Outline Information

This tutorial requires you to produce an outline for your autobiography. This does not have to be a formal outline with the proper letters, numbers, Roman numerals, and so on. It is simply a tool to help you organize your writing task and think about how you want to put your autobiography together.

As you know, creating an outline helps you write a paper faster and more efficiently. It is simply an organizational tool, or a plan to follow as you do your writing. The outline is a means for structuring information and seeing relationships among ideas. Think of it as a map that shows where you have been and where you are going. Generally, you do not need many details for your outline; the details come later when you actually begin to write.

Outlines develop from thought. Once you have done some brainstorming and have a few rudimentary ideas, you create the outline to give those ideas form and shape. You should work through the two activities, Families, Photos, etc. and When I Grow Up before you do your outline, because what you discover will significantly influence how you structure your autobiography.

Without an outline, it is easy to write either too much, or, not enough. Sentences and paragraphs can become disconnected and the whole piece may appear disorganized instead of reflecting the thoughtful, imaginative, and engaging author you really are! Some writers love to outline and others don't, but either way, a composition without good planning makes it difficult to have an effective and meaningful conversation between you, the author, and your reading public.

Look at the outline examples that have been provided below for you and decide which type will work best for you.

Style 1

I. Topic

A. Subordinate topic

1. Item

2. Item

3. Item

B. Subordinate topic

1. Item

2. Item

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Style 2

The second style of outline is organized by topic.

My name.

My background. 

Why I am in college.

What I want to accomplish in college.

My goals in life.

My strengths.

My weaknesses.

My interests.

A summary of the self-assessment forms I completed.

What are my future goals? How might my future evolve?

What are my financial constraints?

How can I graduate with the skills I need?

How can I obtain the finances I need in a way that enhances my education and life goals?

How can I use my time most efficiently?

How can I experience the social aspects of college in a way that most benefits my life goals?

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Style 3

Outline by Major Point / Supporting Information

Major Point:

Supporting Information:

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Style 4

Free Form Outline

A free form outline can be anything you like. It can be a combination of all three of the previous suggestions, or a format that you have thought of on your own that works for you.