NCO Primary Leadership Subjects
Organizing Your Paper and Material, Continued
There is no one best form for outlining. Everybody has a different way to begin. If
you are going to write a short memorandum, you might find it sufficient to simply jot
down a few main ideas. On the other hand, if you are preparing a lengthy staff
study, you may need a more elaborate, detailed outline.
Use the following steps to develop your outline:
Jot down the major topics you want to discuss.
Add to or change your list of topics to make it complete and consistent
with your purpose. Delete any irrelevant topics.
Expand each main topic by writing under it subtopics that support it.
Subdivide main topics only if you have two or more subtopics. Each a
must have a b, and each (1) must have a (2). (See the example on the
Check your list against your notes and references to be sure that you
have covered all important ideas.
Review your list; add new ideas and eliminate irrelevant or nonessential
Arrange the topics in the order in which you intend to discuss them.
Compare your outline to the format and packaging you are going to use.
Make sure they are consistent.
As your writing progresses, revise the outline to include new and better
ideas. New thoughts will influence what you will write and what you
have written. Note these changes on your outline so you don't forget
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