This resource describes why outlines are useful, what types of outlines exist, suggestions for developing effective outlines, and how outlines can be used as an invention strategy for writing.
When writing a research paper, it is often helpful to write an outline before starting on the rough draft. Not only are outlines helpful, but they are often required as an assignment by professors ...
Sample Outline in an MLA Paper (Levi) Source: This paper has been updated to follow the style guidelines
This handout provides detailed information about how to write research papers including discussing research papers as a genre, choosing topics, and finding sources.
Some teachers prefer a standard 3 body paragraph format. three is a nice number aesthetically, but there is nothing particularly magical about having three body paragraphs. unless your teacher states that you must have a certain number of body paragraphs, don’t feel constrained by this 3 paragraph format. the number of body paragraphs you have should be determined by your research and how you grouped your notes, not by an arbitrary number. have one main claim expressed in each paragraph.Tip: keep in mind that the outline needs to be flexible. don’t feel constrained by your outline once it’s created. if you get a surge of inspiration part way through writing your paper and decide to take your paper in a new direction, go ahead and change your outline.There are several different ways to format an outline, but the mla method (below) is a solid way to do it. note how easily all the previous work you’ve done (grouping your notes and thinking about transitions) slides into the outline format:Now that you’ve grouped your notes, thought about your transitions, and developed a high-powered thesis, its time to build the scaffold upon which you’ll structure your paper: the outline.
For any research paper, it is essential to know how to write an outline. Many research paper formats even require an outline, as an integral part of the paper.
Here is a sample paper in MLA format that has both the cover page and the outline pages. This paper has 10 pages so if you are under a slow Internet connection,
Follow the steps below to format your essay or research paper according to mla whenever you use microsoft word. before you begin, however, make sure that you can see the standard and formatting toobars displayed on two rows on your screen. note: if you are writing a research paper in the mla format that includes a title page and an outline page or pages before the body of the paper, you can download a template and substitute your information on the title, outline pages, and first page of the body of the paper. this template includes no page number on the title page, lower case roman numerals beginning with page "i" on the outline pages, and arabic numerals beginning with page "1" on the first page of the body of the paper. download research paper template in word 2003.Please note that the mla style of docoumentation no longer requires the listing of the internet address or url since those addresses may change frequently. the apa style, however, still requires the use of the url but not underlined. if your ms word autocorrect option is in the default setting, when you type an internet address or paste an internet address into your document and then press the spacebar, the address will become a hypertext link. this is useful if you are writing a document and want to send the file to someone as an email attachment. then the person can open the document and read it on the computer screen and click the link to connect to the internet address.Click the align center icon so that your title will be centered. before doing so, be sure to click "format" and then "paragraph" on the menu bar and check your paragraph format to make sure that the first line of the paragraph is not indented. if it is, change the first line indent to "none" and click "ok" in the paragraph dialog box.Mla format requires a header in the upper right-hand corner of each page set at 1/2" from the top of the page with the author's last name and a page number. to create the header and set automatic page numbering select view and then header and footer from the menu bar:
Basic outlining an outline presents a picture of the main ideas and the subsidiary ideas of any subject. some typical uses of outlining are: a class reading assignment, an essay, a term paper, a book review or a speech. for any of these, an outline will show a basic overview and important details.some professors will require an outline in sentence form, or require the main points to be in chronological order, or have other specific requirements. a students first responsibility, of course, is to follow the requirements of the particular assignment. what follows illustrates only the basics of outlining. the library presents it as a quick reminder because students often ask about outlining, and the information is not easy to find quickly in various reference books. basic outline form below is a synopsis of the outline form. the main ideas take roman numerals. sub-points under each main idea take capital letters and are indented. sub-points under the capital letters, if any, take italic numbers and are further indented. i. main idea a. subsidiary idea or supporting idea to i b. subsidiary idea or supporting idea to i 1. subsidiary idea to b 2. subsidiary idea to b a) subsidiary idea to 2 b) subsidiary idea to 2 ii. main idea a. subsidiary or supporting idea to ii b. subsidiary idea to ii c. subsidiary idea to ii iii. main ideait is up to the writer to decide on how many main ideas and supporting ideas adequately describe the subject. however, if there is a i in the outline, there has to be a ii; if there is an a, there has to be a b; if there is a 1, there has to be a 2, and so forth. outlining examplesuppose you are outlining a speech on aids, and these are some of the ideas you feel should be included: azt, transmittal, aids babies, teenagers, safe sex, epidemic numbers, research. to put these ideas into outline form, decide first on the main encompassing ideas. these might be: i. transmittal, ii. societal consequences, iii. research.next, decide where the rest of the important ideas fit in. are they part of aids transmittal or aids societal consequences or aids research solutions? the complete outline might look like this:major aspects of aids i. transmittal of aids a. transfusions b. body fluids 1. sexual 2. non-sexual ii. societal consequences of aids a. epidemic disease pattern 1. teenagers 2. women 3. homosexuals b. aids babies c. increased homophobia d. overburdened health care iii. research solutions to aids a. azt b. hiv virus c. other viruses it is only possible to make an outline if you have familiarity with the subject. not only in the initial outline, but during the course of the research, the writer may find it necessary to add, subtract or change the position of various ideas. this is acceptable as long as the logical relationship among ideas is preserved. further readingcampbell, w. g. (1954). form and style in thesis writing. boston: houghton mifflin.ellis, b. l. (1971). how to write themes and terms papers. new york: barrons educational.gibaldi, j. & achtert, w. s. (1984). mla handbook for writers of research papers. new york: modern language association.
The formal outline is an optional part of the Modern Language Association, or MLA, style paper. Some instructors require one and some do not. Even if your instructor does not ask for an outline, ...