Pennsylvania State University: Joe Schall's "Sample Outline"

Before you begin practicing making outlines to support your own writing, review this sample outline. This is just one model of a successful outline; as you will see in the following activities, the basic principles for creating effective outlines can be applied differently in any number of writing contexts.

The sample outline that follows comes from the field of geology, and its first-level headings reflect a common approach writers take when organizing their original research into a senior thesis. As often happens, the writer’s first-level headings are somewhat generic, while the second- and third-level headings are more specialized to the subject matter of the essay. Note also the specificity of the title, of each section heading, and the relationships of the headings to each other. Such a detailed and professional outline helps the writer to keep organized during the writing process as well as gives the advisor an opportunity to give concrete feedback.

Click here to download a PDF of a sample outline.

Before you begin practicing making outlines to support your own writing, follow this link to see a sample outline. This is just one model of a successful outline; as you will see in the following activities, the basic principles for creating effective outlines can be applied differently in any number of writing contexts.

Last modified: Monday, October 21, 2019, 5:22 PM