Start by planning your outline and choosing a structure for it. Then, you can organize your ideas into an easy to understand outline. The easiest way to write an outline is to gather all of your supporting materials, like quotes, statistics, or ideas, before getting started.
Next, go over your materials and take notes, grouping similar ideas together. Then, organize your ideas into subtopics and use your materials to provide at least two supporting points per subtopic.
Decide if you will write your outline by hand or type it. If you're preparing your outline just for your own use, choose what works best for you.
If you're preparing your outline for an assignment, follow your instructor's directions. Some people process their ideas better when they write them down. Additionally, you can easily draw diagrams or examples, which might help you conceptualize the subject. However, it might take longer to write out your outline, and it won't be as neat. Typing your outline might be easier if your notes are already typed on the computer, as you can just copy and paste them into your outline.
Copying and pasting also allows you to easily rearrange your sections, if necessary. Also, it will be easier to copy and paste information from your outline into your paper if you type your outline.
On the other hand, it's harder to jot down notes in the margins or draw out organizational diagrams. Narrow down your topic. Outlines help you organize your thoughts, ideas, or research regarding a topic. Without a main topic, your outline has no purpose. Your topic may be based on an assignment or could stem from a personal goal. Then, allow the outlining process to help you structure your work. As you write your outline, you might narrow this down to the resistance fighters called maquisards.
Identify the purpose of your outline, such as inform, entertain or reflect. Think about what you hope to accomplish with your outline. Will you complete an essay assignment? This allows you to determine what that essay, book, or speech will do for the reader. Know your intended audience. However, many times you are preparing them for yourself, either to help you complete an assignment or to help you accomplish a goal. If the outline is for work, use an existing outline as a model for yours.
If you are the only person who will see the outline, you can choose formatting that works for you. For example, you might write your outline in shorthand. Assemble your notes, research or supporting materials, if applicable.
You might incorporate some of the following: Brainstorm to identify your argument or main ideas. Jot down your ideas, important bits of research, and any questions you might want answered.
For a creative project, you might write down scene ideas or plot points. Write down everything you might include in your outline. You can always eliminate ideas later! Here are some ways to organize your thoughts: Create a mind map. Write your thoughts on index cards. Develop a thesis or controlling idea for your outline.
In most cases, this will be the thesis you use to complete the final product, such as an essay. For example, you may be writing a paper about policy change.
Write an alphanumeric outline for the easy approach. Although you might not recognize the name, most outlines follow the alphanumeric format.
Each level of your outline will be organized using a letter or number. Make a decimal outline to highlight the relationship between ideas. A decimal outline looks very similar to an alphanumeric outline. However, a decimal outline only uses numbers, and each sublevel is set off with decimals.
This allows you to illustrate that each sublevel is a part of a larger argument. Decide if you want to write full sentences or short phrases. Most outlines include short phrases, which are also called topic outlines. However, using full sentences can help you better understand your ideas. You might use full sentences to make it easier to write a final paper, to make a good study guide, or to fulfill the requirements of an assignment. Group your ideas together. Review your brainstorming, placing related ideas in the same group.
You can always eliminate ideas you realize are unnecessary. These groups will become main points, so narrow your groups down until you have your desired number of main points. For an essay or speech, that often means 3, but a creative piece may have more. Sort your index cards, if you used them to brainstorm.
Put cards with related ideas together. For example, you can put them in stacks, or you can line your cards out in rows to make them easier to read. Put each group in order from broad ideas to specific details. Broad ideas are more likely to be your main points, while details are the bits of information you will use to support those ideas.
Depending on the purpose of your outline, you may have many subpoints and supporting details. However, aim to have at least subpoints and supporting details for each main idea.
Your subpoints might be that Victor Frankenstein is restored by nature and that his scientific efforts create a monster. As supporting details, you might include quotes from the book.
If you're writing a story or presenting a historical argument, a chronological order makes sense. How can we benefit from knowing more? When time is up, read over your list, and add anything else that you think of. Are there patterns or ideas that keep coming up?
These are often clues about what is most important about this topic or issue. A time limit is also useful in this exercise.
Using a blank piece of paper or your word-processing program, summarize your topic in a sentence and keep writing. Write anything that comes to your mind and don't stop. Don't worry about grammar or spelling, and if you get stuck, just write whatever comes to mind. Continue until your time limit is up, and when it's time to stop, read over what you've written and start underlining the most important or relevant ideas.
This will help you to identify your most important ideas, and you'll often be surprised by what you come up with. In this exercise, you'll simply list all of your ideas. This will help you when you are mapping or outlining your ideas, because as you use an idea, you can cross it off your list. This is another way to record your thoughts and observations for a paragraph or essay after you have chosen a topic.
First draw a circle near the center of a blank piece of paper, and in that circle, write the subject of your essay or paragraph. Then in a ring around the main circle, write down the main parts or subtopics within the main topic. Circle each of these, and then draw a line connecting them to the main circle in the middle.
Repeat this process with each new circle until you run out of ideas. This is a great way of identifying the parts within your topic, which will provide content for the paper, and it also helps you discover how these parts relate to each other. An outline is a plan for the paper that will help you organize and structure your ideas in a way that effectively communicates them to your reader and supports your thesis statement.
You'll want to work on an outline after you've completed some of the other exercises, since having an idea of what you'll say in the paper will make it much easier to write. An outline can be very informal; you might simply jot down your thesis statement, what the introduction will discuss, what you'll say in the body of the paper, and what you want to include in the conclusion.
Remember that all writing — even academic writing — needs to tell a story: If you work on telling a story in the paper, it will help you to structure it in a way that the reader can easily follow and understand. Sometimes you may be required or you may want to develop a more formal outline with numbered and lettered headings and subheadings.
If you're writing your outline to fulfill an assignment, you should always go back over your assignment sheet or rubric to make sure you fulfilled all of the requirements.
Double check that your work completely satisfies your instructor's expectations so you'll get full credit. Outlines are a great way to organize your ideas! They are essential when you're writing an essay or other written assignment. They help you plan out your ideas and research prior to writing your final paper. Not Helpful 0 Helpful 0. The structure is the frame on which to build your outline: Intro, Body 1, Body 2, Body 3, and Conclusion is a structure.
Your outline fills in the structure. Use the Intro to state your topic and let your reader know what you'll be discussing. The body paragraphs go into detail on each of your points, and the conclusion sums up and reiterates your points.
Not Helpful 3 Helpful 9. Like the article says, determine your purpose, topic, and audience and develop some points that relate to the question. You might find that planning your essay before you begin to write it makes it easier. Make sure you have a strong thesis statement. Not Helpful 7 Helpful If It gives an article, what should I do to write an outline well? Answer this question Flag as Could you provide me with a sample outline of an essay topic media and culture?
Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Already answered Not a question Bad question Other. Quick Summary To write an essay outline, start with a section about your introduction that includes an introductory sentence and your thesis statement. Did this summary help you? Most schools have writing centers that offer walk-in and by appointment help for all kinds of writing projects.
At first, I had no idea what the heck an essay outline was, so my teacher gave us a link to this awesome website and I then learned how to do an essay outline. AP Ash Pardoe Feb 25, I knew what I wanted to say, I just could not think of how to put it all together to make sense. This article had a great outline and worked for my essay.
AB Andrea Boatright Oct 25, SM Silver Moon Apr 18, Many English courses, grammar books, and compositions do not offer such worthy guidance for outlines. MK Michele Keesle May 27, And now I feel more confident in beginning my essay. RY Raphael Yanka Feb 10, I also learned how to write an outline. OJ Olufemi Jolugbo Aug 15, CG Cherie Gibson Jul 12, GA Gaju Angel May 31,
Sample Essay Outlines Why Write an Outline? An outline will help you organize your main ideas and determine the order in which you are going to write about them. Writing an outline is a very effective way to think through how you will organize and present the information in your essay.
The more structured your outline is, the better organized and easier to write your essay will be. A well-structured essay outline helps you travel from point to point in your composition, creating a natural flow for the reader until you bring the "punch line" home in the summary or conclusion.
Then you’ll get the chance to access some awesome essay outline templates to help you start writing a well-planned and strongly organized paper that wows your professor. An essay outline is an essential element for every essay. The outline for an essay, therefore, acts as the skeleton of the essay being written. The draft goes hand in hand with the essay structure so that the content can flow in a systematic manner.
In our compare and contrast essay outline example, the thesis statement concentrates on three characteristics of Molly and Morgan: “ It is clear that Morgan and Molly differ in the manner in which they accessorize, the toys that they use and how they spend their leisure time. An essay outline is a combination of rules that help to organize an essay. It requires several important steps. They are research, analysis, brainstorming, thesis, outline, introduction, body paragraphs, conclusion, sticking to proper format, and adsense-info.gay, it is very important to think over the topic of the essay and gather all the sources that are relevant in this case.