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How do you write an outline?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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An outline consists of the basic information needed for a paper.  You condense the details into simple phrases and statements in order to create a picture of the topic at a glace.  The outline usually consists of Roman Numbers, capital letters, numbers, and lowercase letters.  The format is like this.

I. Main Heading

      A. Subpoint

               1. Detail

                        a. sub-detail

The main headings will contain the basic parts of the paper, such as introduction, main points, and conclusion. The subpoints are the points within the heading, and details are explanations of those.

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schssoccer14 | Student


A. Periodic Table

    1. Consists of Elements

        a. elements- a class of substances that cannot be separated into simpler substances by chemical means


Pick a topic and go into detail and then explain those topics if needed.

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hishamnajam | Student

An Outline is basically an organization of related ideas. It is a method of grouping together ideas that are similar in some selected way, then presenting them in a simplified manner that clearly shows the relationship within each paragraph and among all the paragraphs.  

Preparing an outline is essentially a problem of classifying and organizing. As said earlier, an outline is useful in both reading and writing. Because writing is language that is meant to be read, you can think of reading and writing as different ends of the same communication. All writers use an outline to help make their writing clear. If writers use an outline to organize their writing clearly, their readers should be able to analyze that organization of writing. An outline is like a skeleton which helps the writer to put flesh around it. It is the reader who removes the flesh to see the skeleton underneath.  


For an example follow the link in reference. (Skip to Page 2 of the document in the link)

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