|Rules to Remember When Outlining:
- The title should be centered above the outline.
The title should reflect the content of the paper.
- The thesis statement should appear between
the title of the outline and Roman numeral I.
- The main topics of the outline should correspond
to the thesis statement.
- The main points of the body should be developed
in the order in which they are presented in the thesis.
- The correct order of ideas (and the numbering
and lettering system) should follow the example below.
- There should be a period after every number
and letter in the outline except for those in parentheses.
- The first word of each topic and subtopic
should be capitalized. Do not capitalize words other than the
first ones unless they are proper nouns.
- The Roman numerals should be placed in a
column so that the periods form a straight line. Indent subtopics
so that all letters or numbers of the same kind will be directly
under one another.
- If any topic or subtopic takes more than
one line, begin the second line directly under the first word
of the first line.
- There must never be a lone subtopic. You
cannot divide something into less than two parts; therefore,
every A must have a B; every 1 must have a 2.
I. Roman numerals = main topics
A. Capital letters = subtopics of the main
1. Arabic numerals = subtopics of the capital
a. Small letters = subtopics of the Arabic
(1) Arabic numerals in parentheses = subtopics
of small letters
(a) Small letters in parentheses = subtopics
of the above
- The outline may follow one of the three different
types: phrase, topic, or sentence. The three different types
should not be mixed within one outline.
- All entries should be parallel in structure.
- Meaningless topics such as "introduction,"
"body," or "conclusion" should not be included.
- The outline should be single-spaced. (Please
note: The example below is double-spaced due to web page constraints.)
Ezra Pound's "Canto" - a Modern
Ezra Pound's poem "Canto" fits the
characteristics of a modern poem.
A. Modern Poetry
1. Negative tone
2. Poetic devices
2. Word choice
1. Free verse
2. Common speech
For addtional information about developing
an effective outline, visit the following links:
*Adapted from the Franklin High School Guide
to the Research Paper, Franklin
High School, Baltimore County
Public Schools, June 2003.