writingoutline Mrs. Briel
Totino-Grace High School  

1.) Outline ONLY the BODY, not the intro or conclusion.

2.) Use Parallelism: we'll be talking about this as grammar soon, but for your outline, know this:
* Nouns should be made parallel with nouns, verb forms with verb forms, adjectives with adjectives, and so on.  
* Although parallel structure is desired, logical and clear writing should not be sacrificed merely to maintain parallelism. (e.g. there are times when nouns and gerunds at the same level of an outline are acceptable.)  

3.) Remember Coordination

      In outlining, those items which are of equal significance have comparable numeral or letter designations:an A is equal to a B, a 1 to a 2, an a to a b, etc. Coordinates should be seen as "having the same value." Coordination is a principle that enables you to maintain a coherent and consistent document. Let's say you're writing about your artist's paintings…

      Correct coordination -

           A. Style
           B.  Subject Matter
           C.  Influences

      Faulty coordination:

           A. Style
           B. Light-and-dark
           C.  Renaissance  

3.) Maintain  Subordination
To indicate levels of significance, an outline uses major and minor headings; therefore, in ordering ideas, you should organize your paper from general to specific or from abstract to concrete- the more general or abstract the term, the higher the level or rank in the outline. This principle allows your material to be ordered in terms of logic and requires a clear articulation of the relationship between component parts used in the outline. Subdivisions of each higher division should always have the same relationship to the whole.Here is an example borrowed from the OWL of Purdue:

      Correct subordination

           A. Word processing programs
                1. Microsoft Word
                2. Word Perfect
           B. Desktop publishing programs
                1. PageMaker
                2. Quark Express

      Faulty subordination

           A. Word processing programs
                1. Word
                2. Useful
                3. Obsolete

      Explanation: There is an A without a B. Also 1, 2, and 3 are not equal; Word is a type of word processing program, and useful and obsolete are qualities.
Here is one  way to correct this faulty subordination:

           A. Word
                1. Positive features
                2. Negative features
           B. Word Perfect
                1. Positive features
                2. Negative features

     4.) Division

      To divide,  you always need at least two parts; therefore, there can never be an A without a B, a 1 without a 2, an a without a b, etc. Usually there is more than one way to divide parts; however, when dividing use only one basis of division at each rank, and make the basis of division as sharp as possible. Again, from Purdue's OWL --

      Correct division

           A. Personal computers: hardware
                1. Types
                2. Cost
                3. Maintenance
           B. Personal computers: software

      Faulty division

           A. Computers
                1. Mainframe
                2. Micro

                     a. Floppy disk

                     b. Hard disk

           B. Computer uses
                1. Institutional
                2. Personal

 5.) Follow this format   for your outline
* Use  sentences for the MAIN (Roman Numeral) TOPICS. Using sentences will require shorter composing time when you begin to write your first draft.
* Use  words or phrases for all SUBTOPICS (letters, numbers).
* In the left margin, write notes (hence, "Annotated Outlkine"): put author or abbreviated title + page #. For a URL, write abbreviated site title.

Sample Roman Numeral outline:  







Last updated  2008/09/28 07:10:08 CDTHits  275