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What is an Outline? An outline is a general plan of the material that is to be presented in a speech or a paper. The outline shows the order of the various topics, the relative importance of each, and the relationship between the various parts.
Purpose • Organizes ideas and information for a paper or project • Help simplifies writing • Shows relationship between ideas in your paper
Types of Outlines 1. Topic outline: the headings are given in single words or brief phrases. 2. Sentence outline: all the headings are expressed in complete sentences.
Thesis Statement All outlines should begin with a thesis statement of summarizing sentence. This thesis sentence presents the central idea of the paper. It must always express the point of view you are taking towards the subject.
Four Main Components • Parallelism • Coordination • Subordination • Division
Parallelism Each heading and subheading should preserve parallel structure. If the first heading is a verb, the second heading should be a verb. Example: I. Choose desired college II. Prepare Application
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. Example: I. Visit and evaluate college campuses II. Visit and evaluate college websites A. Note important statistics. B. Look for interesting classes
Subordination The information in the headings should be more general, while the information in the subheadings should be more specific. Example: I. Describe an influential person in your life A. Favorite high school teacher B. Grandparent
Division Each heading should be divided into 2 or more parts. Example: I. Compile Resume A. List relevant coursework B. List work experience C. List volunteer experience
References • "How to Write an Outline. " How to Write an Outline. N. p. , n. d. Web. 24 May 2013. <http: //www. lavc. edu/library/outline. htm>. • "Outlines. " |KU Writing Center. N. p. , n. d. Web. 24 May 2013. <http: //www. writing. ku. edu/~writing/guides/outlines. shtml>. • "Welcome to the Purdue OWL. " Purdue OWL: Developing an Outline. N. p. , n. d. Web. 24 May 2013. <http: //owl. english. purdue. edu/owl/resource/544/01/>.