Outline And Other Graphic Organizers

Essay writersGraphic organizers, such as outlines, charts and diagrams, provide a simple, efficient way to help you explore key ideas and uncover important relationships. The first of these, the outline, is the organizer with which you are probably most familiar.

An outline is a preliminary plan of material to be presented in a report, essay, term paper or speech. A good outline records information in a concise and logical manner. It helps a writer or researcher organize ideas and provides a speaker with a diagram of the basic points in a talk.

Type of outlines

A formal outline shows the main points of a topic, the order in which they are to be presented and the relationships between them. Formal outlines are useful when writing formal compositions or speeches and when outlining chapters for study.

There are tow types of formal outlines: sentence outlines or topic outlines. In a sentence outline, each main topic and sub-topic is written in a complete sentence.

An informal outline helps you organize information quickly and efficiently. Main ideas are presented as separate headings. Details and sub details are written beneath each heading using numbers, letters, dashes or indentations. Attention to parallel structure in unnecessary in an informal outline. Informal outlines are especially useful for taking lecture notes, for preparing to answer essay or term paper questions and for making prewriting notes during an essay test. The following is an example of an informal outline on the industrial revolution.

  1. Origins of the industrial revolution
    1. New inventions:
      1. Steam engine
      2. Spinning jenny
      3. Cotton gin
      4. Flying shuttle
      5. Lathe
  2. Transportation advances
    1. Macadam roads
      1. Steam-powered railroads
      2. Steamboats
      3. canala

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