Making and Using an Outline
What is an Outline?
• An outline is a way of
organizing key ideas
• An outline helps to set up
an essay or a research
• An outline is a tool to help
revise an essay or
• An outline can be a study
tool to help you
summarize key ideas in
Defining the Kinds of Outlines
• A scratch outline is a preliminary list that lets
you see where you need to go. It is a
rough list of your first ideas.
• A scratch outline is a starting point only. It is
putting on the clothes without the
• A scratch outline often changes significantly as
you begin to research and write.
The Scratch Outline
Problems with Immigration
• Who should be allowed to immigrate?
• What screening procedures should we use?
• Who should be given student visas?
• What checks should the government make?
• Should there be a number limit on
DEFINING THE FORMAL
• A formal outline shows, in logical order, what
you will be writing about.
• A formal outline helps you separate main ideas
and supporting ideas
• A formal outline gives you a foundation from
which to build an introduction, a body, and a
• A formal outline often changes after you write
your first draft. It will show you where you need
to add more research or make other changes.
Addressing Immigration after 9/11
II. Criteria for immigration
A. Political refugees
B. Relatives of citizens
C. Other applications
III. Screening Criteria
A. Medical Screening
C. Psychological screening
D. Background check
A. Purpose of study
B. Commitment to study
1. How long will they stay?
2. How will they finance their education and support
C. Value to our educational system
V. Government oversight
A. Obligation to have periodic checks on immigrants and students
B. Reporting any legal violations or suspicious behavior
C. The government needs to limit the number of immigrants
SCRATCH VS. FORMAL
• A scratch outline is a collection
of notes or ideas that needs to
be refined and expanded. It’s a
raw material rather than a
• A formal outline shows
evidence of thought, revision,
planning, or research. It uses
a prescribed format: Roman
numerals, upper case letters,
numbers, and lower case
letters. It may be further
expanded or revised as
Creating an Outline
• Take several minutes to create an outline. Think
about the given topic and make a scratch
• Jot down what you already know about this
• Think about what you want to learn or explore
about this topic.
• Think about what conclusions you may reach.
• Topic: Ensuring travel safety in (airports,
train stations, bus terminals)
Time to Compare!
• Exchange your
scratch outline with a
partner. Have a five-
minute discussion in
which you take turns
explaining what you
wrote in your outline.
LET’S GET FORMAL!
Ensuring Airport Safety
• With your expanded
knowledge, try to create a
formal outline for your
essay on ensuring airport
• Your title will be the
umbrella under which you
place your main topics
• Remember to use Roman
numerals, upper and
lower case letters, and
Let’s summarize what you have learned :
A. Scratch Outline
1. Informal, preliminary
B. Formal Outline
1. More formal, requires more research
II. Purpose for Using an Outline
A. To help organize key ideas in writing an essay or research paper
B. To help summarize key ideas in reading
C. To help you develop subtopics