Outlining Your Ideas

A Part of the Research Process

Once you have gathered additional information, you need to plan your report.

Making an outline is one way to plan your report. There are two types of outlines that you can create.


  1. Topic Outline (which lists ideas as words or phrases.)
  2. Sentence outline (which puts ideas into full sentences.)

Here are examples of the two types of outlines.

We will be using the sentence outline.

The Sentence Outline

Below is the first part of a sentence outline for a report that was previously written. Notice that the outline begins with the thesis statement for the report. Then it lists a topic sentence for each middle paragraph. The author then marshals the evidence that supports the topic sentence, listing that underneath each one.
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*A Few Things to Note*

In an outline...

  • if you have a I, you must also have a II.
  • If you have an A, you must also have a B.

TRY IT NOW: Create Your Outline

Using the information from your notes template, create a sentence outline for your report. Be sure that each sentence (this is the I, II, and III) supports the thesis. In addition, be sure that each piece of evidence (this is the A, B, C, . . .) supports its topic sentence. When finished, please print your final outline and turn in to Mrs. Aday.

*OUTLINE DUE DATE REMINDER* Tuesday, May 17