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Online Outline Makers

If you are using Google Docs, type your entire outline using TABS.  Then highlight everything, click on the numbering icon, and choose the outline with roman numerals and the alphabet.

Another option is to use Cambridge Rindge and Latin's online outline maker.  Just type in your information and click on Create Outline. Then print immediately! You can't save your outline so if you click out of the page, you lose it. 

Why Make an Outline?

An outline helps you organize your thoughts and makes the actual writing of your paper much easier.  The top of your outline should be your introduction with thesis statement.  The subtopics from your note cards will serve as headings for the body outline.  Remember that all your subtopics need to relate back to your thesis. 

I. Introductory Paragraph with Thesis Statement
Your introductory paragraph should contain the following, in order:
1.    An attention grabber: an example, statistic, interesting historical fact, an anecdote (little story - two sentences or less), or a quote relating to your topic.
2.   A very brief summary of the topic or issue.
3.   The thesis statement.

II. Body of paper

A. Subtopic 1
     1.  Supporting evidence to back up A.
     2.  More supporting evidence to back up A.

B. Subtopic 2
     1.  Supporting evidence to back up B.
     2.  More supporting evidence to back up B.

C. Subtopic 3
     1.  Supporting evidence to back up C.
     2.  More supporting evidence to back up C.

Each paragraph in your body should have the following, in order:

1.      A topic sentence introducing the subtopic.
2.     Sentence(s) that provide evidence to support the subtopic.
3.     A transition sentence to your next paragraph.

III. Conclusion

Because you will write this at the very end, you need not include much in the outline for it, unless you have an idea for a great clincher.  The conclusion should restate your thesis and sum up all your subtopics.  The order is dependent on how you wish to do this, as there isn’t a magic formula for a conclusion.  It may a good idea to mention the significance of your research.   Why was your research important?   Are there any more questions to be answered?