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How to Write an Essay

Organize your ideas

Develop an outline to organize your ideas. An outline shows your main ideas and the order in which you are going to write about them.

Sample Essay Outline

Competitive Swimming, an Ideal Sport for Kids

  1. Introduction
  2. Competitive swimming provides same benefits as other sports
    1. It is good exercise and builds muscular strength
    2. It promotes cooperation among team members, especially in relays
  3. Competitive swimming provides some additional benefits
    1. Swimming is an important skill that can be used forever
    2. There is a reduced risk of injury
    3. Each swimmer can easily chart his or her own progress
  4. My personal experience as a competitive swimmer
    1. I enjoy working with my coach
    2. I've made a lot of friends on the swim team
  5. Conclusion

Sample Research Paper Outline

The Conquest of Mt. Everest

  1. Introduction
  2. Background Information
    1. Location of Mt. Everest
    2. Geography of the Surrounding Area
    3. Facts about Mt. Everest
      1. Height of the mountain
      2. How the mountain was named
        1. Peak XV
        2. Joloungma (Tibetan name)
        3. Sagarmatha (Nepalese name)
      3. The number of people who have climbed Everest to date
  3. Major Explorers Covered in this Paper
    1. Sir Edmund Hillary
      1. First to reach the summit (1953)
      2. Led a team of experienced mountain climbers who worked together
    2. Tenzing Norgay and the Sherpas
      1. Norgay was an experienced climber and guide who accompanied Hillary
      2. Sherpas still used to guide expeditions
    3. Rob Hall
      1. Leader of the failed 1996 expedition
      2. Led group of (mainly) tourists with little mountain climbing experience
  4. The Impact Expeditions have had on Mt. Everest and Local Community
    1. Ecological Effects
      1. Loss of trees due to high demand for wood for cooking and heating for tourists
      2. Piles of trash left by climbing expeditions
    2. Economic Effects
      1. Expedition fees provide income for the country
      2. Expeditions provide work for the Sherpas, contributing to the local economy
    3. Cultural Effects
      1. Introduction of motor vehicles
      2. Introduction of electricity
  5. Conclusion

The Everest outline is based on a research paper submitted by Alexandra Ferber, grade 9. These outlines may not be reproduced without permission.


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