Write in an Outline Format
Jan 11, 2021
The outline format is a series of bullets that describe the points of the idea you're trying to persuade others to agree with. A basic example of an outline is:
Coffee helps people wake up
- People drink coffee in the morning
- Coffee contains caffeine
- Caffeine is a stimulant
Good outlines provide reasons why.
Below is an example of the most basic outline: a point and a reason:
Water goes in the fridge
- Because the fridge keeps things cold
The trick to figuring out the reason is to ask yourself why:
Why does water go in the fridge?
- Because...fridges keep water cold
Now you're able to assign each element as one of two types: a Fact or an Opinion
Water goes in the fridge (that's an Opinion because not everyone believes that)
- Because fridges keep water cold (that's a Fact because as long as a fridge is working as expected, it keeps things code)
Shoes don't go in the fridge [why?]
- [because] They aren't made to be eaten
- [because] They don't need to be kept cold
- [because] It's unsanitary to keep them next to food
Good outlines provide examples.
Anytime you've ever said "for example" or written "e.g." you've created an outline structure, whether you knew it or not.
Here's an illustration of what we mean by that.
Most people don't like exercising
- [for example] I see more people sitting on the couch and watching TV
Sean agrees with this fact based on:
Step-by-step logic will get you there
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Goodpoint is an online community where writers are more persuasive, because articles are organized more intelligently. On Goodpoint, content is created in easy-to-read outlines. This allows reasons to be positioned underneath the ideas they support, making the information clearer. And sections are labeled as either fact or opinion, so readers always know what kind of idea they are evaluating.
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Use Goodpoint to present views that are too important to be unfairly attacked or misunderstood, and to explain yourself with a precision that has not been possible before. And use Goodpoint’s “idea leverage” feature to add reasons other writers have already written. Learn more