I'm in a class where we have to write outlines for our every essay, and believe it or not, this was the first place I looked for guidlines. I didn't find one, so I decided to write one.
Start out with an outline of your introduction.
The first letter you use should be the roman numeral I, which denotes your essay's topic, not your thesis.
After the first I, you should indent for your main ideas of the paragraph, and these should be denoted with capital letters such as A, B, C, etc, going in order.
Make sure one of these letters denotes your thesis. Your thesis statement should be the only complete sentence in your outline.
For your second paragraph, start with the roman numeral II, and put the main idea of the paragraph, and then A, B, C, etc to denote the main ideas.
If you feel the need to explain a main idea more, put a tab, and then start off numbering. 1, 2, 3, etc
If you feel the need to explain a number more, then put a tab, and start with lowercase letters. a, b, c, etc.
Don't forget to outline your conclusion as well as your introduction. Also, for every A, there must also be at least a B to come after it. And for every 1, there must be a 2.
Do not forget this.
It is better to be safe than sorry.
Good luck on your essay...I tried to make these instructions as clear as possible...
Don't forget to relate your evidence and main ideas back to your thesis.
Make great points!
Get the best grades.