The Outline

One of the most important elements of the prewriting process is the outline, which allows writers to organize their thoughts before they sit down to create a first draft.

An outline is nothing more than a relational hierarchy of ideas. “Relational” means that it shows a specific relationship; “hierarchy” means, in this case, that it goes from general to specific.

Forms of Outlines

There are several forms of outlines. Well look at two.

Traditional Outline

The first uses a mix of Roman numerals (I, II, III), letters of both cases (A, B, C; a, b, c), and Arabic numerals (1,2,3) to illustrate the hierarchy.

Traditional Outline
Traditional Outline
Legal Outline

The second form of outlining uses only Arabic numbers but still indicates the hierarchy.

Legal outline

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