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Alphanumeric Outlines This is the most common type of outline and usually instantly recognizable to most people. The formatting follows these characters, in this order: Roman Numerals Capitalized Letters Arabic Numerals Lowercase Letters If the outline needs to subdivide beyond these divisions, use Arabic numerals inside parentheses and then lowercase letters inside parentheses. Select the "Sample Outlines" PDF in the Media Box above to download the sample of this outline.
An outline breaks down the parts of your thesis in a clear, hierarchical manner. Most students find that writing an outline before beginning the paper is most helpful in organizing one's thoughts. If your outline is good, your paper should be easy to write. The basic format for an outline uses an alternating series of numbers and letters, indented accordingly, to indicate levels of importance. Here is an example of an outline on a paper about the development of Japanese theater:
Summary: This resource describes why outlines are useful, what types of outlines exist, suggestions for developing effective outlines, and how outlines can be used as an invention strategy for writing. Contributors: Elyssa Tardiff, Allen Brizee Last Edited: 2013-03-01 09:20:56 Ideally, you should follow the four suggestions presented here to create an effective outline. When creating a topic outline, follow these two rules for capitalization: For first-level heads, present the information using all upper-case letters; and for secondary and tertiary items, use upper and lower-case letters.