Readers expect academic writing to be clearly and logically organized. To this end, outlining is an effective tool. Outlines can help writers think through what they want to write and why and serve as a backbone for a draft. After drafting, “reverse” outlines can help writers spot problems with organization or paragraph structure.
The following resources focus on organizing and outlining ideas, as well as writing clear, coherent paragraphs that purposefully convey the paper’s arguments.
- Topic and Sentence Outlines: which type is best? – Berkeley (School of Social Work)
- Outlining and Types of Outlines – UMKC Writing Studio
- "Reverse" outlining – Duke University
Paragraph structure and coherence
- Paragraphs: how to structure them (with examples) and spot common problems – The Writing Center, UNC Chapel Hill
- Paragraph Structure (with examples) – University of Maryland
- Better paragraphs: strengthening argument and organization
- Transitions – University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
- Making connections: Choosing transition words
- Use the ICED method (Idea, Citation, Explanation, Defense of thesis) to help you elaborate your paragraphs (resource from Read, Write, Think)