Outlining

Making an outline can often be helpful when you’re about to write a paper. You don’t always have to make an outline, but it’s recommended, and some teachers may require that you write an outline before you start on your paper. Don’t hesitate to also check our 236 free and powerful practice tests

The next lesson for you: Revising and Editing; these lessons are included in the Math practice tests.

The following transcript is provided for your convenience.

So, an outline just gives you an idea of what you’re going to be writing about. It helps you structure your paper. So, you just write your ideas down into an organized format, like you see here.

So, the main point is interviewing. So then, there would be a sub-point, making a good first impression. Then there would be some smaller points. Shake hands, make eye contact.

Then there would be another sub-point, answering questions well, and then two more smaller points. Be thorough and be concise.

Now, we could have another Roman numeral down here if we had another main point. And you could have more sub-points. We could go all the way to Z with these sub-points. Have C, D, E, and we could go all the way to eight or more with these smaller points. You could have eight smaller points about this sub-point. Whatever you need to do to accurately organize all of the information you have on a particular topic.

Now, how do you come up with the information to go into this outline? Some people can come up with it off the top of their head, depending on how much they know about the subject they’re going to write about.

So, say I’m writing about interviewing. Where am I going to get all this information and these ideas to write about? So, there are a couple of things I can do to help me figure out information to include in the outline.

I can take about 15 minutes and just write everything I could down on a piece of paper about interviewing, and I wouldn’t be worried about capitalizing words or using correct punctuation or correct spelling. I could use abbreviations. The sentences could be really simple and elementary. It’s just all the thoughts that come to mind about interviewing.

And then, when I go to make an outline, I can use all those ideas and formulate it into main points. And then, once I do that first exercise of just writing everything down I can think of, I can find the main points in that and start connecting those points so I could write some points here. So, I have a point there, a point there. I have some other points that are kind of similar. And I could draw lines in between them, encircle some, whichever ones I think are important, whichever ones I think correlate to each other.

And so, I do that first exercise to get all my ideas down. Then I start drawing relationship and figuring the relationship between different ideas. And I may decide that that idea doesn’t really fit in with the rest. So then I take icon-sthat and I put it into this outline.

So, this is all prep work to help you make a great paper. And this also helps you avoid writer’s block because you have an outline to go off of. Instead of wondering what you’re going to write about next, you just look at your next point and you know what you have to write about.

Practice tests help you remember. Take this mini-test to solidify your memory.

Mini-test: 17. Outlining 

1. Outlines are …
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  1. You should make an outline …
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The next lesson for you: Revising and Editing; these lessons are included in the Math practice tests.




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