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Why Create an Outline?
It is helpful to create an Outline for the following reasons:
1) Organize your thoughts/ideas better
2) Understand information flow - logical ordering of information
3) Shows relationships between ideas
4) Ensures that you include everything - helps to keep track of a large amount of information
5) For creative writing - organize plot threads and keep track of character traits
6) For oral presentations - helps you speak more effectively
OWL at Purdue Online Writing Lab
Purdue Owl - Developing an Outline
- Place your thesis statement at the beginning
- Review all the ideas/points that you have found
- Group related ideas together
- List the major points that support your thesis and discard anything that is irrelevant.
- Label them in Roman Numerals (I, II, III, etc.)
- List supporting ideas or arguments for each major point.
- Label them in capital letters (A, B, C, etc.)
- If necessary, continue to sub-divide each supporting idea until your outline is fully developed.
- Label them 1, 2, 3, etc., and then a, b, c, etc.
Research Paper Outline - Example