Add the beginning and end. You may read this TIP Sheet from start to finish before you begin your paper, or skip to the steps that are causing you the most grief. Interest, information, and focus Your job will be more pleasant, and you will be more apt to retain information if you choose a topic that holds your interest.
Topic 3 Reverse Outline A simpler, more informal type of outline can be helpful after you've written your rough draft.
If you find that your essays are often disorganized or you tend to struggle with transitions, reverse outlines might be a useful tool for you. What is a reverse outline? Reverse outlines are informal lists that are created after a rough draft has been written, to help you visually see what you're discussing in your essay How do I create one?
You can make a formal outline if you want, but often the best type of reverse outline simply involves jotting down notes in the margins of your draft.
Read your introduction paragraph.
Underline your thesis statement. Read each body paragraph slowly. Each time you finish a paragraph, jot down the main idea that the paragraph discussed, in the margins. Read each body paragraph again and jot down notes about the supporting information that was discussed in each paragraph, in the margins.
Read your conclusion paragraph. Check to make sure that it refers back to your thesis statement, but uses different words to do so. In order to use this reverse outline as a revision tool, you'll need to take a look at the main ideas that have been presented.
Ask yourself the following questions: Do each of these body paragraph topics support my thesis statement? Consider removing anything that wanders away from your topic Have I discussed the same idea or topic in multiple places throughout the draft?
Group similar ideas together! Have I used clear transitions to show how each paragraph relates to the surrounding paragraphs? If not, add connecting words or transitional phrases Have I covered everything that I wanted to say about my topic?
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