Creating an outline is a way to highlight important parts of a text. Textbooks are often written with excess information that you might not find useful. In this case, you will want to create a reduced, or abridged, version of the text. As you go along reading the text, write down notes on things that you find of value. Doing this can aid you in organizing your outline.

Divide the textbook into chapters if applicable. Write the chapter title on the top of your outline. If there are not chapters, write the title of the text. This can be at the center of the top of your outline.

Write the subtitles, if they exist, on the outline page. Bullet points, letters or numbers can be used to label each subtitle. Leave enough space between each subtitle to allow for information from the text to be entered under its respective subtitle. If there are not subtitles, skip to the next step.

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Write details from the text that you believe are important while you are reading it. Write the details under their respective subtitles if subtitles exist. Indent each one of the details in relation to the subtitles and write each detail on its own line to keep the outline organized and clear. If there are no subtitles, simply write each detail on a separate line flush with the left-hand side of the page. Bullet points, letters or numbers can be used to mark each detail.

Things Needed

  • Pen, pencil, or computer with text editor
  • Paper

About the Author

Kim Sarah has been a writer since 2000. Her work has appeared on NECN, WCTR-TV3 and in the "Torch" university newspaper, among other publications. Sarah received a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Worcester State University and a Master of Arts in journalism from Roosevelt University. She is also studying nursing and computer science at Indiana State University.