Box Outline Essay Examples

Types of Outlines and Samples

Alphanumeric Outlines

This is the most common type of outline and usually instantly recognizable to most people. The formatting follows these characters, in this order:

  • Roman Numerals
  • Capitalized Letters
  • Arabic Numerals
  • Lowercase Letters

If the outline needs to subdivide beyond these divisions, use Arabic numerals inside parentheses and then lowercase letters inside parentheses. Select the "Sample Outlines" PDF in the Media Box above to download the sample of this outline.

The sample PDF in the Media Box above is an example of an outline that a student might create before writing an essay. In order to organize her thoughts and make sure that she has not forgotten any key points that she wants to address, she creates the outline as a framework for her essay.

What is the assignment?

Your instructor asks the class to write an expository (explanatory) essay on the typical steps a high school student would follow in order to apply to college.

What is the purpose of this essay?

To explain the process for applying to college

Who is the intended audience for this essay?

High school students intending to apply to college and their parents

What is the essay's thesis statement?

When applying to college, a student follows a certain process which includes choosing the right schools and preparing the application materials.

Full Sentence Outlines

The full sentence outline format is essentially the same as the Alphanumeric outline. The main difference (as the title suggests) is that full sentences are required at each level of the outline. This outline is most often used when preparing a traditional essay. Select the "Sample Outlines" PDF in the Media Box above to download the sample of this outline.

Decimal Outlines

The decimal outline is similar in format to the alphanumeric outline. The added benefit is a system of decimal notation that clearly shows how every level of the outline relates to the larger whole. Select the "Sample Outlines" PDF in the Media Box above to download the sample of this outline.


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Limited budget? Pay-What-You-Can spots available for counselors and CBOs working with low-income students.

My goal is to help counselors lead workshops that shift their students’ thinking about their own life stories in a way that is inspiring, purposeful, and fun. 

A great workshop will also save you tons of time.

Step-by-step lessons for counselors that cover:

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  • Two activities to efficiently help your students find their deepest story
  • Two simple structures that will work for any personal statement (really)
  • A system for personally reviewing and approving essay topics for 100+ students in one day—and more, if you have help
  • Four ways to help students outline their essay
  • How to adapt this material to a one-on-one setting

And here’s the best part: You can lead the workshop yourself, co-lead it with videos from me, or have students guide themselves, depending on what will work best for your students and (honestly) how much time you have.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I lead a workshop anyway?

It’s incredibly efficient. Early on, I learned that much of the process of brainstorming and finding a structure for a personal statement can be taught in groups. 

What are the main differences between the Free Student Version and the Counselor Version?

The Free Student Version provides a link you can give to your students so they can work step-by-step through the process on their own. The Premium Counselor Version gives you the student link (to share with students), but also gives you a Counselor Version of the The Essay Workshop in a Box that you can work through with your students, at a pace you determine, and with Counselor Notes and Tips throughout to help you make the workshop as productive and efficient as possible. The Premium Counselor Version also gets you:

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  • The private Facebook Support Community (Collaborate and share notes with hundreds of other high school counselors on best practices)
  • The College Essay Guy Webinar Club (monthly webinars where I offer direct feedback on student essays)
  • Additional outlines for leading full-day workshops, 3, 4 and 5-day workshops, and even six-week workshops

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  1. Metaphorically speaking, the PCV gives you a boat and a map; the CTP teaches you how to sail.
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  3. The PCV comes with one year of access to the materials; the CTP includes one-year of access to the PCV materials.

Got another question?

Our FAQ page has you covered. Or if you can't find the answer there, shoot us an email. [email protected]

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