An essential tool in planning a project, drafting a research study, writing a story, or studying for an upcoming test is the use of document outlines. So if you are looking for such tools that can show relationships and provide structure for any kind of document or reading material, then this article is for you.
Continue reading and you will learn more about outline-making tips and how to use outline and storyboard templates. In addition, we will share downloadable examples of outline template designs that you can actually use.
Elements of A Good Outline
Outlines are summaries of lengthy tomes, plans, or plot points that allow you to see the bigger picture of a project, idea, or narrative in half the time. To achieve this, knowledge of the key qualities or elements of a good outline is essential.
Below, we have listed the top elements that, when correctly incorporated into any research outline design, will help you create an effective outline.
1. Organized Layout: The best outlines should be easy to read and organized. So when creating your own outline templates, make sure that you follow a simple and organized layout. Avoid adding extraneous formatting styles like borders and illustrations as they take away the effect of the outline text itself.
2. Proper Headings: Another way to promote readability of a document is through the use of relevant headings or labels. Make sure that you outline uses the right headings. Proofread the document before finalizing it.
3. Well-Researched Content: Using a pre-made outline template is not enough. To create an effective outline, you need to fill it up with relevant content. And to do this, you need to read and study the source material well. To illustrate, if you are making a project proposal outline, you first need to study the project proposal before you can come up with an accurate summary.
4. Good Lettering Style: As reading material, the typography design used in an outline matters. Good typography design means that all the font styles, character kerning, size, color, and arrangement all work hand in hand to make the document easier to read and comprehend.
Keep all these things in mind when making an outline and you will have a tool that can help you study, teach, or present any material more effectively.
12+ Outline Templates
Check out all these outline templates in Apple Pages file format. Each printable template is fully editable to match whatever project you are working on. Other file download formats (like DOC, DOCX, PDF, and Google Docs) are also available.
Lesson Plan Outline Template
Project Proposal Outline Example
Report Outline Template
Business Plan Outline Sample
Restaurant Business Plan Outline Template
Artist Biography Outline Template
Basic Biography Outline Example
Biography Essay Outline Format Template
Character Biography Outline Sample
Personal Biography Outline Template
Professional Biography Outline Example
Sample Biography Outline Template
Short Biography Outline Template
How to Create an Excellent Outline
To demystify the outline-making process, we have prepared a simplified guide on how to create an outline. Read and diligently study all the steps below.
1. Determine what kind of outline you need.
2. Read and study the source material (book, project proposal, topic, process, etc).
3. Take down notes during your study period.
4. Download an printable outline template. Multiple editable examples are featured above.
5. Open the outline template in your preferred graphic design or word processing software program.
6. Fill out the text placeholders and replace them with the key points discussed in your source material.
7. Repeat the previous step until you are satisfied with the structure and content of your outline.
8. Proofread the outline template and save the final file.
9. Print out the template. Or, you may send it directly to your boss, professor, or client through email.
10. Congratulate yourself as you have now create your own outline.
What to Write in an Outline
To make the outline-making process easier, we have listed the most important pieces of information that should be included in any kind of outline. Check out the short list below and feel free to tick off what specific details you will need to write in your own outline designs.
- Title of the outline
- A front page containing the name of the outline creator
- The main thesis statement or what your outline is all about
- Major outline points or ideas written in Roman numerals
- Sub-ideas written in capital letters
- Supporting data visualization tools like flow charts and graphs (if needed)
Types of Outlines
Outlines may be categorized according to the source document they are created from. Listed below are a few of the different types of outlines:
What is an outline?
An outline is a summary or a quick rundown of the key characteristics of an idea, object, process, or topic. In this article, we use the word outline as a tool that summarizes and organizes the key concepts discussed in a book, proposal, or process.
What is an outline template?
An outline template is a preformatted document file that contains all the text, font, image, placeholders, and layout files needed for making an outline. It is basically a blank document template that an end user fills out with accurate information from the source document or project.
What is the difference between an outline and a summary?
Outlines and summaries are often used interchangeably. What sets them apart is the nuance that outlines follows a distinct format depending on the type of outline being created and the purpose of the outline. Summaries, on the other hand, usually refers to short statements or generalizations about a topic or object.
We hope that this article helped clear up the confusion on what kind of outline template to use for your projects. Do not forget to use any of the premium and free outline templates we’ve embedded in the article above. For more step by step guides on how to create different kinds of business and graphics templates, check out the rest of our website.