Guide to How to Make an Outline - 8 Quick Tips
Making an outline can be a confusing undertaking. It sounds easy but is there a right way to do it? Here are 8 quick tips on getting the most out of making an outline.
2. Start with Brainstorming. Capture everything somewhere. You don't' want to waste an idea so start by allowing everything come through. Don't be afraid to stray from the original topic or question. Random ideas might lead to great perspectives of the main topic.
3. Focus on the big picture. After you've brainstormed - think about the point of your essay or paper? Look through all your ideas and see what can be an umbrella idea - the main point. Is it a twist of the original idea? Is it wide enough and still interesting?
4. Pick appropriate subpoints. After you determine the point of your essay, pick the right subpoints to back it up. Don't be afraid to omit some things and look for others if what you have is not enough. Subpoints are just as important as your paper's main point.
5. Focus on organization. The outline is a roadmap - make sure you plan the trip accordingly. What order do you want to use to bring up subpoints? How are you presenting ideas?
6. Get transitions right. The paper or essay should flow from one subpoint to another as it weaves from intro to conclusion. Make sure all points are transitioning naturally into one another. If the reader can easily follow you from intro to conclusion - the paper will be all the more powerful.
7. Worry about the details later. Writing is all about the details to substantiate your subpoints. Leave it for later. It's important to capture the big ideas and overall direction while you're outlining.
8. Be flexible. Writing is a creative exercise. Outlining can help focus that creativity but don't be afraid to stray should a great idea take you.
9. Bonus tip: Use online outliner software.
It'll make writing and organizing an outline go even faster and easier. Or use one of these free outline examples.
Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
This was written (and outlined) by Loc Van, Cornell Dyson School graduate and former J&J brand manager.