How to Outline a Summary Paper


People summarize on a regular basis. Every time you answer a question like "How was your day?" or "What was the movie about?" you summarize. Putting a summary on paper, even regarding a simple topic, can require a great deal more thought than a verbal response does. An outline organizes your ideas so you can put them on paper more easily.

  • Write down each point you wish to cover in your summary. Make each one no more than one sentence.

  • Arrange the points in their most logical order and place a Roman numeral next to it. For example, the first point would be "I," the second point would be "II" and so on.

  • List specific points that you wish to make about each topic under the main topic. Place a capital letter, beginning with "A" next to the first point, "B" next to the second and so on.

  • List additional points under the sub-points by denoting them with normal numbers, such as 1, 2, 3 and so forth. Any sub-points from there would be denoted with lowercase letters.

  • Repeat this process for each of your main points, then use that information to construct your summary paper.

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