• ORGANIZING INFORMATION AND IDEAS

    I. FORMAL OUTLINES

    An outline should have the following form:

    I.
      A.
         1.
            a.
               (1)
                     (a)
                     (b)
                (2)
            b.
         2.
      B.
    II.
    General Rule:
    There shall be no I without a II.
    There shall be no A without a B.

    Types of Formal Outlines

    (1) TOPIC OUTLINE uses phrases but no sentences for development.

      Example:

      1. Reasons for writing papers
        1. Thinking skills
          1. Evaluation
          2. Analysis
          3. Recall of Knowledge
        2. Communication of ideas
      2. Methods of writing papers
        1. Comparison / Contrast
        2. Argumentation
        3. Narration

        (2) SENTENCE OUTLINE uses complete sentences throughout the outline.

          Example:

          1. People write papers for several reasons.
            1. Papers can develop thinking skills.
              1. Papers can illustrate the process of evaluation.
              2. Papers help writers develop analysis skills.
              3. Writing papers involves the process of recall.
            2. Writing is an important form of communication.
          2. Students can use several methods to write papers.
            1. Comparison/contrast papers consider similarities and differences among things, people or ideas.
            2. Argumentative papers consider the pros and cons of an issue.
            3. Narrative papers use a story to make a point.


        II. GRAPHIC ORGANIZERS

        Graphic organizers take various forms and names, such as webs, clusters, maps, etc. They can be used for taking notes while reading (textbooks, articles, fiction), taking notes while listening (classroom lectures and presentations), or taking notes while viewing (videos, experiments, demonstrations), as well as for planning, writing, and speaking.

        Some of these organizers are best suited for brainstorming while others are more often used for organizing the ideas and information already selected.

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      A Guide to Communication:The Grosse Pointe Public Schools Style Sheet
      © The Grosse Pointe Public School System, 2000