Creating an Outline A quick howto guide to

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Creating an Outline A quick how-to guide to an important paper writing skill

Creating an Outline A quick how-to guide to an important paper writing skill

Why an Outline? • Aids in the process of writing • Helps you organize

Why an Outline? • Aids in the process of writing • Helps you organize your ideas • Presents your material in a logical form • Shows the relationships among ideas in your writing • Constructs an ordered overview of your writing • Defines boundaries and groups

Before the Outline • Determine the purpose of your paper • Determine the audience

Before the Outline • Determine the purpose of your paper • Determine the audience of your paper • Develop thesis of your paper

Creating an Outline • Brainstorm: List all the ideas that you want to include

Creating an Outline • Brainstorm: List all the ideas that you want to include in your paper. • Organize: Group related ideas together. • Order: Arrange material in subsections from general to specific or from abstract to concrete. • Label: Create main and sub headings.

Four Main Components for Effective Outlines • Parallelism • Coordination • Subordination • Division

Four Main Components for Effective Outlines • Parallelism • Coordination • Subordination • Division

1. Parallelism • Each heading and subheading should preserve parallel structure. • If the

1. Parallelism • Each heading and subheading should preserve parallel structure. • If the first heading is a verb, the second heading should also be a verb.

1. Parallelism • Example: THE COLLEGE APPLICATION PROCESS [Topic] I. CHOOSE DESIRED COLLEGES [Heading

1. Parallelism • Example: THE COLLEGE APPLICATION PROCESS [Topic] I. CHOOSE DESIRED COLLEGES [Heading 1] II. PREPARE APPLICATION [Heading 2] III. COMPILE RESUME [Heading 3]

2. Coordination • All the information contained in Heading 1 should have the same

2. Coordination • All the information contained in Heading 1 should have the same significance as the information contained in Heading 2. • The same goes for the subheadings (which should be less significant than the headings).

2. Coordination • Example: THE COLLEGE APPLICATION PROCESS I. CHOOSE DESIRED COLLEGES [Main idea]

2. Coordination • Example: THE COLLEGE APPLICATION PROCESS I. CHOOSE DESIRED COLLEGES [Main idea] A. Visit and evaluate college campuses B. Visit and evaluate college websites II. PREPARE APPLICATION A. Write personal statement B. Revise personal statement III. COMPILE RESUME A. List relevant coursework B. List work experience C. List volunteer experience [Supporting details] [Main idea] [Supporting details]

3. Subordination • The information in the headings should be more general, while the

3. Subordination • The information in the headings should be more general, while the information in the subheadings should be more specific.

3. Subordination • Example: THE COLLEGE APPLICATION PROCESS I. CHOOSE DESIRED COLLEGES [More general]

3. Subordination • Example: THE COLLEGE APPLICATION PROCESS I. CHOOSE DESIRED COLLEGES [More general] A. Visit and evaluate college campuses B. Visit and evaluate college websites II. PREPARE APPLICATION A. Write personal statement B. Revise personal statement III. COMPILE RESUME A. List relevant coursework B. List work experience C. List volunteer experience [More specific] [More general] [More specific]

4. Division • Each heading should be divided into two or more parts. A

4. Division • Each heading should be divided into two or more parts. A heading or subheading cannot have only one subdivision beneath it. • In other words, every “A” must have at least a corresponding “B, ” every “ 1” must have at least a corresponding “ 2, ” etc. • Technically, there is no limit to the number of subdivisions for your headings; however, if you seem to have a lot, it may be useful to see if some of the parts can be combined.

4. Division • Example: I. CHOOSE DESIRED COLLEGES A. Visit and evaluate college campuses

4. Division • Example: I. CHOOSE DESIRED COLLEGES A. Visit and evaluate college campuses B. Visit and evaluate college websites 1. Look for interesting classes 2. Note important statistics II. PREPARE APPLICATION A. Write personal statement 1. Choose interesting topic 2. Include important personal details B. Revise personal statement III. COMPILE RESUME A. List relevant coursework B. List work experience C. List volunteer experience 1. Tutor at foreign language summer camp 2. Counselor for suicide prevention hotline

Types of Outlines • Basic alphanumeric • Full-sentence alphanumeric • Decimal

Types of Outlines • Basic alphanumeric • Full-sentence alphanumeric • Decimal

Types of Outlines • Basic alphanumeric • • First level heading: Roman numerals (I,

Types of Outlines • Basic alphanumeric • • First level heading: Roman numerals (I, III, IV, etc. ) Second level heading: Uppercase letters (A, B, C, D, etc. ) Third level heading: Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, etc. ) Fourth level heading: Lowercase letters (a, b, c, d, etc. ) I. CHOOSE DESIRED COLLEGES A. Visit and evaluate college campuses B. Visit and evaluate college websites B. 1. Look for interesting classes Visit and evaluate college websites 2. Note important statistics 1. Look for interesting classes 2. Note important statistics

Types of Outlines • Basic alphanumeric • Full-sentence alphanumeric I. Man-made pollution is the

Types of Outlines • Basic alphanumeric • Full-sentence alphanumeric I. Man-made pollution is the primary cause of global warming. A. Greenhouse gas emissions are widely identified by the A. Greenhouse gas emissions are widely identified by scientific community to be harmful. the scientific community to be harmful. 1. The burning of coal and fossil fuels are the primary 1. The burning of coal and fossil fuels are the releasers of hazardous greenhouse gases. primary releasers of hazardous greenhouse gases.

Types of Outlines • Basic alphanumeric • Full-sentence alphanumeric • Decimal 1. 0 Choose

Types of Outlines • Basic alphanumeric • Full-sentence alphanumeric • Decimal 1. 0 Choose Desired College 1. 1 Visit and evaluate college campuses 1. 2 Visit and evaluate college websites 1. 2. 1 Look for interesting classes 1. 2. 2 Note important statistics

Reverse Outline • Written after the first draft of the paper is completed •

Reverse Outline • Written after the first draft of the paper is completed • Used to check a paper’s logic, structure & organization • Can be used in place of or in conjunction with traditional outline • How to create and use a reverse outline: • • Reread paper draft one paragraph at a time Summarize main point of each paragraph in the paper margin Create a list of bullet points from these paragraph summaries Shorten/split paragraphs that have more than one main point; clarify/delete paragraphs that have no main point • Determine whether each paragraph supports paper’s thesis • Determine whether paragraphs are in logical sequence

For Further Information • Purdue Online Writing Lab: https: //owl. english. purdue. edu/owl/ •

For Further Information • Purdue Online Writing Lab: https: //owl. english. purdue. edu/owl/ • Duke Divinity School’s Center for Theological Writing: https: //divinity. duke. edu/academics/center-theological-writing (Office located on lower level of Westbrook building; appointments made through Sakai website) • Duke’s Thompson Writing Program online resources: http: //twp. duke. edu/twp-writing-studio/resources/academicwriting/revising