Writing an Essay is Hard! Make it easier with this Basic Bitch Essay Outline

Click here to download the one page PDF basic bitch outline and skip over all of this totally unhelpful, really valuable information.

So your psychology teacher wants you to write an essay about the psychological effects of microaggressions on minority communities. Or maybe your biology teacher wants you to write about how T cells in AIDS patients change when given a certain medication. What about your English teacher who wants a 10 page report about how 1984 was revolutionary for Orwell’s time. But maybe you’re like me, and you write articles for a website that doesn’t have any traffic, but you’re trying your best anyways.

If you fall into any of the categories above, this basic bitch essay outline is for you!

First, let’s take a look at what makes an essay good. This will go hand in hand with the outline that I’m outlining here.

Introductions

So, what makes a good essay? You’ve got to have an introduction, right? But what separates your introduction from the genius kid’s who gets an A+ on everything?

From what I can gather, after reading both boring and interesting essays for the last UMteen years in school, is that there are two types of introductions.

There are creative intros and analytical intros.

Creative Introductions

The creative intro appeals to the emotions of the reader and “sets the scene” for the topic of the essay.

This means that when you’re writing an essay about the psychological effects of microagressions on minority communities, you might begin your essay with a summary of the narrative of a person affected by microaggressions.

Here’s an example:

Pedro Hernandez is a 28 year old accountant born in America to immigrant parents who fought and worked hard for every right and penny they have. Because Pedro was born in America but his parents hail from El Salvador, he grew up speaking and learning English in school, and speaking and learning Spanish at home.

One day at work, Pedro had a new client come in – an older white couple.

“You’re so articulate!” The wife exclaimed.

“You really are smart!” The husband “compliments.”

Little does this couple know, these comments are actually hurting the integrity of Pedro’s identity as a Latino American.

I bet that intro hooked you right in! That is the beauty about the creative intro. This is my go-to intro to use when I care deeply about the assignment.

You might be thinking, “When is it appropriate to use the creative intro?”

The answers is simple; use it whenever the fuck you want.

Each of the scenarios I mentioned in my introduction are prime examples of common essays where a creative intro is appropriate.

Here is an example of a creative intro in a scientific report about the aftermath of bone marrow transplants.

Analytical Introductions

The analytical intro is probably what your teacher taught you in the 5th grade. In my opinion, I find this approach to be a little bit outdated and, frankly, boring. But I use it half of the time nonetheless when I’m writing essays because it’s effective in getting the job done.

To write an analytical intro, you will have to have all of the information that you’re using in the essay available and in front of you before you can write it. For that reason, you can feel safe saving the analytical intro as the last thing you write.

It is easiest to write this paragraph once you have the topic sentences and transitions for all of your body paragraphs because for each body paragraph, you will have one sentence in your analytical intro.

That means that if you needed to have 10 body paragraphs to prove your point, you will need 10 sentences in your introduction to match.

So your analytical intro will look something like this:

  • Hook/Attention grabber
  • Introductory sentence to topic 1
  • Introductory sentence to topic 2
  • Introductory sentence to topic 3
  • Introductory sentence to topic 4
  • Introductory sentence to topic 5
  • Use as many as you need!
  • Thesis

Based on the little outline of this analytical intro I just gave you, you’ll have 7 sentences in your introduction.

An easier way to think about this is that your first sentence (the hook or attention grabber) is your introduction. Your next sentence will be “body sentence 1,” then “body sentence 2,” and so on. Then your thesis, which is what you will restate in your conclusion, is your faux conclusion.

The pros of using the analytical introduction paragraph is that it tells your reader exactly what you will be talking about, and when.

The cons of using the analytical introduction paragraph is that it is pretty hard to write because it’s hard to find the motivation to complete it. No one wants to sit down and count how many body paragraphs they have and then write that many introductory sentences for each one.

I prefer the creative intro because it is fun to write and hooks the reader instantly. The cons of the creative intro is that it almost makes you seem less credible and sometimes it’s hard to discern if the essay is about your scenario, or if it’s about the information you’ve put in the essay. But this is combatted if you have a good conclusion to tie everything together.

The Thesis

The thesis and the female orgasm have a lot in common: they exist and are both easy to accomplish with some fancy finger work and a little thought.

To write a thesis, you must know what you want to say. If you are given a prompt, use words from the prompt. That is the easiest way to make sure that you are writing a thesis that your teacher is looking for.

Here is an example of what I just said; this is the prompt I was given in my latest literature class:

Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Salesman, in part, comments on the American Dream. Specifically, Willy Loman may represent the flipside to that dream, a kind of antithesis to the prosperity and happiness implied by it. Explore Willy’s character in your essay in the context of the American Dream. Why does it escape Willy? Yet why does Willy remain so steadfastly committed to its ideals? How does his family either reinforce or sabotage Willy’s delusions?

For this essay, I was given a lot of free range, which meant that I didn’t have to answer every single one of these questions. So here is what my thesis looked like in my final draft:

Willy Loman is living an illusion of the American Dream. Though he remains committed to the ideals of the dream, there are many external and internal forces that sabotage and reinforce them.

For this essay, I used a modified version of the analytical introduction, so this thesis came at the end of my intro.

In my thesis here, I gave a lot of detailed information about what exactly I was going to say in the paper. This is exactly what a thesis should do. It should reflect the assignment and allude to the ideas or proposals you will explore in the rest of the paper.

You can read a PDF version of the paper by clicking here.

The location of the thesis is different in both the creative and analytical introductions.

In the creative intro, you can tack it on to the end of your scenario after your transition. In my example paragraph, the last sentence is the transition from scenario to evidence. And in between the scenario (creative) intro and the evidence, will come the thesis. It’ll look like this:

  • Scenario (narrative)
  • Transition
  • Thesis
    Body paragraph
  • Evidence

In the analytical intro, the thesis will very straight forwardly come at the end of the paragraph.

There are many other ways to incorporate the thesis in different ways, but this is a tutorial about how to write the “skeleton outline” which will be the basis of any and all essays you can write.

Body Paragraphs

The purpose of a body paragraphs is to present your evidence and analyze it. There are many different ways that you can do this, but I think I’ve cracked the code on figuring out the easiest, fastest, and most effective way to present your information and talk about it too.

But first, we must look at the information that is already out there about body paragraph writing.

I grew up calling body paragraphs CD/CM paragraphs thanks to my high school English teacher.

Her outline of the paragraphs goes like this:

  • Topic sentence
  • Concrete Detail (CD)
  • Commentary (CM)
  • Concluding sentence

Another way to write a body paragraph is a TEA paragraph. And that goes something like this:

  • Topic sentence
  • Evidence
  • Analysis
  • Concluding sentence

ANOTHER way to write a body paragraph is using the PIE formation. Here’s what that looks like:

  • Point of the paragraph
  • Information
  • Explanation
  • Concluding sentence

If you haven’t noticed by now, every single one of these approaches are the exact same.

Your concrete details, evidence, and information are all the same thing.

The commentary, analysis, and explanation are all the same thing.

However, I like aspects of every one of these body paragraph toolkits, and I don’t like one thing about about every one of these toolkits.

The qualities I like about each of these are the concrete details from my high school teacher’s toolkit, the topic sentence from the TEA paragraph toolkit, and the explanation from the PIE paragraph toolkit.

The quality I don’t like about these three body paragraph toolkits are the lack of transitioning. A good essay has transitions, and a bad one falls apart without them.

My proposed modification of the body paragraph is as follows:

  • Topic sentence
  • Concrete detail
  • Explanation
  • Transition

The topic sentence is supposed to introduce the information inside of the body paragraph. It is important to say what you’re about to talk about because it lets the reader know that you know what you’re doing. Your topic sentence should not be more than one sentence.

The concrete detail is the evidence in the form of a quote, paraphrase, idea, or anything belonging to someone else. The concrete detail will always have a citation at the end of it. Your concrete detail can be more than one sentence.

The explanation is the reason that the evidence you’ve presented is important to your argument. The explanation should be brief, but can be more than one sentence – no more than three sentences in a short paper.

The transition is tricky! This is the hardest part of writing a body paragraph. Your transition should mention how the evidence you’ve just presented relates to the evidence you are about to present. This means that you will be using words from the paragraph you’ve just written AND words from the paragraph you are about to write. The transition should not be more than one sentence. If you find yourself struggling to write the transition, write it after you’ve written the two body paragraphs that you’re connecting.

A well composed body paragraph with information presented properly and effectively with an explanation that ties it all together and transitions that keep it flowing is key to writing an essay that sounds credible.

Conclusions

The conclusion is the hardest part of the essay. I have struggled with it since the very beginning of my essay writing.

My first teacher to assign an essay explained the conclusion as how you relate to the essay. But I find this problematic because there is no possible way that you can relate to any and every essay that you will write.

The best way to describe the conclusion is that it is the “So what?” of your essay. It’s the space you use to say why exactly all of your concrete details and explanations prove your thesis.

But writing the conclusion is still really hard even when you have this mindset. And just like the intro, you have two different ways that you can write your conclusion to match your intro.

So you will have a creative conclusion or an analytical conclusion.

Creative Conclusions

The creative conclusion is basically like a check in with the person or narrative that you talked about in your intro while using the information you presented in your body paragraphs to modify the scenario.

This could come in the form of going back to Pedro Hernandez and the white couple to improve the situation. For example, your conclusion might focus on what the white couple should have said instead of what they did say.

This is the other reason that I prefer to write creative conclusions. It is easy to write the conclusion that mirrors it.

Analytical Conclusions

An analytical conclusion will have the same amount of sentences in it that your intro has. For example, as mentioned earlier, I wrote a short outline for an introduction that had 7 sentences, so the conclusion for that essay would have a conclusion with 7 sentences as well.

Your analytical conclusion will look at every topic sentence you’ve introduced and give you the update.

Think of it like this:

The analytical introduction is the “I’m going to talk about…”

The analytical conclusion is the “I’ve talked about…”

Analytical conclusions are harder to write than creative conclusions because you have to sit there and look at the web you’ve written and make sense of it all in context to your thesis.

I realize that I haven’t given very helpful information in this section of my article. It is because I simply am not that great at writing conclusions yet. I will get there someday and write a whole article about how to conclude things properly!

The Outline

Now! Let’s look at what our basic bitch essay outline looks like.

  • Introduction
    • Creative
      • Scenario (set the scene with a narrative to appeal to the emotions of your reader)
      • Transition (don’t just jump from narrative to concrete details)
      • Thesis (remember to use words from the prompt in your thesis)
    • Analytical
      • Hook/Attention grabber
      • Introductory sentence to topic 1 (talk about the topic for body paragraph 1)
      • Introductory sentence to topic 2 (talk about the topic for body paragraph 2)
      • Introductory sentence to topic 3 (talk about the topic for body paragraph 3)
      • Use as many as you need!
      • Thesis (remember to use words from the prompt in your thesis)
    • Body paragraph 1
      • Topic sentence (introduce paragraph topic)
      • Concrete detail (quote, data, stat, idea, etc. USE CITATION.)
      • Explanation (why is your concrete detail important for your topic?)
      • Transition (don’t just jump into the next topic, tie them together with this sentence between paragraphs)
    • Body Paragraph 2
      • Exactly like body paragraph 1 and you can use it as many times as you need to prove your point
    • Conclusion
      • Creative
        • Updated scenario OR
        • Fixed scenario (very subjective. Think of it as using the information talked about in the body paragraphs to fix the scenario in the beginning)
      • Analytical
        • Mirroring analytical introduction (please read the section on my website about this one. Conclusions are super hard. I’m not the best at them.)