Outline Template (Microsoft Word)

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Outline Template (Microsoft Word)

Beginning on the next page is an outline template (in Microsoft Word format), which is filled in with a sample to show you what a final outline looks like. Here is how to fill in your own outline:

  • Triple click on a sentence to highlight it. (Or swipe across it with a mouse’s left key held down.)

  • When you don’t need an outline subdivision (such as “C” or “3”), delete the line.

  • When you need to insert a new subdivision, place the cursor at the end of the sentence immediately above where you want to insert, press Enter, go the Style drop-down menu (typically located next to the Font drop-down menu) at the top of the screen, and select the appropriate style:
    For I, II, III, etc., choose Outline 1
    For A, B, C, etc., choose Outline 2
    For 1, 2, 3, etc., choose Outline 3
    For a, b, c, etc., choose Outline 4

NOTE: You will need to manually enter the correct letter or number, and you may need to change letters and numbers above and below your new entry. At times, you may need to use the Tab and Backspace keys to align entries properly.

  • TROUBLESHOOTING TIP: If Microsoft Word performs undesired formatting—such as inserting unwanted letters and numbers and changing the indentation—go to Format menu, click AutoFormat, click Options, choose the “AutoFormat As You Type” button, and deselect (so that there is no checkmark) these two choices: “Automatic Bulleted Lists” and “Automatic Numbered Lists.”

  • The first time you save your document, choose “Save As” in the File menu and provide a new name. (This will preserve the original file and its sample.)

  • For Bibliography entries, you can choose (from the Style drop-down menu at the top of the screen) either the “MLA Entry” style or the “APA Entry” style. (See Chapter 7 in the text for details.)

  • For an explanation of the different parts of an outline, see Chapter 8 in the text.

Banning Jet Skis

Viviana Morello

General Purpose:

To persuade

Specific Purpose:

To persuade my listeners that jet skis should be prohibited in national and state parks


  1. Open With Impact

  1. This is a jet ski [PowerPoint slide will be shown].

1. Some people love them and want to use them on all waterways.

2. Other people hate them and want them banned.

B. I have a love/hate relationship with them.

1. I enjoyed driving a jet ski on the ocean a few years ago.

2. But my vacation recently at a beautiful lake was marred by the constant noise of jet skis.

  1. Focus on Thesis Statement

Jet skis should be banned from lakes and other waterways in national and state parks because they make too much noise, pollute air and water, and harass wildlife.

  1. Connect With Audience

Even if you have never experienced the constant noise of a jet ski while you try to relax near a lake, you should be aware of the effects to our environment.

  1. Preview

  1. Today, I will first explain why jet skis destroy peace and quiet.

  2. Second, I will explain their effects on air and water

  3. Third, I will show how they harass wildlife.


I. Jet skis destroy peace and quiet.

A. People go to national and state parks to get away from noise and enjoy the sounds of nature.

B. A jet ski makes loud, intrusive noise.

1. A person on shore 100 feet away hears 80 decibels (equivalent to a police siren).

2. Two or more jet skis traveling together can create over 100 decibels (equivalent to standing next to a chainsaw).

3. These decibel levels were figured by the American Industrial Hygiene Association.

(Signpost: While jet skis are creating noise, they are also creating an environmental mess.)

II. Jet skis cause serious pollution of air and water.

A. One day’s worth of jet ski production of hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxide equals what a car would produce in 100,000 miles.

B. Jet skis have inefficient, two-stroke engines, which dump up to one-third of their fuel—unburned.

C. Each year 165 million gallons of oil are spilled into U.S. waterways by jet skis.

D. Jet ski emissions can harm humans, animals, and plants, says the National Parks and Conservation Association.

E. A lot of the toxic chemicals are long-lived.

1. Example: polycyclic hydrocarbons can kill zooplankton, an important part of the food chain.

2. In lakes that have heavy jet ski traffic, fish populations have declined.
(Signpost: Pollution is not the only way that jet skis harm animals.)
III. Jet skis harass wildlife.

A. They are so small, they can enter shallow waters.

B. These waters are used by wildlife for reproduction and nesting.

C. Jet skis cause alarm and flight and sometimes death, says Dr. Burger.

1. Many birds abandon their nests permanently.

2. This exposes their young to predators and bad weather.

(Transition: now that we have explored the topic, let us recap the main points.)


  1. Summary

  1. Jet skis destroy peace and quiet.

  2. They pollute the air and water

  3. They harass wildlife.

  1. Close With Impact

  1. Please sign a petition that I will send to our U.S. and state legislators asking them to support a ban.

  2. When we go to these parks, we have a right to find peace and quiet.


American Industrial Hygiene Association, E-mail interview. 10 Oct. 2001

Burger, Joanna, Ph.D., professor of biology at Rutgers University. E-mail interview. 5 Oct. 2001.

Clemans, John. “Bluewater Blues.” Motor Boating & Sailing Mar. 2000: 56.

“Guide to Personal Watercraft.” National Parks and Conservation Association (Internet site at www.npca.org). Retrieved 14 Sept. 2000. (The article includes research by the Environmental Protection Agency; Dr. Joanna Burger, professor of biology at Rutgers University, and Dr. Ken Cordell, wildlife expert at the University of Georgia.)

Shaw, Robinson. “Environmental Group Pushes Government to Rid National Parks of Watercraft.” Environmental News Network (press release). 3 Sept. 2000.


Photo of a jet ski on a lake (PowerPoint slide)

Poster showing three main points

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