

-Review – review any significant information

So what? – So why does any of this matter?  Why is the text significant or memorable?  How does

it relate to people in general or the world today?