Formal Outlines Content and format are rigid in the formal outline. The two blend to display the relationships among ideas in an orderly fashion. A formal outline can be a topic outline or a sentence outline. Each item in a topic outline is a word or phrase; each item in a sentence outline is a complete sentence. Formal outlines never mix the two. The difference between sentence outlines and topic outlines is: Sentence outlines are more informative and can be used in the body of your paper. A topic outline is not as informative, which means.
TOPIC AND SENTENCE OUTLINES. A formal outline is a kind of graphic scheme of the logic of your paper. Two main types of outlines are used: 1) The topic outline, and 2) the sentence outline. The advantage of the topic outline, besides its brevity, is that its parallel structure reveals the logic you will follow in your paper. Example of Topic Outline. 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. A topic sentence is the most important sentence in a paragraph. Sometimes referred to as a focus sentence, the topic sentence helps organize the paragraph by summarizing the information in the paragraph. In formal writing, the topic sentence is usually the first sentence in a paragraph (although it doesn't have to be).
Subject: Favorite Pet
Focused topic: a dog
Thesis statement: A dog would make a great pet for me because dogs are very loyal, they are easy to train, and they are good company. First Body Paragraph - Major Point 1
Topic Sentence: One of the great things about a dog is that they are extremely loyal.
Supporting Detail 1a: Dogs are always happy to see you when you come home from school or work.
Expanded Detail: My friend Elise's dog goes crazy whenever she comes
Expanded Detail: She runs to the door while wagging her tail, jumping up, and turning around in circles.
Supporting Detail 1b: Dogs also seem to be in a good mood, which can really cheer a person up.
Expanded Detail: Unlike some people, dogs don't get mad or yell and complain.
Expanded Detail: It doesn't seem to matter to them if your room's not clean or you've gotten a bad grade on a test.
Supporting Detail 1c: Dogs just seem to love you no matter what, and they will also usually play with you when you're feeling bored.
Expanded Detail: You can play fetch and wrestle with a dog.
Expanded Detail: And when you're done, a dog will come and sit beside you to make you feel loved.
Concluding Sentence: A dog will be there for you when you need him, something a guinea pig or snake can never be expected to do.
Second Body Paragraph - Major Point 2
Topic Sentence: Another wonderful characteristic of a dog is that they can be trained to do things.
Supporting Detail 2a: A dog can learn basic commands.
Expanded Detail: He can be taught to sit, stay and roll over.
Expanded Detail: He can also be taught to come or heel.
Supporting Detail 2b: You can also teach a dog to do funny tricks.
Expanded Detail: My aunt Julia had a dog that could stand on a barrel and roll it across the room.
Expanded Detail: I would probably just teach my dog to do simple tricks, such as shake, roll over, or play dead.
Supporting Detail 2c: Of course, one of the best things you can teach a dog is to go to the bathroom outside the house.
Expanded Detail:It takes some work and practice to housebreak a dog, but it's well worth the trouble.
Expanded Detail: Notice I took out an expanded detail here but don’t skip this part.
Concluding Sentence: Not only is it fun to train a dog to do follow certain commands, it also helps to keep them healthy and safe if a dog learns to do as it's told.
Third Body Paragraph - Major Point 3
Topic Sentence:But the very best reason for me to get a dog is because of the companionship that a dog can offer.
Supporting Detail 3a: A dog is an animal that can easily go places with me.
Expanded Detail: I can take her to the park and when I go on hikes.
Expanded Detail: And she can come with me when I go camping or spend the weekend at Grandma's house.
Expanded Detail: Having a dog along helps a person feel a little bit safer when she's alone, too.
Notice that I added a third expanded detail here but don’t skip this part.
Supporting Detail 3b: Because they're so loyal, dogs tend to stay close to their owner's side.
Expanded Detail: My sister Clarisse's dog sits right next to her on the couch or the bed when she's reading or watching TV.
Expanded Detail: Clarisse talks to her dog, and that dog actually seems to listen to what she has to say.
Supporting Detail 3c: Notice that I eliminated supporting detail 3c and the concluding sentence.
Concluding Paragraph Topic Sentence: It's clear to me that nothing can compare to a dog's dedication, intelligence, and friendship.
Topic Sentence Outline
The best way to understand the role of the topic sentence in paragraph development is to imagine that any given paragraph is a miniature essay that has its own thesis, support, and conclusion. The parts of a paragraph easily correspond to the parts of an essay:
Topic Sentence Outline Format
|Essay Level||Paragraph Level|
|Thesis statement||Topic sentence|
|Body paragraphs||Supporting details, explanation, analysis|
Just as an effective essay starts off with an introduction that presents the paper's thesis statement and indicates the specific claim or argument that the essay will develop, each paragraph should begin with a topic sentence that indicates the focus of that paragraph, alerting the reader to the particular subtopic that the paragraph will provide evidence to support.
Topic Sentence Outline Example
A strong topic sentence should be placed at or near the beginning of a paragraph. In addition, this sentence should focus on a specific issue, avoid the use of direct quotations, and leave room for support and analysis within the body of the paragraph. Read on to learn more about creating an effective topic sentence.