Writing a white paper outline

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Writing a white paper outline

Hamlet criticizes others in the play for acting falsely to get ahead, but in adopting the disguise of madness he, too, is presenting a false face to the world. Though Hamlet becomes more compromised the longer he delays, killing the king would have been a morally questionable act.

The play Hamlet questions the adequacy of a system of ethics based on honour and revenge. This is an example of a sentence outline. Another kind of outline is the topic outline.

It consists of fragments rather than full sentences. Topic outlines are more open-ended than sentence outlines: When should I begin putting together a plan? The earlier you begin planning, the better. It is usually a mistake to do all of your research and note-taking before beginning to draw up an outline.

Of course, you will have to do some reading and weighing of evidence before you start to plan. But as a potential argument begins to take shape in your mind, you may start to formalize your thoughts in the form of a tentative plan.

You will be much more efficient in your reading and your research if you have some idea of where your argument is headed. You can then search for evidence for the points in your tentative plan while you are reading and researching.

As you gather evidence, those points that still lack evidence should guide you in your research. Remember, though, that your plan may need to be modified as you critically evaluate your evidence. Some techniques for integrating note-taking and planning Though convenient, the common method of jotting down your notes consecutively on paper is far from ideal.

The problem is that your points remain fixed on paper. Here are three alternatives that provide greater flexibility: Small 5" by 3" cards are easiest to work with.

When you've collected all your cards, reshuffle them into the best possible order, and you have an outline, though you will undoubtedly want to reduce this outline to the essential points should you transcribe it to paper.

Select type of work

A useful alternative involves using both white and coloured cards. When you come up with a point that you think may be one of the main points in your outline, write it at the top of a coloured card. Put each supporting note on a separate white card, using as much of the card as necessary.

When you feel ready, arrange the coloured cards into a workable plan. Some of the points may not fit in. If so, either modify the plan or leave these points out. You may need to fill gaps by creating new cards.

You can shuffle your supporting material into the plan by placing each of the white cards behind the point it helps support. You can collect your points consecutively, just as you would on paper. You can then sort your ideas when you are ready to start planning.

Take advantage of "outline view" in Word, which makes it easy for you to arrange your points hierarchically. This method is fine so long as you don't mind being tied to your computer from the first stage of the writing process to the last. Some people prefer to keep their planning low-tech.

When you have an idea, write it down on paper and draw a circle around it. When you have an idea which supports another idea, do the same, but connect the two circles with a line. Supporting source material can be represented concisely by a page reference inside a circle. The advantage of the circle method is that you can see at a glance how things tie together; the disadvantage is that there is a limit to how much material you can cram onto a page.

Here is part of a circle diagram: What is a reverse outline?An effective white paper outline should include: Headline or working title: While there are some similarities, writing a white paper isn’t quite like writing a blog post, case study, research report, grocery list, or well, you get the point.

It’s decidedly it’s own animal and should be treated as such.

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Writing a white paper outline

Meet fellow writers online and in person. Drawing on black paper is a novelty. I think it’s appealing for a couple of reasons, the first of which being it’s hard to do if you don’t have the tools {which are somewhat specialized}.

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How to Write a White Paper