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Outlining a Report Examples and Guidelines Mr. Kutch 2014.

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1 Outlining a Report Examples and Guidelines Mr. Kutch 2014

2 Overview An outline illustrates the: Content of a paper, including references (citations) Formal structure of a paper It is literally your plan; your road map through the writing process. Formal outlines come in two forms: The Traditional Outline The Decimal Outline

3 Traditional Outline I. Introduction to aerodynamics A. Define aerodynamics (see Andersen, 1994, p. 3) 1. Explain that aerodynamics is a part of fluid mechanics 2. Define “air” by its chemical makeup (see Hecht, 2002) B. The creation of lift 1. Define the factors that contribute to lift a. Air Density (see NOAA website) b. Air Velocity c. Shape of Body d. Characteristic Area e. Angle of Attach II. Horizontally Directed “Lift…” or Thrust 1 st Level: Roman Numeral 2 nd Level: Capital Letter 3 rd Level: Arabic Numeral 4 th Level: Lowercase Letters Organize sources as evidence and support of arguments, definitions, etc. The structure (main topics vs. sub-topics) is clear at a glance by the indentions…

4 Decimal Outline 1. Introduction to aerodynamics 1.1 Define aerodynamics (see Andersen, 1994) Explain that aerodynamics is a part of fluid mechanics Define “air” by its chemical makeup (see Hecht, 2002) 1.2 The creation of lift Define the factors that contribute to lift Air Density (see NOAA website) Air Velocity Shape of Body Characteristic Area Angle of Attach 2. Horizontally Directed “Lift…” or Thrust 1 st Level 2 nd Level 3 rd Level 4 th Level, notice this gets confusing… Organize sources as evidence and support of arguments, definitions, etc. Common in Engineering, Law, Government Documents

5 Example 1 – Social Studies Methods Section I. Definition of Mixed Methods Research A. Quant-Qual: Qualitative research supports quantitative conclusions. Use (Allen, 2001) as an example. B. Qual-Quant: Quantitative research supports qualitative conclusions. Smith (1998) and Johnson & Chi (1985) both serve as good examples. C. Justify this study’s choice of Quant-Qual due to availability of field-tested quantitate tests and use of qualitative data to add detail and context to statistics. II. Quantitative Data A. Describe random sampling of defined population B. Justify the measurement instrument 1. Reliability of instrument tested using split-half reliability, define in terms of Wilson (2007) 2. Validity of instrument confirmed by correlating scores with SAT verbal scores III. Qualitative Data A. Explain non-participant observation strategy B. Interviews: define rules for selection of participants C. Define qualitative note taking strategies

6 Example 2 – Invasive Species Study, Introduction Section I. The problem of invasive species A. Definition of invasive species, see Bowman 1999 B. Common examples of invasive species 1. Woolly Adelgid on hemlock trees, Tsuga canadensis (James et al. 1984) 2. Asian Carp, Cyprinus carpio, (US Dept. Conservation 2007) C. Effect on biodiversity D. Economic repercussions II. Methods of Control of Invasive Species A. Manual eradication: Hunting, weeding B. Chemical eradication: Pesticides C. Introduction of natural predators, example: Mosquito fish to control mosquito larva success III. Failed Control Attempts A. Indian mongoose brought to Hawaii to protect from invasive rats, mongoose becomes established and invasive B. Can proposed parasitic wasps to control Asian stink bugs cause similar issues?

7 Outlining Guidelines Every division & subdivision must have two parts (after all, you can’t divide something into less than two parts) Try to balance the number of subdivisions across sections and balance the overall structure Avoid going deeper than four levels of division Your divisions will be the major sections of your paper Your subdivisions will be the subsections


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