Landing : Athabascau University

"The Outline" - Approach to Writing

"The Outline" - Approach to Writing

1.) Which outlining approach do you use? How does that reflect your approach to writing? Consider whether one of the other approaches might be more effective for you.

The outlining approach I have used often in the past, and will choose to continue using for writing is the “Alphanumeric Outline.” The Alphanumeric outline tends to be the outline many of us have first been introduced to by teachers’ prior post-secondary schooling.

Although the other two outlining approaches would prove beneficial (“Full Sentence Outline” and “Decimal Outline”), I suppose I automatically chose the Alphanumeric Outline in writing because it is the method I am most familiar with. I am a very organized thinking person – I like to have things in their proper working order – and I need to comprehend it visually. Using the Alphanumeric Outline, encourages me to focus on the key elements needed in formatting my writing: Introduction, Topic Sentences, and Conclusion, and I make note of these by the use of Roman numerals, (ie., I, II, IV, etc.). Then underneath my topic sentences, using capital alphabetic letters, I will place my supportive pieces. I need to give examples for my supportive topics and therefore will use numbers. I like this outline format because the way in which we are to categorize parts of the paper, then main ideas or topics, followed with supporting details, just makes logical sense – assisting in compiling a coherent paper and staying on track.

In considering another writing outline, I think the decimal outline would be helpful to me as well. This format is very similar to the Alphanumeric Outline, but with more emphasis on every single part and how it relates to the whole of the outline. This decimal outline makes sense in thoroughly preparing a paper, but this format seems “too much” and one that I could get easily lost or dependent on which could take me away from just focusing on the basics. I may try this type of outline one day just to test it out – as I am always open to change, but in the case of writing – and doing so using a format I was first introduced to, I will stick at using the Alphanumeric outline. I don’t want to make too much of a science out of something in what I believe to be an art.

Works Cited:

Purdue Writing Lab (2019). Type of Outlines//Purdue Writing Lab. [online] Purdue Writing Lab. Available at:[Accessed 28 Sep. 2019].


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