A good history essay must be coherent—all of its component parts must add up to its whole. Creating a point-based outline is a fabulous way to determine whether your ideas add up to a coherent essay.
The important element of a point-based outline is (as the name implies) that each section contains an analytical point—a secondary argument—that helps prove your thesis. In other word, every body paragraph should prove a point rather than merely discuss a topic. When complete, reading your thesis and each of your secondary arguments should provide a nice synthesis of your argument. To complete a point-based outline, you should include relevant pieces of evidence underneath your secondary arguments so that all that remains to complete an actual essay is some sourcing and some analysis.
Create a point-based outline that could form the basis for an essay on Republicans in Power. This should contain a question, a thesis, three paragraph secondary arguments, at least three pieces of relevant evidence, and a sketch of ideas for a conclusion.
Your point-based essay should make use of this template:
II. Paragraph 1 secondary argument:
III. Paragraph 2 secondary argument:
IV. Paragraph 3 secondary argument:
V. Paragraph 4 secondary argument: