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Creating and using revising outlines

Page history last edited by Xenia Fisher 11 years, 5 months ago

There are three ways to do this. The first starts with a revised introduction and uses it to structure an outline; the second uses a revised version of the conclusion as an introduction and then develops an outline from that; the third starts with a draft of the paper and uses that to make a revising outline. Either way, the result is an outline that can be used to reorganize the information in the paper and work out where more examples are needed. Below are examples of all three methods of generating revising outlines.

You can ALSO use a revising outline to help you revise an introductionm, as you can see at the bottom of this page.


 

Starting with a revised introduction

Use this method when you have written a draft and then worked on the introduction to the extent that you have an idea of what you want to say. If you do not have a thesis yet, use method 2 below! If you have revised the introduction, the next step is to use it as an engine to drive the paper. Look at the revised introduction below:

 

Sample #1

Original introduction--draft #1:

I believe all universities should feel that have a strong role in the surrounding community.  Universities are places were kids come to learn and gain more knowledge about the world and themselves.  The community that surrounds college campuses should work hand in hand with the college.  The community has a lot to offer the college which includes things like Movie theaters, Restaurants, clubs and other places of social gathering that the college students will continually use over there four years.  The college also has a lot to offer the community such as speakers, night classes and most importantly jobs.  Since colleges provide so many opportunities they should feel obligated to share some of these opportunities with the surrounding community.   

 

Revised introduction (significfant new material highlighted)

I believe all universities should recognize that they have a strong role in the surrounding community, but the community also plays a role in the education of the students in its midst.  Students go to university to become more knowledgeable about the world and themselves, and for this to work most effectively the community that surrounds a college campuses should work hand-in-hand with the college.  In return, the campus can extend that knowledge to the community. On a simple level, the community has a lot to offer students, including things like movie theaters, restaurants, churches, clubs, and other places of social gathering that the college students will continually use over their four years in college. But the community can also help to educate students through internships and community programs, and it is here that the two work hand-in-hand. Employers benefit from having interns as much as the students, and community service programs are always looking for volunteers who can learn how to help others while also doing so. The college also has a lot to offer the community on an educational-level. This includes speakers and other campus events, night classes, and most importantly jobs.  Since colleges and students can benefit so richly from the surrounding community, they should feel obligated to share some of their opportunities with the surrounding community.  When this happens everybody benefits.

An outline based on this revised introduction: 

 

Starting with a conclusion revised to make an introduction 

Use this method when you have written a draft but didn't really know what you wanted to say until you got to the conclusion--this is a very common thing for writers to do. We start writing before we know what we want to say and in the process of writing the draft we work it out. The conclusion of such a draft sums up our argument and can thus be revised into a really effective introduction. The rest of the paper may be revised into the newly organized paper, but beware that some of the material you generated may not be used in the final paper because you wrote it when you did not know your argument. Look at the example below:

 

Sample #2:

The original conclusion

 

The question that one still has to answer is the ever so simply put, So what? Yes, we are students at Drew University, So what? Yes, we as students are informed of the problems that our world is faced with, So what? And just because one is at college and being educated of these issues, what does that mean? That because we are educated and young we automatically have to go out and change the world? The truth of the matter is no matter how we see it, people are going to want to change the world or not. If you don’t, then you don’t and if you do, than never fear, you are one of the millions that will then ask that one word question? How? How do I stop genocide? How do I stop starvation? How do I stop global warming? How, how , how. I strongly believe that the answer to this simple question does not start with lengthy instructions, but more importantly, two words, Become educated.  One of the key steps in solving a problem is understanding the facts, knowing the history. I believe that although every student will not want to leave college wanting to save the world, the least they can do is become well informed on the issues we are exposed to in the present. Bringing about change isn’t about having a great idea, but carrying out ones actions, knowing the steps to a positive future , spreading ones knowledge, and most importantly allowing others to join you in the hope to change the world for the better. 

 

The conclusion revised into an introduction:

Many students want to change the world, but they often arrive at college asking that one word question: How? How do I stop genocide? How do I stop starvation? How do I stop global warming? How, how, how?  I strongly believe that the answer to this simple question does not start with lengthy instructions, but more importantly with two words: become educated.  One of the key steps in solving a problem is understanding the facts and knowing the history of the problem. I believe that although not every student will leave college wanting to save the world, the least they can do is become well informed on the issues we are exposed to in the present. The next step is to act by doing something, which may include just sharing the information learned. Bringing about change isn’t about having a great idea, but about carrying out actions, knowing the steps to a positive future, spreading ones knowledge, and most importantly allowing others to join you in the hope to change the world for the better. It is the responsibility of colleges to make the necessary information available to students, and it is the responsibility of students to take advantage of this information and once they have it, to share it, and to act on it if they can. This action may range from joining a club or creating a website to share information to protesting, volunteering, or working for a larger organization.  

 

An outline based on this revised introduction: 

 

Starting with a draft of the paper

Use this method if you do not have a very well-developed introduction, or if you have a longer draft and you need to make sense of what you are saying.

First, go through the paper and make a note of the following for each paragraph:

1) the main point of the paragraph

2) the evidence/example you include to support that point

If a paragraph has more than one point, list each one separately

 

Second, review the information and ask these questions:

1) do you include sufficient evidence/examples of each point?

    - if not, what should you add? and where might you find it?

2) do you explain the relationship between the point you want to make and the evidence/example that supports it?

   - if not, how might you make that clearer? Do you need more examples or more explanation?

 

Next, look at the list of points and try to organize them in the most effective way, then ask the following questions:

1) do you make the same point in more than one paragraph?

    - if so, can you combine them?

2) do you include points that seem to support two different arguments (or be part of two different papers?)  

    - if so, do you need both or should you focus on only one of them? If you want to keep both, how can you show the connection?

3) what is the most effective organization? 

  - if the paper is chronological, do you include all the information in the right order?

  - if the paper if topic-based, do you provide information in an order that allows readers to understand?

  - in either case, do you need a first paragraph that provides background or explains terms or concepts?

4) Have you acknowledged other possible interpretations and explained why they are not appropriate?

 - if not, what are they and where might you put them?

 

Once you have the perfect outline, use the information you have decided to keep from your first draft and whatever else you need to add and revise the paper.


Using a revising outline to help you revise an introduction

Students who used method #3 above then need to go back and write an introductuion. Again the revising outline can help. Use this skeleton of your paper to create an introduction. In the example below we take an introduction (sample #1 above), then create a revising outline, and then use that to shape a revised introduction.

 

Original introduction--draft #1:

I believe all universities should feel that have a strong role in the surrounding community.  [1] Universities are places were kids come to learn and gain more knowledge about the world [2] and themselves.  The community that surrounds college campuses should work hand in hand with the college.  [3] The community has a lot to offer the college which includes things like Movie theaters, Restaurants, clubs and other places of social gathering that the college students will continually use over there four years[4] The college also has a lot to offer the community such as speakers, night classes and most importantly jobs. 

Since colleges provide so many opportunities they should feel obligated to share some of these opportunities with the surrounding community.  

 

Revising outline

(notice how we literally use the language from the original and then just list examples)

  1. Universities are places were students come to learn knowledge about the world
    1. they do that from speakers, for example Thoman Friedman
    2. they do this from classes, for example anthropology when we learn about cultures and the ways different people interact
    3. they also can do this from internships with local companies and volunteer opportunities in the community
    4. they also can do this from study abroad 
    5. they can also learn from clubs and organizations
  2. Universities are places were students come to gain more knowledge about the themselves
    1. clubs and organizations (use your summaries and the response to show how this works)
    2. athletics (use your summaries and the response to show how this works)
    3. your major (explain how this might work)
    4. foreign travel (semester abroad and DIS programs, volunteer opportunities)
    5. career choices (career center, internships)
    6. the diversity at Drew also makes students rethink themselves and the role of race, class, gender, etc in the formation of identity.
    7. classes (study skills, likes and dislikes, careers, what you are good at!)
  3. The community that surrounds college campuses has a lot to offer the college that the college students will continually use over their four years.
    1. Movie theaters, Restaurants, clubs (helps local economy)
    2. other places of social gathering (churches, volunteer organizations,local events such as community day, etc)
  4. The college also has a lot to offer the community such as
    1. speakers (eg: the Forum lecture series, including the Friedman lecture, the Holocaust Center survivor series, etc.)
    2. classes (and other educational programs, the library, etc)
    3. jobs

Now we can use this outline to make a new introduction that will actually introduce the paper!

Universities are places were students come to learn knowledge about the world. They achieve this learning from speakers and classes, but also  from internships with local companies and volunteer opportunities in the community and from study abroad programs. Universities are also places were students come gain more knowledge about themselves. The most obvious way they do that is through joining clubs and organizations and participating in athletics programs and teams. They can also learn about themselves through foreign travel (both academic programs and service trips), and as they explore career choices. Finally, by meeting different kinds of people students can consider the role of race, class, gender, and so on in the formation of who they are. Much of this learning comes from or is expanded by the community that surrounds college campuses. But the campus also contributes to the community economically when students visit movie theaters, restaurants, and clubs; and it contributes socially when they visit other places of social gathering such as churches and volunteer organizations. The college also has a lot to offer the community such as speakers, classes, and most important, jobs. In these ways, the community both benefits from the students and the opportunities provided by the college and helps to educate students through internships and community programs. The two work hand-in-hand, and when this happens everybody benefits.

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