A sentence outline is a tool for composing a document, such as an essay, a paper, a book, or even an encyclopedia. It is a list used to organize the facts or points to be covered, and their order of presentation, by section. Topic outlines list the subtopics of a subject, arranged in levels, and while they can be used to plan a composition, they are most often used as a summary, such as in the form of a table of contents or the topic list in a college course's syllabus.
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Outlines are further differentiated by the index prefixing used, or lack thereof. Many outlines include a numerical or alphanumerical prefix preceding each entry in the outline, to provide a specific path for each item, to aid in referring to and discussing the entries listed. An alphanumerical outline uses alternating letters and numbers to identify entries. A decimal outline uses only numbers as prefixes. An outline without prefixes is called a "bare outline".
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Specialized applications of outlines also exist. A reverse outline is a list of sentences or topics that is created from an existing work, as a revision tool; it may show the gaps in the document's coverage so that they may be filled, and may help in rearranging sentences or topics to improve the structure and flow of the work. An integrated outline is a composition tool for writing scholastic works, in which the sources, and the writer's notes from the sources, are integrated into the outline for ease of reference during the writing process.
A software program designed for processing outlines is called an outliner. Outlines are differentiated by style, the inclusion of prefixes, and specialized purpose. There are also hand-written outlines which are highly limited in utility , and digitized outlines, such as those contained within an outliner which are much more useful. The Outline of Knowledge was a project by Mortimer Adler. Matter and Energy", "1. Structure and Properties of Atoms".
A feature included in many outlines is prefixing. Similar to section numbers , an outline prefix is a label usually alphanumeric or numeric placed at the beginning of an outline entry to assist in referring to it. An alphanumeric outline includes a prefix at the beginning of each topic as a reference aid.
The prefix is in the form of Roman numerals for the top level, upper-case letters in the alphabet of the language being used for the next level, Arabic numerals for the next level, and then lowercase letters for the next level.
For further levels, the order is started over again. Each numeral or letter is followed by a period, and each item is capitalized, as in the following sample:. Thesis statement : E-mail and internet monitoring , as currently practiced, is an invasion of employees' rights in the workplace. Some call the Roman numerals "A-heads" for "A-level headings" , the upper-case letters, "B-heads", and so on.
General guidelines to follow
Some writers also prefer to insert a blank line between the A-heads and B-heads, while often keeping the B-heads and C-heads together. If more levels of outline are needed, lower-case Roman numerals and numbers and lower-case letters, sometimes with single and double parenthesis can be used, although the exact order is not well defined, and usage varies widely.
A very different style recommended by The Chicago Manual of Style ,   based on the practice of the United States Congress in drafting legislation, suggests the following sequence, from the top to the seventh level the only ones specified : I. One side effect of the use of both Roman numerals and uppercase letters in all of these styles of outlining is that in most alphabets, "I.
This is usually not problematic because lower level items are usually referred to hierarchically. For example, the third sub-sub-item of the fourth sub-item of the second item is item II. So, the ninth sub-item letter-I of the first item Roman-I is item I.
How to Write and Format Your Harvard Outline? - disfgisenlo.tk
The decimal outline format has the advantage of showing how every item at every level relates to the whole, as shown in the following sample outline:. A reverse outline is an outline made from an existing work. Reverse outlining is like reverse engineering a document. The points or topics are extracted from the work, and are arranged in their order of presentation, by section, in the outline. Once completed, the outline can be filled in and rearranged as a plan for a new improved version of the document. An integrated outline is a helpful step in the process of organizing and writing a scholarly paper literature review , research paper, thesis or dissertation.
When completed the integrated outline contains the relevant scholarly sources author's last name, publication year, page number if quote for each section in the outline. Here is one example from Ashford University , and here is a simpler one from Penn State. Are you starting to see how an outline can focus your writing and end the essay with a strong conclusion? You can tweak this outline to fit any type of writing simply by inserting the type of information you need. Mainly you want to keep the intro and conclusion paragraphs the same but change the content of the body paragraphs.
What items you fill in on an outline are really up to you or your teacher. You can be as detailed as filling in every single space, or you can use a bare bones approach by filling in just topic sentences.
Paper Formatting Guidelines
Personally, I find it helpful to fill in the items that I struggle with while composing an essay. Therefore, I like to fill in every spot except the minor ones. I usually leave these spots blank:. The other blanks I like to fill in so I can jump right into substantial writing when it comes time to draft the paper.
I hope this example outline can be a guide for your writing. If you already use outlines, well, I tip my rhetorical hat to you. Making Note Cards Why do it?
The Beauty of Outlines
Speech Outline Assignment Outlining Tutorial. Mind Mapping — Mind mapping is another form of outlining. Concept Maps on Cloning Powerpoint. Classroom Observation Suggested Format Example. Outline Rough Draft. Creating Effective Outlines. Tip Sheet 9: Understanding Business Plans. Assembling an item-bank for computerised linear and adaptive. Download advertisement. A beginner's guide to wand motions. State Flags.
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