Outlines and Reverse Outlines
In order to get a better understanding of how you might organize your rhetorical analysis essay, you will create a full-sentence reverse outline of a sample student essay.
In the upper lefthand corner of your first page, type your name, my name, the name of the course, and the date of the draft. After that, complete a "full sentence outline" of the sample student essay. (See the sample outlines (PDF) provided by the Purdue Online Writing Lab for examples of an Alphanumeric Outline, a Full Sentence Outline, and a Decimal Outline. You might also download this dummy text full-sentence outline template (MS Word) for a formatting example that you can copy.)
When you are finished, submit your reverse outline of the sample student essay (PDF) to Blackboard by no later than 11:59pm on the day it's due. Submit under "Assignments > Reverse Outline Sample Student Essay."
What is an outline?
- An outline is essentially a "blueprint" for an essay. It's a bullet-pointed plan for what the essay is going to say, laid out in hierarchical order. It's usually something you complete before the essay has been written. Creating the outline first allows the writer to work out what they want to say before they do all of the work of writing. An outline makes it easier to rearrange elements and to see the big picture of the essay as a whole.
- More information: "Outlines" (YouTube Video from the University of North Carolina Writing Center)
What is a reverse outline?
- A reverse outline is an outline created after the essay has been written. A writer may create a reverse outline of their own essay, in order to determine whether the essay makes sense the way they want it to, whether it's missing anything. Or a writer may reverse outline someone else's essay, in order to analyze that essay's argument and organization. The process is essentially the same for either activity.
- More information: "Reverse Outlining" (YouTube Video from the University of North Carolina Writing Center)
How do I complete an outline?