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Outlining

How to Outline

Option #1: Graphic Organizer - Web
  • Write your topic in the center circle, as well as a possible thesis statement
  • Create three circles off of the center circle. Each of these new circles should include key points you will argue in your essay. They will make up the three body paragraphs.
  • Off of each topic circle, you should include a new circle that includes a relevant quote and page number. This quote should help to prove the point for that paragraph.


Option #2: Standard Outline
  • Each Roman numeral represents one of the five paragraphs in the essay
  • Note the color coding: Each point from your introduction will then become a separate paragraph in the essay
  • Be specific! Write specific information you will discuss in the essay.
  • Do not just write "quote here". Write the specific quote you will use, along with a page number.
My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
I. Introduction: General topic - Loyalty in the novel
a. Point #1: Anna has endured painful treatments her whole life.
b. Point #2: Anna was only born to provide medical help for Kate.
c. Point #3: Anna has to eventually break free of her loyalty to her sister in order to live an independent life.
d. Thesis statement: Anna makes the right choice by being loyal to herself over her sister.

II. Body Paragraph 1 - Key point: Anna has endured painful treatments her whole life.
a. She has been in and out of the hospital numerous times.
b. Specific treatments - getting blood drawn, being in the hospital for organ transplants
c. Quote: "On my license, it says I'm an organ donor, but the truth is I'd consider being an organ martyr" (112).

III. Body Paragraph 2 - Key point: Anna was only born to provide medical help for Kate.
a. Anna will always only be a donor for Kate unless she breaks free.
b. Anna needs to show her parents that she exists for a reason other than helping Kate.
c. "Medical emancipation was in  [my] best interests" (440).

IV. Body Paragraph 3 - Key point: Anna has to eventually break free of her loyalty to her sister in order to live an independent life.
a. Anna has lived an abnormal childhood and has missed out on many things because of helping Kate. (missed hockey camp)
b. "I had to miss hockey camp" (350).

V. Conclusion
a. Remind of each key point (II, III, IV)
b. Discuss importance of loyalty in life
c. Explain why Anna has to remain loyal to herself over Kate