Outline Directions Why and How to Create a Useful Outline



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English 9 Honors

Fabrizio
Outline Directions

Why and How to Create a Useful Outline

Why create an outline? There are many reasons; but in general, it may be helpful to create an outline when you want to show the hierarchical relationship or logical ordering of information. For research papers, an outline may help you keep track of large amounts of information. For creative writing, an outline may help organize the various plot threads and help keep track of character traits. Many people find that organizing an oral report or presentation in outline form helps them speak more effectively in front of a crowd. Below are the primary reasons for creating an outline.



  • Aids in the process of writing

  • Helps you organize your ideas

  • Presents your material in a logical form

  • Shows the relationships among ideas in your writing

  • Constructs an ordered overview of your writing

  • Defines boundaries and groups

Steps

  • Brainstorm: List all the ideas that you want to include in your paper.

  • Organize: Group related ideas together.

  • Order: Arrange material in subsections from general to specific or from abstract to concrete.

  • Label: Create main and sub headings.


Types of Outlines and Samples


  • Alphanumeric Outlines

This is the most common type of outline and usually instantly recognizable to most people. The formatting follows these characters, in this order:

  • Roman Numerals

  • Capitalized Letters

  • Arabic Numerals

  • Lowercase Letters

If the outline needs to subdivide beyond these divisions, use Arabic numerals inside parentheses and then lowercase letters inside parentheses.

  • Full Sentence Outlines

The full sentence outline format is essentially the same as the Alphanumeric outline. The main difference (as the title suggests) is that full sentences are required at each level of the outline. This outline is most often used when preparing a traditional essay.

  • For our purposes, you are to use the alphanumeric format EXCEPT for the thesis statement and topic sentences for each paragraph. These are to be completed in the full sentence format.

You also need to include in-text citations for the literary criticism and quotes from the story you are using. For example, one of your bullet points might be a quote from the story: – I would expect you to write the actual quote you are using followed by the in-text citation - (Stockton 23).

Last Name 1

Your Name

Teacher’s Name

Class

Date


The Short Story Analysis Outline Format


  1. Intro Paragraph

    1. How are you going to start in a creative manner?

    2. Include all important information

      1. Who your author was

      2. What short story you are talking about

      3. The literary device you have chosen

    3. Your thesis statement is to be the last line of your intro paragraph

      1. It should be an independent idea explaining how your author uses your chosen literary element to develop your chosen theme.




  1. Body paragraph one – TOPIC SENTENCE HERE

    1. Discuss the first example of your chosen element (make sure it ties back to thesis)

    2. Explain how the element develops your chosen theme

    3. Use direct quotes from the story or paraphrase (be sure to cite properly)

      1. Explain using your own analysis/commentary

      2. Add commentary after your quotes so they reflect your ideas

    4. Use literary criticism to back up your ideas (cite)

      1. Explain

      2. Add commentary to the critics’ ideas to SHOW how they support yours

    5. Concluding sentence that transitions into the next paragraph/idea.


* Note: Body Paragraph Content Does NOT need to necessarily be completed in this order


  1. Body paragraph two- TOPIC SENTENCE HERE

    1. Discuss second example of your chosen element

    2. Explain how element develops your chosen theme

    3. Use direct quotes from the story (be sure to cite properly)

      1. Explain using your own analysis/commentary

      2. Add commentary after your quotes so they reflect your ideas

    4. Use literary criticism to back up your ideas (cite)

      1. Explain

      2. Add commentary to critics’ ideas to SHOW how they support yours

    5. Concluding sentence that transitions into the next paragraph/idea.

* Note: Body Paragraph Content Does NOT need to necessarily be completed in this order

IV. Body Paragraph Three/Four- You may include this if you would like to elaborate further, but it is not a requirement.




  1. Conclusion- TOPIC SENTENCE HERE

    1. Conclude the essay and your findings based off of your research

    2. Do NOT simply restate your thesis and/or topic sentences in the same words. Find a creative way to sum up what you have told me.




  1. Works Cited Page

    1. All works referenced must be present

    2. MLA format

    3. In text citations must match reference page citation

      1. You should NOT have any entries on your works cited page that are not used in your paper.

      2. You should NOT use any information – direct quotes, paraphrasing, or even an idea – that is not your own without including it in the works cited.



Notes…


  • This is an example outline. While you MUST include quotes/paraphrase from the story and at least two sources of literary criticism, your paper does not necessarily have to be in this order, nor does it have to be a certain number of paragraphs.




  • I read all of the stories. Do not summarize them for me. I am interested in your thoughts about how the author uses an element to develop theme.




  • You are the expert here – do not say “I think,” “I believe,” or anything of the sort. You are writing the paper – they are obviously your thoughts.




  • Do not use you, we, us, our, or any other personal pronouns. You are not speaking directly to the reader.




  • Do not use contractions (unless you are directly quoting a story or critic).




  • Give credit where credit is due. Just because you change a few words does NOT mean you wrote it. Even if you change every single word in a paragraph to a synonym, it is STILL plagiarizing if it is not your original idea. Be careful – ask if you are not sure, and if you cannot ask me for some reason, just cite it.




  • Turn on the grammar and style check at home to help you edit your paper. Click on Review  Language  Language Preferences  Proofing. Look for the drop down menu titled “Writing Style” and choose “Grammar and Style.” Then, click settings and click all of the unchecked boxes.


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