What Is an Outline
An outline is an effective tool for anyone who wants to see a broad view of any task. You may use an outline for writing a paper, creating a speech, or making a business report. An outline can also be used in making a letter, a character analysis, a college essay, or a story. Although making an outline is a long process, it eventually makes your work easier because it acts as your guide, and it organizes your ideas.
How to Make an Outline?
Nothing beats a prepared person. You need to make preparations first before you can write for an argumentative essay or a research paper. It's something that each of us has to do first. The problem lies with starting one. How do you really prepare for making a plan, a paper, or a story? It starts by outlining. With that, here are some easy steps that you can follow in making one:
1. Know the Purpose of the Outline
Keep note that you need to identify the purpose of your outline first. You can't make an efficient outline without knowing its purpose. Identify if you have to inform, persuade, or entertain your readers. When you have an idea of what your goal is, then you can continue creating your simple outline.
2. Brainstorm Ideas
The next step is to brainstorm ideas. Think about any concept or idea that you may include in your outline. Write any idea that comes to your head. Don't stress yourself into worrying if the idea is really helpful or not—just write it down. Also, when you brainstorm, don't only rely on yourself, you also have to give time for research. You can read a book or surf the internet for information. To add, if you don't have any idea what an outline looks like, you can also research a sample outline online to help you.
3. Create Categories
Once you have your ideas with you, try to break them into categories. You can choose what type of outline you will use. You may use Roman numerals, Arabic numerals, capitalized letters, or lowercase letters. This creates order and makes a better presentation of your ideas. Also, the number of categories that you will put will depend on the work you are doing.
4. Prepare Supporting Details
After categorizing your ideas, you can add and list minor details to each category. This can be a gateway of understanding to your outline. These details add more flexibility and more information to your work. Remember, some report outlines need more supporting information than others.
5. Review Your Outline
When you are done with the steps above, don't leave your proposal outline without polishing it. Try to go back to your work and check if everything is in order. You can even check it word by word. If you find any mistake or any misleading idea, then consider revising it. In the process of your revision, you may acknowledge adding new details if you have to. Always note that your outline is your roadmap, so you have to make your presentation as clear as possible that you may avoid getting lost.
What is Outlining a Document Means?
It refers to a structuring process that includes all the information and landmark bars in which the details can be filled. The structure includes headings, titles, sub-titles, individual landmarks, tables, and boxes, etc. It helps the users to complete a document by just filling the details and generate it.
What is the Purpose of Outlining?
- It keeps facts and ideas organized.
- It visualizes the document’s potential structure.
- It marks and highlights significant elements.
- It helps the writer to put details in a systematic order.
What are the Types of Outlining?
- Topic Outlining: It directs attention to the main points of a hierarchical list. It uses relevant keywords and uses fewer words and short phrases to complete the sentence.
- Sentence Outlining: It explains complex details. It includes all the necessary details in the sentences itself without creating an outline for them.
Why is Outlining Important?
It helps to categorize and emphasize the main points from the subsections. It also organizes paragraphs into a systematic order and fully develops each of them. It also helps the writer not to stuck on the different aspects of writing a note.
How do you Structure an Outline?
- Write the statement at the top of the sheet.
- List all the main points at first that are essential to the thesis.
- Number the points.
- Place the supporting ideas or arguments to every main point.
- Develop each idea fully by dividing them into subsections.