Why Doing an Assignment Outline?Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010
Find out how the assignment outlines simplify your work
When you are asked to prepare an assignment –no matter if it is a 500, 1000 or 5000 words work-, the best you can do is to always start with a plan. An assignment outline will guide you in your drafting and make your work much simpler. Carefully planning your assignment gives you the chance to organize your time so you can meet your deadlines accordingly. It also helps you distribute the information in a clear way. It will help you reach the requested word count. Last but not least, a proper assignment outline provides you with a true sense of safety, since you are already half way done even before writing the first paragraph of the paper. What are you waiting for preparing your outline?
First of all
Before actually beginning your assignment outline, you need to establish the topic (what are you going to write about). If you have the chance to talk to your teacher before sitting in front of your laptop and starting to write, do it! Teachers can provide some assignment topic ideas if you are scared to death while facing the blank page. If the teacher or the examiner won’t give you any ideas, you may read the course program or some of the recommended bibliography in order to find a topic you may want to write about.
Preparing the outline
You may think at first it is a waste of time taking all this extra work: you would be wrong! This outline is rather helpful, so you should better pay attention to its writing. The aim of your assignment outline is to establish the order and relationship of the main points of your work. The outline structure will help you organize your work and make it reasonable.
Begin by asking yourself these questions: What do I want to say? How am I going to present all the information? Which works can support my statement? By answering, you will be able to prepare your outline and provide your hypothesis, a first draft of the assignment structure, and some bibliography (your teacher may suggest some more). Remember, it is fundamental referencing in essays or in assignments the appropriate way.
What every outline should include
Start your assignment outline with an introduction, in where you delimit your field, establish your hypothesis and write about your research methodology. Then, write subtitles of the different statements or concepts you plan to write about. Some students choose to write full sentences for their outline, while others prefer useful, brief phrases that help them when they sit down to write. Your job as the writer is to think through the link between your ideas. Anyway, you will realize that you write faster if you have already planned some of what you are going to write that if you have to think it along the way…
Once you get used to it, you will find out that outlining your assignment is the best way to start working on it and keeping your work organized.