Topic Outline Meaning

Outline definition is - a line that marks the outer limits of an object or figure: boundary. How to use outline in a sentence. Synonym Discussion of outline. A topic outline consists of words and phrases that best describe the main topic. It arranges the topics hierarchically in the sequence that you think is best. As its name implies, it identifies the mini-topics that describe your paper and where it will be based on. The main shape or edge of something, without any details: She drew the outline of the boat and then coloured it in. A topic sentence is a sentence, sometimes at the beginning of a paragraph, that states or suggests the main idea (or topic) of a paragraph. Not all paragraphs begin with topic sentences. In some, the topic sentence appears in the middle or at the end.

This is a formal outline for your final research paper. It will present your thesis, the major points in support of that thesis, and the sub-points supporting each major point. It may have additional levels of sub-sub-points if you feel that is necessary.

Some guidelines for formal outlines are presented in “Developing an Outline” at the Purdue University Online Writing Lab. Please follow those guidelines when writing your outline.

Outline

The basic idea of a formal outline is that different types of letters or numbers (I, A, 1, a, i) represent different levels of the hierarchy of your paper, and sub-levels are indented below main levels.

In addition to the elements of a formal outline, please also:

  • Include a thesis statement at the start.
  • Cite your sources: list all authors used in each section in parentheses at the end of that section
  • Attach a list of sources that includes all the sources used for the outline and no others. This list may differ from the one you submitted for the Preliminary Bibliography, if you have added new sources or eliminated old ones.

Writing the Topic Outline

  1. Write out your thesis at the top of the page.
  2. Make a list of points you must prove to prove your thesis. What would someone have to agree with, in order to agree with the thesis?
    • These will be the main sections of your paper. Like the thesis, these should be complete, declarative sentences—something you can either prove or disprove.
  3. On a new page, write your first main point. This is the thesis for that section of the paper.
  4. Make a list of the points you have to prove to prove that point. Just as with the main points, these should be complete, declarative sentences—statements you can prove or disprove.
  5. These are your sub-points for that section.
  6. Repeat the process for each of your main points.

Notice that this process produces a hierarchical structure, just like the one you developed using the paragraph outline to analyze the reading.

Topic outline meaning definition

Once you have the main points and supporting points written down, it’s time to start organizing. First make sure which are main and which are supporting points. For example, you may find that what you thought was a main point is really part of proving another main point. Or, what you first listed under a main point may need its own section. This may change as you continue to work on the outline and draft the paper.

Topic

Now you can decide what order you want to present your ideas in. Again, label them with letters or numbers to indicate the sequence.

Tip: Don’t just settle for one organization. Try out at least two different sequences. You’ll be surprised at the connections that emerge, the possibilities that open up, when you rearrange your ideas. You may find that your thesis suddenly snaps into focus, or that points that seemed unrelated in fact belong together, or that what you thought was a main idea is actually a supporting idea for another point. Good writing is all about re-vision, which literally means “seeing again”—seeing your work from a fresh perspective. You can do this at every stage of the writing process, and especially at the organization stage.

Topic Outline Meaning Sentence

Finally, write up the outline in the order you’ve chosen. Remember to include a thesis statement at the start of the outline, and cite and list your sources.

Topic Outline Meaning

Several aspects must be considered in writing a topic outline.

  • Recall that all headings and subheadings must be words or phrases, not sentences.
  • Also, the wording within each division must be parallel.
  • Finally, as in any outline, remember that a division or subdivision cannot be divided into one part; therefore, if there is an 'A' there must be a 'B,' and if there is a '1' there must be a '2.'

Topic Outline Meaning

I. Family Problems
A. Custodial: Non-custodial Conflicts
B. Extended Family
C. Adolescent's Age
II. Economic Problems
A. Child Support
B. Women's Job Training
C. Lower Standard of Living
D. Possible Relocation
1. Poorer Neighborhood
2. New School
III. Peer Problems
A. Loss of Friends
B. Relationships with Dates