Tag Archives: organization

Outlines are In

I don’t want to sound condescending, but I am truly perplexed at how many of you did not turn in actual outlines for your Outline Assignment for your brochure. I would think you would have been making outlines since middle school or high school, at least! The benefits of an outline include organizing your thoughts and research in a cohesive, hierarchical way so that your resulting brochure text will make sense and have a logical flow. For “why and how,” see this useful resource from Purdue University.

Outlines should be summaries, quick facts, notes, lists. Although there is an outline form known as sentence outlines, when asked in class, I specifically said I wanted ABC—123. This is known as an alphanumeric outline, and easily found with a simple Google search: What is an outline?

The main sections are identified with Roman numerals, the next level is identified with uppercase letters, the next with Arabic numerals, next with lowercase letters, and next with lowercase Roman numerals. As shown below:

I.      Blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah

A.      Blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah

1.      Blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah

a.      Blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah

b.      Blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah

c.      Blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah

i.      Blah blah blahblah

ii.      Blah blah blahblah blah

iii.      Blah blah blahblah

2.      Blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah

3.      Blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah

B.      Blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah

C.      Blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah

II.      Blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah

III.     Blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah

Even if you make a sentence outline, writing actual paragraphs with transitions and conversational tone is a no-no. That would be your text, your manuscript.

Another thing that is not included in an outline is any kind of design direction or notation. The place for that is in the creative brief or in the actual comp. The outline is meant to help your writing and summarize the main points, not describe it. Please review these points for your book outlines, when it comes time, and/or take a look at other resources for outlines.

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