How to Write an Outline

How to Write an Outline
If you are looking for how to write an outline, read the following article which will explain with examples how to write an essay, research paper, book or an introductory speech. Read the example of how to write an outline and make sure that you have covered all the points and the flow of points is logical.
An essay outline or a speech outline is an important part of pre-writing. Good pre-writing skills are critical if you want to achieve high grade or if you want to hear a big round of applause after your speech. Kids always stumble while writing an essay as they often fail to spend enough time in the pre-writing stage. Writing process requires planning and organizing the structure of the essay, speech, research, anything that you want others to read or listen to. As you are worried about how to write an outline, here are some important writing tips regarding how to organize your topic logically before you start writing.

How to Write an Essay Outline: Tips
Choose a topic of your own choice and focus on a limited aspect of the topic that you can manage.
Collect information or note down the points that you already know.
You can gather information from newspapers, magazines, books or helpful computer pages.
While organizing the subject matter, divide the information into major ideas.
Again divide the information under major ideas into sub ideas.
Eliminate the irrelevant information, include only that information which supports each major idea.
Divide your rough work into introduction, body and conclusion and further, sub divide the body into different major ideas.
The introduction should tell the readers what the essay is about.
Two-three sentences in the introduction should reflect what you are going to state in the body of the essay.
Each paragraph of the body should explain the topic in detail.
You can include an example, piece of evidence, or quotation that supports the topic sentence.
The conclusion or the last paragraph should include the closing statement which would indicate that you have finished your discussion.
In the last part, you should summarize the information provided in the body of the essay and discuss how this information supports the topic.
Thus, an essay outline format will contain introduction, body (sub divided into major ideas and sub ideas) and conclusion. On a rough paper, you can note down your points in short and prepare an outline. Then referring to the outline, you can develop the points and connect them logically while actually writing the essay.

For those, who are worried about how to write an outline for a research paper or even for those who are thinking about how to write an outline for a book, the same above mentioned tips can work. Writing a book outline requires more writing skills, for example, any writer while writing a novel should be able to create a rising action, climax, then resolution. Twists and turns in the story should be so organized that the reader should feel like reading the whole book without keeping it down, once he starts reading. For this you need to write down the whole story in short, while writing the outline and then link the chapters skillfully.

While writing an outline for research paper, you should keep it in mind that all points must relate to the same major topic that you first mentioned in your introduction. Here is an example of writing an outline for research paper. The example can be useful for writing an outline for essay or designing an outline for writing a case study.

How to Write an Outline: Example

Introduction - (Brief introduction of the topic, what you feel about Obama - Thesis statement on Barack Obama)

Body - Obama's Childhood, Education, Marriage, Works, Current Life (These are the major ideas which can be sub divided into sub ideas as follow)

A. Early life in Hawaii, Jakarta:
Obama's family
Obama's father
Obama's mother
Obama's grand parents
B. Obam's Education:
Interest in studies and sports, how he became conscious of racism
C. Obama's Marriage:
Marriage, his daughters
Life of Michelle Robinson
Entry into politics
D. Obama's Works
As a professor
As a politician
As a book writer, his books, his autobiography, awards received
As an advocate
As a leader, etc.
E. Obama's Current Life:
Battle for presidentship
His speeches, his views, his policies
Conclusion - The conclusion must include the following:
Analytical summary, how exceptional, how revolutionary he was and he is in all his works, right from childhood.
What we can learn from his life, how he has influenced the masses, what we can hope from him
Concluding statement about Obama.
If you are worried about how to write an outline for a speech, just keep it in mind that the introduction speech outline should contain all the major points in three above mentioned divisions, namely introduction, body and conclusion. You should not write full sentences in the outline, instead you should just note down the points, references, quotes, etc. You can have a cursory glance over it while delivering your speech. Considering the situation, subject and type of audience, you need to write your speech outline. If you are confident about yourself, then you can directly use the outline, without writing full speech. Remember, the audience should not be bombarded with loads of information, instead you should present your ideas so interestingly that you should be able to arouse curiosity in the minds of people listening to you.

This was all about how to write an outline. For kids or college students, writing an outline should turn into a habit, which can help improve their skills dramatically. They may eventually develop their own style of constructing an outline and their own style of writing an essay or research paper. Writing an outline is very essential as it can help them think through their topic carefully. It can also help them organize the information logically before they start writing.

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