How to Organize your Ideas on an Outline

Ideas organization can never be overemphasized. An orderly presentation of your ideas when writing, would definitely make your work distinct. Here are a few tips on how to organize your ideas in an outline:

Organize your Ideas

Review the ideas you got from brainstorming. It’s fine if you have a lot of information at first. You can always discard ideas that you realize are unnecessary. These groups will become main points, so narrow them down until you have the desired number of main points. That is usually three for an essay or speech, but it could be more for a creative piece.

If you jotted down your ideas or created a mind map, use different colored highlighters to identify ideas that belong to the same group. Grouping ideas aids in orderly presentation.

However, if you made use of index cards to brainstorm, sort these cards and group similar ideas together. Additionally, to make your cards simpler to read, you can arrange them in stacks or rows.

Develop your details and subpoints for your major points in ascending order

Details are the pieces of facts you will utilize to support your broad ideas, which are more likely to be your key points. Your outline may contain a lot of subpoints and supporting information depending on its purpose. But, attempt to have at least two or three supporting details and one or two subpoints for each major point.

Next, arrange your main points so that they organically lead into one another. A chronological arrangement of your major points with very concrete details is very consequential to your work.

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Furthermore, your major points should connect back to your thesis or controlling idea. If they don’t, rewrite your thesis to reflect the main points you’re putting into your outline.

Make your introduction the first major point of your writing

Depending on what you like to utilize, you can use either phrases or complete sentences. Some persons choose to write their introduction out in full, which is still very acceptable. However, here are a few key points for your introduction

  • Pique your reader’s interest with your first statement
  • Tactically state 1 – 2 major points in your introduction

Refer to the article “How to write your Introduction” for more insight

Conclusively, the organization of your outline no doubt eases the ordeal that comes with writing. An effective organization of ideas would captivate the targeted audience. And the essence of writing would be achieved.

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