Outline Strategies Better Writing Starting Today sarahahenderson.weebly.com “Why do we have to do this?” • Students avoid outlining because they think: – It’s confusing. – It’s an extra step. – It’s not useful. – It’s too much work. “Because…” • Outlining provides structure. • Outlining limits “writer’s block.” • Outlining limits the need to formulate ideas during essay writing. • Outlining allows students to see the “big picture.” • Outlining serves as a writing map. • Outlining develops organization skills. • Outlining requires parallelism. What the Experts Say • “Outlining will help you […] to figure out how each section of the paper relates to the others” (MLA Handbook 41). • “Developing an outline can help you to see the logical progression of your argument” (MLA Handbook 41). More Experts… • “Create an outline when you want to show the hierarchical relationship or logical ordering of information” (Purdue Online Writing Lab). • “Remember: creating an outline before writing your paper will make organizing your thoughts a lot easier” (Purdue Online Writing Lab). • “With an outline, you move from a random listing of items as they occurred to you to a deliberate map that will guide readers from point to point” (Lannon 44). What Can Teachers Do? • Dedicate time specifically to outlining. • Spend time one-on-one with students as they outline. This gives students feedback about their ideas before they write. • Provide examples. • Provide clarity. “Students need frameworks to think within. They can’t just think. Especially if you want it to be critical thinking.” – Richard Cash Education Consultant Basic Outline Worksheet Outline Worksheets for Narration • Outlining for narration provides: – Plot development and coherence – Character identity – Conflict clarity Short Story Outline Worksheet Narrative Peer Review Outline Worksheets for Compare and Contrast • Outlining for comparing and contrasting provides: – Strategy – Organization – Coherence – Thesis clarity for persuasion Compare and Contrast Outline Compare/Contrast Peer Review Outline Worksheets for Research • Outlining for research writing provides: – Improved paragraph structure and connections – A map to follow – Strategy – Organization – Coherence – Thesis clarity Group Research Worksheet Individual Research Outline(1) Individual Research Outline(2) “Whoever is doing the reading, writing and talking is the one who is getting smarter.” -Cris Tovani -Bennett Literacy Lab Outline Worksheets for Analysis and Persuasion • Outlining for analytical essays provides: – A map to follow – Convincing, coherent examples – Structure – Thesis clarity – Line(s) of argument Literary Analysis Outline Literary Analysis Peer Review Film Analysis Outline Worksheet Poetry Explication Outline Pieter Brueghel the Elder, The Kermesse (1567-68) Student Responses to Outline Worksheets • “You brainstorm and develop your paper at the same time.” • “I felt like I saw the big picture.” • “It’s really easy to write the essay when the outline is completed.” • “It provides a starting point for essays.” • “It helps with your structure.” • “It FORCES you to organize.” • “It relieves pressure during the actual writing.” • “You can pause during your writing because you aren’t going to lose your train of thought.” • “It lets you improve your writing as you write.” Other writing assignments that could benefit from an outline worksheet? Works Cited Lannon, John M. The Writing Process. 10th Ed., HarperCollins; 2008. Print. Ledbetter, Mary Ellen. Ready-to-Use English Workshop Activities for Grades 6-12: 180 Daily Lessons Integrating Literature, Writing & Grammar Skills. Jossey-Bass; San Francisco, 2005. Print. “Outlining.” MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 7th Ed., The Modern Language Association of America; New York, 2009. Print. “Why and How to Create a Useful Outline.” Purdue Online Writing Lab, Purdue University, 2012. Web. 30 July 2012.