How to Write an Outline

An outline is a method for organizing written thoughts on a topic or thesis into a logical order.
Writing an outline may at first appear difficult, but mastering it can offer you valuable organizational skills!
Decide on a structure for your outline before you begin writing. Doing this would allow your ideas to be arranged into a concise outline for simple comprehension.
An outline is like a sketch of your work, it gives life to your thoughts in an orderly manner.

Planning your Outline

Limit your focus.

Outlines aid in the organization of your thoughts, ideas, or research on a specific issue. Your outline is meaningless without a main topic. It’s fine if your topic is rather wide at first, but you should have a focus. Narrow the topic down to something more simpler and researchable.

Understand your target audience.

You may be required to write an outline as part of a class or group assignment in some situations. But, many times you are preparing them for yourself, either to help you complete an assignment or to help you achieve a goal. If the outline is for school or work, you must follow the formatting rules and express your thoughts in a way that others can comprehend. Often, instructors give an outlay of how they intend the work to be written. In this case, you might just need to follow the given outline.

Compile your notes, research, and any other supporting documents.

In many circumstances, you’ll be incorporating information gleaned via study, taking notes, or personal experience. It’s critical to go through this information before beginning your outline because you’ll be drawing your points and subpoints from it. You could include some of the following:
Ideas that have been developed
Quotes
Statistics
Historical facts etc.

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Brainstorm to identify your primary points or arguments.

Make a list of your thoughts, important research findings, and any questions you have. For a creative project, you could jot down scene ideas or plot points. Make a list of everything you would want to include. You can always discard ideas afterwards! Here are some ideas for organizing your thoughts:
Write as thoughts come to you.
Build a mind map.
Fill in index cards with your ideas.

Create a thesis statement or controlling idea for your outline.

In most circumstances, this will be the thesis on which you will base your final result, such as an essay. It is acceptable, however, to employ a basic controlling idea or premise when outlining a novel or study guide. When you develop sections and subsections to organize your content, your thesis will assist drive your outline.

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