How Do You Write an Outline?

How Do You Write an Outline?

To write an outline, choose a thesis, break down your topic into the main ideas and backup each main idea with examples. An outline allows you to organize your thoughts before the writing process begins.

  1. Determine your thesis

    Decide what topic to address in your paper and write it concisely in a thesis statement. Your thesis should be a road map for the rest of the paper.

  2. Highlight the main ideas

    Once you have your topic, figure out what the main points are that you want to cover. Organize your points by arranging the topics in the order you want to discuss them in your paper. Make these main points into your headings.

  3. Add subheadings

    Provide additional information about each heading. For each heading and subheading use the alphanumeric method in this order: Roman numerals, capital letters, Arabic numerals and lowercase letters. Make these subheadings more specific than the main points in the outline, and use them to give more detail about the headings. You can use a complete sentence for each subheading or simple keywords, but keep all of your headings structured in the same way. For example, if you start a heading with a verb, make sure all the other headings follow this pattern.