The goal of the outline is to help you organise your essay, checking if and how ideas relate to one another, or whether certain points require additional support. An outline is meant to help you set up a framework for a paper that you are going to write. An outline is sort of like a graphed scheme for organizing your paper.
An outline is a tool used to arrange the ideas you have written on the subject in logical order. An outline is a great tool for organizing your thoughts, finding the most logical order in which you can present your material, and connecting your ideas with each other. A working outline shows you the order in which you should present your paper, as well as your major ideas that you should remember as you write.
An outline gives you the framework for your major ideas and supporting ideas for your argument. The outline above is quite detailed, showing subject phrases, major ideas, and supporting details. An outline would include the major ideas, showing how they are organized, as well as overall structure.
Probably, the most useful outline details each paragraphs major ideas, but does not overdo it. The details in the above outline, though, will simplify writing those same paragraphs, and thus, will save you time in the future. As you can see in the following outline, the author has chosen to divide the outline into topics, but he or she could use another structure, organizing the outline into individual paragraphs, with indications of what each paragraph would do or say.
An outline can help writers clarify ideas during the prewriting process, organizing the main points in a clear, logical structure. Remember, your outline should be a rough outline for how your essay will evolve; it does not need to be highly formalized or precise. You might even have to write a formal outline — a plan that serves as your readers guide through the paper.
For research papers, a formal outline helps you keep track of a lot of information. When you think about outlines, you typically think about a blueprint for organization that helps you write your paper, but you can use outlines in any one of the different stages of the writing process. It is good idea to create an outline for yourself, even if it is not required by your professor, because this process helps to organize your thoughts. You will sometimes be asked to turn in your essay outline as a separate homework before you begin writing the essay – but even if you do not need to turn one in, it is good idea to make the outline a part of your writing process.
The more organized your outline is, the easier it is to get started on actually writing the essay. Organize your outline into any format that fits with the framework required by the paper you are writing.
Crafting your outline with these four features helps you write with clarity. You have the choice of writing an outline as a complete sentence or as short phrases.
In an outline, you represent those points in several short, numbered sentences or phrases. These may be broken down into sub-points if you want to provide additional details. It is really easy to quickly scan through it and see the overall picture, and all of the major points that will be discussed in your essay. Short phrases also make it easier to rearrange the sentences that are in the outline. Sentence outlines In contrast to the argumentative outline, the sentence outline goes into the smaller details of a paper, and so it may be helpful on more complicated topics, or provide more of a detailed structure. The benefit of this kind of outline is seeing exactly what a paper is going to cover, instead of relying only on the main words that will inspire ideas. Topic outlines and sentence outlining are organized as bullet points, making it easier to visualise lots of information in a few lines.
A sentence outline summarizes each idea into one full sentence, which can be a paragraphs opening sentence in the rough draft. An essay outline involves writing short, summarized sentences or phrases for every point you are going to make in every paragraph, giving you an outline for how your argument is going to play out. An outline is a way to show your major arguments (the thesis), major points (the main thesis statement), and major lines of evidence that you plan to introduce in the essay, all before you actually write the paper. An outline is most commonly used for essays, where in this case, it would include elements of an introduction, like a thesis statement, a review of each paragraph, including a subject sentence and supporting ideas, and elements of the conclusion, like a conclusion.
The following outline shows how one could structure a five-paragraph outline. Sometimes, this type of outline might come up after you write the essay. The first steps of the outline-writing process–if you have not done it yet–are defining your papers goal, deciding who your audience is, developing a solid thesis, and beginning research.
Believe it or not, spending the extra 20 to 30 minutes creating your outline will improve your understanding of your subject matter and make the process of writing an essay a lot easier. Preparing an outline helps you reflect on your notes, think about them from multiple perspectives, and develop/revise an organizing plan that is suitable for your topic, audience, and assignment. Whether or not you follow the suggested guidelines is up to you, but creating some sort of outline (even if it is just some notes on a few basic ideas) will benefit your writing process. Unless you are making your outline an assignment, pick whatever kind works best for you–just be sure you are consistent (i.e., not using combinations of themes and sentences).
Writing out your outline will help you to focus on a central theme, and then include only the ideas related to that, omitting anything irrelevant. As you are researching the subject, you may want to create a rough outline–a plan for your essay that is based on what you are learning through research. Whether you are writing a long-form research paper, short essay, blog post, or presentation, outlining is a critical practice that can save you lots of time later.