Writing papers in college requires you to come up with sophisticated, complex, and sometimes very creative ways of structuring your ideas.
Taking the time to draft an outline can help you determine if your ideas connect to each other, what order of ideas works best, where gaps in your thinking may exist, or whether you have sufficient evidence to support each of your points.
An outline is a formal system used to develop a framework for thinking about what should be the organization and eventual contents of your paper.
An outline helps you predict the overall structure and flow of a paper.
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Summary: 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. There are many reasons, but in general, it may be helpful to create an outline when you want to show the hierarchical relationship or logical ordering of information. Writing Tutorial Services, Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning. If, in writing your paper, it begins to diverge from your outline, this is very likely a sign that you've lost your focus.Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. University of North Carolina; Reverse Outlines: A Writer's Technique for Examining Organization. A good way to check your progress is to use what you have written to recreate the outline. Indiana University; Writing: Considering Structure and Organization. How do you know whether to change the paper to fit the outline, or, that you need to reconsider the outline so that it fits the paper?For research papers, an outline may help you keep track of large amounts of information.For creative writing, an outline may help organize the various plot threads and help keep track of character traits.Outlines arrange major topics, subtopics, and supporting details. Before Prohibition, crime rate related to alcohol were low-to-medium 2. Writers use outlines when writing their papers in order to know which topic to cover in what order. During Prohibition, crime rates related to alcohol were high a. Writing an outline will also help you focus on the task at hand and avoid unnecessary tangents, logical fallacies, and underdeveloped paragraphs. If you discover that it's difficult to create an outline from what you have written, then you likely need to revise your paper.