Argument Paper Outline Writing: Student Step-By-Step Guide

An outline is a detailed plan of the paper that helps structure the material gathered for it. It makes sure readers get the point you want to convey in your writing. In an argument essay, the outline is especially important since the author’s goal is persuasion. A plan lays the basis for the logical flow of the paper and improves the process of the actual writing.

Creating a well-structured outline is difficult if you don’t have enough knowledge or practice. The latter needs your commitment and time. But this article will cover the theory part you need to know in order to practice. We will learn about the three main parts of an argumentative essay plan and what elements go there.

The 3 fundamental stones of an argument paper outline

The purpose of persuasive papers is to teach students to support their point of view with evidence. You have to know how to defend your argument professionally and efficiently. Oftentimes this process includes refuting the counter-arguments. Supporting and refutation are the two main techniques to use in the paper.

There are three fundamental parts of any piece of academic writing:

  • Introduction;
  • Main body;
  • Conclusion.


The introductory part guides the readers to the point of the essay. It must be interesting and have enough information so that the audience understands your intent. The intro should consist of:

  • A catchy sentence that will draw attention;
  • Several sentences with background information on the topic;
  • A thesis statement that shows the author’s position;
  • Brief info on the means of argument support.

A thesis statement is the essence of the essay that presents your point of view. It has to be strong and concise, without any vague words. Compress the main idea of your argument essay in 1-2 sentences. However, there should be no details on the arguments and evidence. It’s the material relevant to the next part, and there you’ll be able to open the topic completely.

Main body

The main body contains all the information you’ve gathered while conducting research. It should be divided into two main parts:

  1. Arguments and their support;
  2. Counter-arguments and their refutation.

This is the logical structure that gives you an opportunity to fulfill the purpose of the paper – persuasion. You have to present the evidence to your thesis statement first, then strengthen it with the negation of other opinions.

The size of the main body depends on the paper length mentioned in the task. The smaller essays may have two paragraphs in this part (support first, then refutation). The larger papers require four.

Some tips on writing the main part:

  • Keep the proper paragraph structure in mind:
    1. An introductory sentence, argument statement;
    2. A couple of supporting sentences with evidence;
    3. A closing sentence and a transition to the next paragraph if necessary.
  • Don’t get too aggressive when refuting the counter-arguments, be professional;
  • Use wise and clear transitions between the paragraphs to maintain the flow of the essay.


The concluding part summarizes the information you’ve provided to the reader. It consists of:

  • Extended restated thesis;
  • Key points of the paper;
  • An ideal picture (optional);
  • A final call for action (optional).

The conclusion shouldn’t belong, so 3-5 sentences are enough, You can make it larger if the volume of the essay allows you this.

Note: Don’t include new information in this part. It’s a summary of the work you’ve done, so keep it simple and general.

Tips and tricks on creating a good argument paper outline

Every student has a self-developed algorithm of doing academic tasks. In case you don’t have one or want to enrich yours, here’s some useful info that will make the outlining easier:

  • Make notes while researching the topic. You’ll need some shortcuts later;
  • Consider using a concept map instead of a list to outline the paper;
  • Try writing or typing it and see which way works better;
  • Add as many details as you can. It’s fine if you outline the essay up until the paragraph structure;
  • If you get stuck, brainstorm for ideas;
  • Don’t hesitate to change the structure of the essay if you feel like it’s not what you want;
  • Try outlining part by part, taking a break after each one;
  • Be critical of the process. Question your logic to improve the plan.

Try all of these ideas to find things that work for you. This may be time-consuming, but later on, you’ll save a huge amount of time due to work efficiency.

Outline Is half work done

By creating a detailed outline for your persuasive essay, you save time and improve the final result. It’s much easier to write a paper when you have a detailed structure. All there’s left to do is to fill the carcass with the arguments, evidence, numbers, etc.

Besides, a planned paper looks organic, is easy to read and comprehend. Consider its importance next time you write an argumentative essay. And if you have problems with planning and writing, get help here. The source will guide you through all stages of creating an original piece of writing.