Why should I take the time to outline a paragraph response?
There are many situations in which taking the time to create an outline for your paragraph before you start writing will pay off big time:
- You are new to writing paragraphs and are still trying to figure out how everything goes together. The outlining process can help familiarize you with all the different parts of the paragraph, and it can prevent you from leaving out an important part.
- If you have been given a lot of time to write your paragraph, chances are that your teacher expects it to be well-written and polished. They have probably given you so much time because they expect you to write an outline first. Writing an outline in this case will help you get a better mark because it will help you organize your ideas. It can also act like a rough draft that will help you eliminate weak ideas and bad examples, leaving only your strongest work in the paragraph that you hand in.
- You are writing a response on a test and don't have time to write a rough draft of your paragraph first. Taking the time to create an outline in such a stressful situation can help calm your mind and focus your ideas. In a test situation, an outline can take the place of both brainstorming and writing a rough draft, helping you write the best paragraph possible in the most efficient way.
Here is an outlining worksheet you can use when you have a lot of time to write the paragraph:
Here is an example of a quick outlining format that can be used in test situations:
What if I have trouble remembering all the different parts of a paragraph?
Try using the memory aid SEEAC to help you. You can learn more about what the letters in SEEAC stand for by reading here.