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Outlines: Home

Tips and links on how to create an outline

Why Create an Outline?

It is helpful to create an Outline for the following reasons:

1) Organize your thoughts/ideas better

2) Understand information flow - logical ordering of information

3) Shows relationships between ideas

4)  Ensures that you include everything - helps to keep track of a large amount of information

5) For creative writing - organize plot threads and keep track of character traits

6) For oral presentations - helps you speak more effectively


OWL at Purdue Online Writing Lab
Purdue Owl - Developing an Outline


  • Place your thesis statement at the beginning
  • Review all the ideas/points that you have found
  • Group related ideas together
  • List the major points that support your thesis and discard anything that is irrelevant.
    • Label them in Roman Numerals (I, II, III, etc.)
  • List supporting ideas or arguments for each major point. ‚Äč
    •  Label them in capital letters (A, B, C, etc.)
  • If necessary, continue to sub-divide each supporting idea until your outline is fully developed.
    • Label them 1, 2, 3, etc., and then a, b, c, etc.


Research Paper Outline - Example

Sample Research Paper