Writing an outline in addition to the paper may seem like a lot of extra work, especially if your teacher doesn't require one. If you take the time to think about what you want to say and to put your ideas into an outline, writing the actual paper will be easier. An outline is a listing of brief ideas that will be in the paper.

The Outline's Outline

I. Reasons to write an outline
A. Organizes your ideas
B. Provides a “map” for the paper
C. Your teacher made you do it
D. You decided to give it a try
II. Parts of the outline
A. Title
1. Should include the subject of the paper
2. Descriptive title will grab reader’s attention
B. Introduction
1. States the subject of the paper
2. States what areas will be focused on
3. Keep introduction concise and brief
a) Helps to keep reader’s attention
b) Save something for the “Main Body”
C. Main Body
1. Where all your information is presented
2. It’s time to use your notes
a) Find all your notes
b) Review your notes
c) Put the information in order
d) Write brief phrases for ideas to be discussed
(1) No need to write in complete sentences
(2) Write just the main ideas down
(3) Elaborate on the main ideas in the actual paper
e) The ideas should follow in logical order
f) If you have an "A" or an "a" you must have a "B" or "b"
g) If you have a "1" you must have a "2"
D. Conclusion
1. Think of how you want the paper to end
2. Be sharp, concise and to the point
3. Breathe a sigh of relief! The outline is done.