Types of Outlines and Samples
This is the most common type of outline and usually instantly recognizable to most people. The formatting follows these characters, in this order:
- Roman Numerals
- Capitalized Letters
- Arabic Numerals
- Lowercase Letters
If the outline needs to subdivide beyond these divisions, use Arabic numerals inside parentheses and then lowercase letters inside parentheses. Select the "Sample Outlines" PDF in the Media Box above to download the sample of this outline.
The sample PDF in the Media Box above is an example of an outline that a student might create before writing an essay. In order to organize her thoughts and make sure that she has not forgotten any key points that she wants to address, she creates the outline as a framework for her essay.
What is the assignment?
Your instructor asks the class to write an expository (explanatory) essay on the typical steps a high school student would follow in order to apply to college.
What is the purpose of this essay?
To explain the process for applying to college
Who is the intended audience for this essay?
High school students intending to apply to college and their parents
What is the essay's thesis statement?
When applying to college, a student follows a certain process which includes choosing the right schools and preparing the application materials.
Full Sentence Outlines
The full sentence outline format is essentially the same as the Alphanumeric outline. The main difference (as the title suggests) is that full sentences are required at each level of the outline. This outline is most often used when preparing a traditional essay. Select the "Sample Outlines" PDF in the Media Box above to download the sample of this outline.
The decimal outline is similar in format to the alphanumeric outline. The added benefit is a system of decimal notation that clearly shows how every level of the outline relates to the larger whole. Select the "Sample Outlines" PDF in the Media Box above to download the sample of this outline.
MLA Outline Pages with Formatically
First, you'll need to set up your Formatically account. When you're done, you'll be able to format outline pages in just one click. Start by opening a new document and scrolling to section that says "do you need any other pages?". Click the last option to include a free formatted outline page with your download.
WARNING: You will need a premium account to download your outline page. If you don't have or don't want a premium account you can follow the steps outlined below to set up your outline page in Word, or Google Docs.
How to Format an MLA Outline Page
Do you need to format you paper’s outline page in MLA Format but don’t know how? No problem! Here are a few quick and easy steps to get you going.
Part One- Page Set-up
- To start, you will need to open a new word document specifically for your outline. First of all, the header you need for your outline will be different than the header used for rest of the paper.
- Start the outline by including the lowercase Roman numeral “i” as a page number on the top-right corner of each page after the first page of your report, ending when your essay begins.
- Your title needs to be centered. The word outline is the title.
- Then write the thesis statement directly below it and to the left, and label it as such. Hit Enter once, and this is where you start your outline. Your thesis should be one to two sentences long.
Part Two- The Proper Hierarchy
You’re halfway there.
This part is what seems confusing at first, but it’s actually pretty simple to do. Your outline should be a multilevel list, which just means that it’s a mix of numbers and letters, should your outline need it. The thing to remember, though, is which letters and numbers to use first.
5. You need to start with the Roman numeral “I.” The subtopic, which follows right after on the next line, is the uppercase “A.” If this subtopic has its own subtopic, it would be number “1,” and then subtopic after that is lowercase “a,” and its subtopic (the one that needs symbols) is denoted as “(1),” and so forth.
Remember: Your outline should consist of complete sentences, and that each general point in the outline is always denoted with an uppercase Roman numeral. Normally you will have one Roman numeral for each paragraph.
Now, doesn’t that sound simpler? Check out the rest of the site for other how-to’s and tips for writing your paper using the MLA Format. Don’t worry, all of them come with their own MLA Templates to help guide you!