What is the English for French "plan" in an academic presentation?

For instance:


  1. Introduction
  2. Data and methodology
  3. Results
  4. Conclusion

This meaning of French "plan" is very pervasive in the French education/academic system (in Google search, 33 000 000 for "plan de la dissertation" ("dissertation" is a specific term for 'high school essay') ('high school essay's plan'); 394 000 000 results for "plan de la présentation" ('presentation plan').

Two problems: (1) this meaning is not really described in French dictionaries (2) I can't find a good translation in English dictionaries/translation tools

(1) French dictionaries

In French, the word "plan" covers many meanings. In fact, in the wiktionary, it corresponds to 3 different nouns. The 1st one has 6 meanings, and the 2nd one (which concerns us here, has 8 meanings). Here is my translation of those 8 meanings from the wiktionary :

  1. Graphic representation of a construction 2. Map 3. Organisation of a project 4. Previsional economic organisation of a country 5. Event after a preparation 6. Intention, purpose 7. Musical structure 8. Sexual meeting

Bolded is the meaning which concerns us here.

In the French dictionary TLFI, "plan" is also described as having lots of meanings. One that corresponds to the meaning which concerns here is, bolded (my translation) :

B.1. Written project, containing an ordered series of operations, in order to achieve an action or a series of actions

(2) English dictionaries/translation tools

I searched on linguee but I can't find. Google translate gives "plan of the presentation", but I am not sure.

  • 1
    If you ask for the English equivalent of a word in another language you must explain at length and in English the meaning and connotations of the idea the foreign word expresses. Otherwise your question comes under the category of "translation", which the Tour indicates is off-topic.
    – David
    Dec 1, 2022 at 18:13
  • @David I tried to edit my questions following the rules. Thank you.
    – Starckman
    Dec 9, 2022 at 14:17
  • 1
    Why not use a real dictionary like Harrap's or Larousse? Instead of this linguee and google shite? By the way, un plan élaboré is not an elaborated project, it is a written project.
    – Lambie
    Dec 9, 2022 at 15:19
  • 1
    @Mitch Yes indeed, I just tried with "plan de la présentation", it gives "layout of the presentation" (I suppose it is incorrect), but I tried with "plan de la présentation académique" and it gives "outline of academic presentation". In all due fairness, I re-tried Deepl with "plan de la présentation académique" and it also gives the correct "outline of the academic presentation". Thank you for the recommandation of Reverso's machine translation tool (I didn't know it)! I really appreciate the concrete examples it provides below the translation window
    – Starckman
    Dec 10, 2022 at 6:14
  • 1
    @starckman None of these tools are perfect, so you always need to use judgement. But reverso does benefit from having many examples (maybe some aren't exactly the right thing?)
    – Mitch
    Dec 10, 2022 at 20:45

1 Answer 1


1. Outline:

a general sketch, account, or report, indicating only the main features, as of a book, subject, or project

  1. Structure.

  2. Breakdown


Pick the one you like.

  • 1
    Just to be sure: "plan" is not possible?
    – Starckman
    Dec 1, 2022 at 14:30
  • 1
    @starckman: plan would be unidiomatic if you used it for the structure of an academic presentation, and in most cases, breakdown would be even worse. But outline and structure are both good. Dec 1, 2022 at 14:49
  • 1
    Thank you very much Ricky and @Peter Shor. I'm glad I double checked on this forum.
    – Starckman
    Dec 1, 2022 at 15:19
  • 2
    You can use plan for the structure of a house, or a city. Probably not for writing or presentation (it's possible that you could use it for a film, which is a much more complicated object). Dec 1, 2022 at 15:50
  • 1
    If you are robbing a bank or setting out a project, you would use a plan. For presentations and meetings, agenda is also common. Dec 1, 2022 at 15:52

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