Reverse Outlining -- an alternative way to self check

"Often we think an idea is stated or implied in our writing, but that idea is not conveyed to the reader."  Vanderbilt U. recommends  'reverse outlining' as a way to "see what you said. This technique, which seems to have originated at Duke U. , provides a way to look more objectively at the first draft. 

"Whereas a regular outline is a tool to help organize your thoughts before you begin to compose, a reverse outline is a way of revealing how you organized your thoughts while you wrote. If you are concerned that your paper might not be saying what you think it is saying, that your main ideas aren’t really coming across, or that your paper might seem scattered or incoherent, a reverse outline is a great way to begin the revision process. ... Through this process, you can identify problems with your claims, the structure of your paper, and the organization of your paragraphs" (Duke U. guidelines).

Step by step with examples


Last modified: Thursday, 29 November 2018, 4:07 PM