On writing outlines

There is no question that writing an outline is essential to producing a coherent paper at the end of our research. Unfortunately, some of us lack the discipline to follow a “process” and, usually, jump into researching whatever it is that we have an interest in , learn a lot about it and then have the hardest time putting our ideas down on paper.

I think that it is good that we have been asked to write, and submit, an outline for our final paper. I say this  because writing the outline will force us to begin building the framework of our papers. I, for one, am accustomed to, and feel most comfortable,  taking a “stream of consciousness” approach to writing. Unfortunately, this is not an approach that can be applied, very well, to the writing of  research  papers.  Hence, I’m “suffering” through this experience.

Now, switching to another topic:

I noticed that some of you wrote that in doing your research you found it difficult, at times, to discern between “real” and “fake” data/sources.  Sadly, this is a problem that we all face and what motivated me , in part, to chose Critical Thinking as the topic for my paper. Here is a link to a humorous take on the “news”. Look at how well produced it is, and consider how someone less sophisticated and cognizant of American culture than you would react to these reports. I hope you enjoy it!

http://www.theonion.com/video/study-americans-get-majority-of-exercise-while-dru,18198/

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3 responses to “On writing outlines

  1. One comment I have to say about this is that there are legitimate articles out there that are not peer reviewed or not written by scholars in a particular field but are, nevertheless, accurate, current, factual, and to the point of the matter. At times, I think, that scholars, scientists and other writers in business and medical professions, for example, twist the truth, for their own monetary rewards or professional advancement. Even, the peer reviewed, scholarly journals and scientific journals, written by respected members of their field, write about other than factual based matters -profiteers in the making!

  2. Good points all — seemingly legitimate sources can be misleading, and there is also good information to be had from sources that are not scholarly or peer-reviewed. It’s always a good idea to be skeptical and critical with all information sources!

  3. I love writing outlines. It’s really the only way I can gather information. For any project I’ve ever done I think I’ve done an outline. It could be just on the back of a napkin but I need a plan of action. I usually just throw all the information I know on the topic down in some sort of organized manner. I don’t use web diagrams at all though. For some reason it just never caught on with me. I color code everything. When I was learning how to read drum music I would color code all the sticking and different patterns and rhythms and just groupings of notes in general. Each one would have its own color sort of like a layer on a blueprint or on a CAD drawing. It gets a little old looking at black and white all the time.

    PS – That video is hilarious and the onion is genius!

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