Outlining making and Using an Outline What is an Outline?

Download 5.55 Kb.
Size5.55 Kb.


  • Making and Using an Outline

What is an Outline?

  • An outline is a way of organizing key ideas
  • An outline helps to set up an essay or a research paper
  • An outline is a tool to help revise an essay or research paper.
  • An outline can be a study tool to help you summarize key ideas in reading

Defining the Kinds of Outlines

  • A scratch outline is a preliminary list that lets you see where you need to go. It is a rough list of your first ideas.
  • A scratch outline is a starting point only. It is putting on the clothes without the accessories.
  • A scratch outline often changes significantly as you begin to research and write.

Two Examples

  • The Scratch Outline
  • Problems with Immigration
  • Who should be allowed to immigrate?
  • What screening procedures should we use?
  • Who should be given student visas?
  • What checks should the government make?
  • Should there be a number limit on immigration?


  • A formal outline shows, in logical order, what you will be writing about.
  • A formal outline helps you separate main ideas and supporting ideas
  • A formal outline gives you a foundation from which to build an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.
  • A formal outline often changes after you write your first draft. It will show you where you need to add more research or make other changes.


  • Addressing Immigration after 9/11
  • I. Introduction
  • II. Criteria for immigration
  • A. Political refugees
  • B. Relatives of citizens
  • C. Other applications
  • III. Screening Criteria
  • A. Medical Screening
  • B. Interview
  • C. Psychological screening
  • D. Background check
  • IV. Students
  • A. Purpose of study
  • B. Commitment to study
  • 1. How long will they stay?
  • 2. How will they finance their education and support themselves?
  • C. Value to our educational system
  • V. Government oversight
  • A. Obligation to have periodic checks on immigrants and students
  • B. Reporting any legal violations or suspicious behavior
  • C. The government needs to limit the number of immigrants
  • VI. Conclusion


  • A scratch outline is a collection of notes or ideas that needs to be refined and expanded. It’s a raw material rather than a finished product.
  • A formal outline shows evidence of thought, revision, planning, or research. It uses a prescribed format: Roman numerals, upper case letters, numbers, and lower case letters. It may be further expanded or revised as research progresses.

Creating an Outline

  • Take several minutes to create an outline. Think about the given topic and make a scratch outline:
  • Jot down what you already know about this topic.
  • Think about what you want to learn or explore about this topic.
  • Think about what conclusions you may reach.
  • Topic: Ensuring travel safety in (airports, train stations, bus terminals)

Time to Compare!

  • Exchange your scratch outline with a partner. Have a five-minute discussion in which you take turns explaining what you wrote in your outline.


  • With your expanded knowledge, try to create a formal outline for your essay on ensuring airport safety.
  • Your title will be the umbrella under which you place your main topics and subtopics.
  • Remember to use Roman numerals, upper and lower case letters, and numbers.
  • Ensuring Airport Safety


  • Let’s summarize what you have learned:
  • I. Definition
  • A. Scratch Outline
  • 1. Informal, preliminary
  • B. Formal Outline
  • 1. More formal, requires more research
  • II. Purpose for Using an Outline
  • A. To help organize key ideas in writing an essay or research paper
  • B. To help summarize key ideas in reading
  • C. To help you develop subtopics

Download 5.55 Kb.

Share with your friends:

The database is protected by copyright ©sckool.org 2022
send message

    Main page