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Creating an Extended Outline

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The extended outline is a favorite of many introductory writing teachers. It requires authors to examine the logic of their arguments and to think through the details of their focal ideas. Such outlines necessitate consideration of the relative importance of the various components of papers and how each portion relates to the others.

The best starting point is to take the opening and closing determined during the previous step and put the takeaway somewhere in the middle. Starting at the beginning, authors might list supporting information in the order in which it should be presented until the major thesis is revealed. Make sure that each item builds on the earlier material and that it supports the content to follow. Once the takeaway is properly determined, the remainder of the text can be used to address possible objections, to provide additional supporting material in the form of examples, and/or to discuss unique and valuable applications.

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