Essay Writing Tip #3 Structuring Your Essay with Evidence and Outlines

tip #3 Evidence and outlines

Once you’ve chosen you’re argument, you need to prove it. The body of the essay (all of the paragraphs between the introduction and conclusion) should provide evidence that helps convince the reader of your argument.

A 5-paragraph essay for a standardized test, has an introduction, 3 separate pieces of evidence explained in 3 separate paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Writing an outline is a fantastic way to organize your essay and make sure that you have enough evidence to support your argument before you get stuck halfway through the paper.

For example:

Argument: Students should be allowed to chew gum in class.
Evidence #1: Students have bad breath
Evidence #2: Gum helps students concentrate
Evidence #3: Students chew gum regardless of the rule

Once you have your argument and evidence, you need to think of supporting details that will back up and help explain your evidence.

Evidence #1: Students have bad breath
Supporting Detail #1: students have bad breath
Supporting Detail #2: need a way to freshen breath after lunch
Supporting Detail #3: will suffer socially
Evidence #2: Gum helps students concentrate
Supporting Detail #1: less use of hall pass
Supporting Detail #2: less hunger and thirst
Supporting Detail #3: increased learning
Evidence #3: Students chew gum regardless of the rule
Supporting Detail #1: Teachers waste time reprimanding students
Supporting Detail #2: Rule should change to reflect wishes of students
Supporting Detail #3: Keep focus of class on academics, not gum rule

In a longer essay, you may spend 1 page or more discussing 1 piece of evidence. The evidence is explained using supporting details.

I. Introduction
1- Argument: Students should be allowed to chew gum
2- Students have bad breath
3- Gum helps St. concentrate
4- Students chew gum regardless of rule
5- Closure
II. Students have bad breath
1- students have bad breath
2- need a way to freshen breath after lunch
3- will suffer socially
4- connect example to argument
III. Gum helps concentration
1- less use of hall pass
2- less hunger and thirst
3- increased learning
4- connect example to argument
IV. Students chew gum regardless of rule
1- Teachers waste time reprimanding students
2- Rule should change to reflect wishes of students
3- Keep focus of class on academics, not gum rule
4- Connect example to argument
V. Conclusion
6- Argument: Students should be allowed to chew gum
7- Students have bad breath
8- Gum helps St. concentrate
9- Students chew gum regardless of rule
10- Connect to something bigger

Check out Essay Tips #4 to learn how to Tie Your Essay Together. If you’d like more information on writing essays or would like help from an expert with writing or editing your essay please contact us today!

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Afsaneh Moradian

Afsaneh has been teaching for over 15 years from preschool to graduate school, and is often invited to give teacher training workshops and speak at educational conferences. Her vast experience in working with different ages, academic levels, and cultures has given her the ability to work with anyone and help them achieve their learning goals.
Afsaneh Moradian
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