Hello, please I need SERIOUS help creating an "outline" and will be writing a paper in which I contrast traditional and nontraditional college students. You can use either "block" or...

Hello, please I need SERIOUS help creating an "outline" and will be writing a paper in which I contrast traditional and nontraditional college students. You can use either "block" or "point-by-point" organization. To begin organizing your ideas, you will produce an outline.

Your outline should:

identify three ideas you might develop in your paper. Each idea must be expressed as a complete sentence. for each idea, include 1-2 examples from your own general knowledge, or your own experience, that you might use to develop the idea. include three examples drawn from readings 1. the NCES report, 2. Rendon, and 3. Bishop-Clarke and Lynch. Each example should include some quoted content, and this content must be properly identified and framed. Use one example from each of the three readings. Choose examples/quotes that will help you develop your ideas, and place each of your examples/quotes beneath the idea that it goes with.

The 3 readings are below:

1.) Nontraditional Undergraduates / Introduction


A Closer Look at High School Students in the United States Over the Last 20 Years


High School Completion 


Postsecondary Plans 


2.) HELPING NONTRADITIONAL STUDENTS BE SUCCESSFUL IN COLLEGE We have the power to help students redefine themselves. By Laura I. Rendón


3.) The mixed age college classroom



Table 1. Challenges and Strategies in Teaching a Mixed-Age Group


Idea 1
One difference between the course-at-a-time system and the traditional semester system is that students taking one course at a time do not have their time and attention spread across multiple subjects.
Students save time by not having to travel back and forth to brief meetings of multiple classes.
On the class-at-at-time schedule, students don’t have to worry about studying for three midterms in a single week, or about being unable to take one required course because it is offered at the same time as another.
Robert C. Messina, president of
Burlington County College, observed that students enrolled in four-week classes valued the experience of being immersed in a single subject.
Student feedback at his school included comments such as “there were no diversions; everyone was very focused.”
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mizzwillie eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This question requires a great deal of thought as to how to present your choices in  your outline, and your teacher is correct that the outline is most critical to your success with this assignment.  I find it amusing that my sister and I, who attended college together, fit this idea as I was an 18-year-old college student while she was a 24-year-old single mother with a four-year-old son and a job.

One idea I would focus on is the difference between my entering college right after high school and the students at the homeless shelter where I now volunteer. I was poor but had a scholarship and worked at a job 20 hours a week. They find it difficult to be in school as so often it is so hard just to get there.  They don't know where the next meal will be, have no warm or quiet place to study, and their friends want to party.  Only a few understand the need to work on homework or why the party tonight must be skipped. They have to fight the expectations placed on them by their peer group which is constantly changing.  For example, "Joe" wants to re-enter school, get an apartment, play football, and keep a job to pay the bills.  He has no place to live, no car, no money, and a friend he tries to help. 

Another idea would be the age differences among the students.  Traditional students like me were 18 or 19, fresh from school, used to the idea of expressing themselves in class, and ready for the next phase of school.  The students I help now are from 19-24, often have been in a gang or on their own since they were very young, try to find shelter and food every night, have to gather the money themselves to go to school, and then are encouraged to think about further education after finishing high school which is the first priority.  Often they don't think they are capable, but if they do, they feel very visible to other younger students and don't like to speak up in class at all.  That eliminates questions and answers or even clarification.  It is a trust issue for most of them as they have been laughed at, teased for mistakes, or made to feel inferior by parents or even teachers.  In the prison where I also volunteer, the most common answer to why a student dropped out of school was that no one cared or that they were glad to be rid of them.

The third idea that I would use is the terrifying use of technology for older students.  Younger students are so at ease with so much of the current technology while for older students it is a huge roadblock.  Computers still make me cringe if I have to do any more than writing.  Others are quite at ease.  This would also be a roadblock for the students in the homeless shelter.  They may be comfortable with some of the music and computer skills, but technical skills may elude them. 

With each of these ideas, you will need to choose something which better fits you, or if you use these, you will need to find something in the research provided which will help develop your thoughts.  There is much in the research to help you, and the key idea in an outline is to make sure you have three main ideas under which you have comments, examples and research to develop your paper.  Good luck with your paper.