Here is the deal with outlining a chapter, text, or lecture. You are not rewriting what you read. Rather you are sussing out the main idea expressed in a linear fashion. You should be able to look at your outline and recall what the paragraph is about (sometimes it is helpful to put page numbers within your outline so you can find the page easily if you need to find the material within the textbook). With a traditional formal outline you will use Roman numerals, Capital letters, numbers, lower case letters, and parenthetical notations in a repetitive fashion. Like this:
**Notice how as you move down the outline the Letters, Numbers, and use of Parenthetical Notations get smaller, and is indented further and further** This is because you are moving from the Biggest IDEA to the Smaller sub-points of what is above**
Review the outline format below and read my highlighted Notes.
The following shows how outline format is set up.
I. The BIGGEST IDEA (MAIN POINT) is indicated with a Roman numeral When outlining the class text, you will only need one ROMAN NUMERAL per chapter and this should represent the BIGGEST MAIN POINT OF THE CHAPTER. In other words, everything that follows Roman Numeral I should in some way relate to this central idea.
A. MAIN POINT behind capital letters. THE MAIN POINT SHOULD RELATE TO THE BIGGEST IDEA ABOVE
1. If there are subpoints below the minor point, use Arabic numerals. This could be a definition, example, statistic, or other supporting material that breaks down or further explains the main point.
2. Notice that each point is indented from according to its importance.
3. Each subpoint must be related to or a part of the minor point it follows.
a. If there are points below subpoints, they use lower case letters. Now this part of your outline should directly relate, further breakdown what is directly above (maybe this is an example of the definition, or some other connection you deem important.
b. They are indented below the subpoint and are related to the subpoint or part of the
subpoint above it.
1.) Sometimes, there are even smaller subdivisions,
2.) As we move down and indent using an even smaller notation...information here should DIRECTLY SUPPORT sub-point b.
3.) And then use Arabic numerals with a parenthesis.
C. The next minor point below the major point
D. Miscellaneous Tips
1. Each Roman Numeral, Capital Letter, Lowercase Letter, Etc., should only have one sentence--no paragraphs!
2. You will repeat the same pattern as you move through the chapter.
3. Each Roman Numeral, Capital Letter, Lowercase Letter, Etc., are equal in value or worth.