Now that you have completed your literature review, it is time to focus on your project’s outline and analysis. So let’s begin with outline, have you ever got stuck on a piece of writing with no idea what to say? Chances are you got straight to it without making an outline. Writing without an outline is like dancing to no music: it takes away your sense of direction and makes the whole thing a garbled mess. For starters, an outline can help you:
- Make sense out of multiple ideas
- Present your thoughts in a logical order
- Avoid straying from your main idea
- Divide the project into manageable writing tasks
- Keep your writing smooth and sensible
Outline writing can take up one to three hours of your time, depending on the length and coverage of your project. But this is time well spent. With a good outline, you can cut down your writing down by half and save yourself a good deal of stress. Think of it as an investment of time—with a very promising payoff. By now you have researched the topic you like to write about and you have enough information to develop your outline.
So how do you write an outline?
Research is the first and most important step in outline writing. You can’t write an outline without at least a basic idea of your Project. Now that you have your literature review responded to the 6 questions on your first assignment, you should be able to determine your audience and write 3 main ideas.
- Choose your main points. Your main points are your problem statement “question number 2” from assignment week 1. Which are the main categories of your project.
- Organize your ideas. When you’ve your main points down, the next step is to put them in order. Generally, the broadest and/or most important categories should come first. However, each topic is unique and requires its own treatment. Use your judgment to find a logical order for your ideas.
- Insert your 3 recommendations and 9 implementations.
- Insert your two analysis in your outline
- Research some more. Now it’s time to fill in your headings with actual information. In most cases, you’ll have to put the outline aside to take your research further. Find relevant information on each category and put them under appropriate subheadings. Sometimes you’ll need to add subheads within subheads—just label them properly so you don’t lose track. Write down your sources so you can get back to them when you actually write your paper.
- Revise your outline. By now, you should have enough information to put your outline in context. Go over your work and move ideas around as necessary. You may also spot gaps in the research. If you do, make a note in the margins so you can fill them in later on.
What makes a good outline?
According to the OWL guide at Purdue, an outline should satisfy four main criteria. These are parallelism, coordination, subordination, and division.
- Parallelism means that all components or ideas follow the same grammatical structure. If Section A is called “Introduction to the Music Industry,” the subsequent sections should be presented in the same manner. A good Section B would be another noun-phrase such as “Music Industry Trends,” as opposed to a question like “What’s Up in the Music Industry?”
- Coordination is a type of parallelism that concerns the scope of each idea. Each heading should be of equal depth and scope. A heading called “Popular Musical Instruments” may appear on the same level as “Popular Musicians,” but one called “Bass Guitars” would be better off as a subcategory.
- Subordination is where you divide your ideas into even smaller chunks within each heading. For example, the headings “Music Genres” may be divided into subheads like “Rock,” “Pop,” and “Classical.”
- Division simply means chopping up your sections into more specific parts. Here you will take each idea and put it into an appropriate category. You should have done at least a bit of research beforehand so you’ll know what you’re working with.
What type of outline do I need?
Outlines are classified according to the way the headings are presented. The two main types are the topic outline and the sentence outline. A topic outline presents each heading in a short phrase, while a sentence outline explains them in a complete sentence. Topic outlines usually work when you’re still in the planning stage of a large project, such as a graduate thesis. For short papers and essays, where your ideas are more concrete, a sentence outline may be more appropriate.
How do I label my headings?
Each subject has its own rules on outline formatting, so it’s best to check with your school or professor for specific requirements. However, most outlines follow this basic format:
- Main headings: uppercase Roman numerals (I, II, III)
- Subheadings: uppercase letters (A, B, C)
- Third-level headings: lowercase letters (a, b, c)
- Fourth-level headings: lowercase Roman numerals (i, ii, iii)
- Other headings: bullets, a different kind for each sublevel
Attached are 3 examples of outlines. Please use the examples and follow the direction on the checklist to complete your outline and the analysis of your paper. Your analysis and your outline should be in two separate attachments. There are different types of Analysis Please see the attached documents, select two analysis that is appropriate for your paper. You can use other kind of analysis is you wish.
The Analysis section will focus on the problem you want to solve and you are required to use two analysis. Start this section with an introductory paragraph and let the reader know what type of analysis you are using. Provide the definition of the analysis (don’t forget to site it) Also, tell the reader why you chose this analysis. Make sure you apply both of the analysis to your company, problems, or recommendations. If the analysis is not applied, your work will be considered in complete. Below is a link to help you with this section.