How do you prepare an outline?


Quick Answer

To prepare an outline, start by considering the topic as a whole and the purpose of the paper or article. Begin creating a broad list of topics or talking points to discuss in the paper, then elaborate on each of these main talking points.

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Full Answer

When looking at the topic, think about what the final goal is. Know the desired word count, how many sections are required for the article or paper and the format. This information provides essential details that help when constructing the outline. When creating the list of talking points, make them the primary ideas to be discussed in different sections of the writing project. This might be different paragraphs and headers of an article, different paragraphs for a term paper or different chapters for a story.

Take these main points and further elaborate on them, creating a structure. Input notes and bullet points under each main point to organize the paper. This keeps it from going back and forth throughout the paper and keeps each section its own entity. This part of the outline also ensures that all important information is included. Now continue fleshing out the points until the outline is complete. Reviewing and editing the outline is normal, so don’t be afraid to change some of the details.

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