How To Create An Outline Of A Speech Or Academic Paper

When writing a speech or paper, you need a general plan for the material. It is what is called an outline. The outline shows how the various topics appear in order and shows the importance of each of them and between the various parts of the relationship there. 

Order of the outline

When writing an outline, there is an order that needs to be followed. There are different ways in which you can achieve this. You arrange the subject in different parts. Sometimes arranging the parts in a chronological arrangement works as well. In some other instances, spatially arranging the parts is the best way for the material. But the best and common way of outlines is the general to a specific order. When writing, you start with the general idea, then you go ahead to support it with specific examples.

Summarizing sentence of the thesis statement 

When writing the outline, it should always start with the thesis statement of summarizing sentence. This statement usually presents the idea that is central to the whole paper. When written, it should always be complete, specific, grammatical sentence ad also brief. It should express the point of view that the writer is taking on the specific subject. 

The different types of outlines

When we look at the different types of outlines, the two main ones include the sentence outline and the topic outline. When writing the sentence outline, the different headings of the paper are usually expressed in complete sentences. On the other hand, when writing a topic outline, the different headings are in brief phrases or single words. 

The rules of outlining 

  1. The first rule includes subdividing your topics by using a number system or a letter system.
  2. Each of the heading and the subheading must contain at least two parts. 
  3. Headings for some different parts of the paper, like the introduction and the conclusion of a speech, should not be used. 
  4. Always be consistent. When writing your outline, maintain one type. Do not mix up any two types of outlines. When writing, use either writing whole sentences or writing one that contains brief phrases or single words but does not use both of them.

Below is a sample of the topic outline. The topic for both is Choices made in college and after.

Sample topic outline

Thesis: The more significant questions that I ask myself about my life decisions on the decisions I make on choosing college courses. 

  1. There are two decisions described 
  2. Chemistry or Art History 
  3. Professional Considerations 
  4. Personal Considerations 
  5. French in the third year
  6. Knowing a foreign language and practical advantages
  7. Intellectual advantages
  8. Issue of necessity
  9. Problem definition 
  10. Occupation decisions
  11. Kind of life to lead decisions
  12. Problems temporary resolution 
  13. Hold open the professional possibility of Chemistry
  14. Take advantage of the cultural gains made already: French. 

The sample outline above shows the topic outline. As you can see, the headings have been given in brief phrases. On the other hand, when writing the sentence outline, it should not be the same. You should use complete sentences. Case in point, a topic I: “I have two major decisions to decide concerning what I choose for college courses shortly.” 

When writing your outline, make a note of these differences. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *