In writing various scholarly documents like research papers, making an outline is very significant in order to render your thoughts in a logical manner. Research papers may appear to be a difficult task but with the help of an outline it became very easy and spontaneous. Drafting an outline has been very helpful in writing research papers and other scholarly manuscripts since it helps you to stay organized and keeps you on task.
Among other outlines for writing documents, the MLA Format outline is one of the widely accepted outlines in most educational institutions because it observes a formal and specific structure. In making an MLA Format outline, you must keep in mind several important points. First, you must fully understand the MLA format and then you should learn how to evaluate and split your thoughts.
1. At the top of the page, you enter the word “Thesis” preceded by a colon and a space and then you write the central idea or the thesis statement of your research paper.
2. To emphasize your main headings, use an upper-case Roman numerals (I, II, III, IV, V and others) followed by a period and a space. In a single outline there should be minimum of three main headings. Each of your main heading should make one paragraph that relates to the central idea or the thesis statement you had indicated. The arrangement of your main headings should be logical and the order of the paragraph of your entire document must also be based on this arrangement.
3. The main points or the main headings of your document can be subdivided into two or more subheadings. To denote subdivisions, use an upper-case Alphabet letters followed by a period and space. For each main heading, there should be at least two subdivisions. The purpose of these subdivisions is to support and explain further the points stated in the main headings.
4. If needed, you can further subdivide your subheadings into a more specific points using a number (1, 2 and so on) followed by a period and a space. To further divide these specific points, use lowercase Alphabet letters.
Tips on Making an Outline
- When writing an outline, the sentences should be complete and avoid using phrases or single words in your outline.
- As you start writing, you must refer to the outline as your guide until you finished writing the whole paper.