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Outlining Examples

The Speech Outline A full sentence outline is used when writing speeches in order to assist the speaker in framing the main ideas of the speech into complete sentences. The following is the information about each of the parts of a full sentence outline written in correct outline format.

THESIS STATEMENT The Thesis Statement is one, complete, declarative sentence that epitomizes the entire speech, and indicates what main ideas will be covered in the speech. (The Thesis Statement is not necessarily spoken in the speech presentation, but is used to help prepare for the speech.)

INTRODUCTION The speech outline should always include an INTRODUCTION. The Introduction, written out in full prose style, should do three things: 1) get the audiences attention, 2) tell the audience how the speech may be relevant to them, and 3) preview, specifically, what main points will be covered in the speech.

Attention may be acheived by presenting the audience with an interesting, relevant story, a startling statistic, a rhetorical question, or other ways that get your audience to perk up and feel interested in what you are going to say. Telling the audience how the topic may be relevant to them means finding something in your topic that promises your audience that they may benefit in some way by listening to your presentation, or indicates that the topic does or should concern them. Previewing, specifically, your main points provides your audience with a framework of what to expect; a map that allows them to follow your speech more easily. Oftentimes, stating the Thesis Statement at this point serves this objective well.

BODY (the Body of the Outline consists of the Main Points [main ideas], Sub-points [supporting information, such as concrete examples], Sub-sub-points [more detailed supporting information, perhaps concrete examples or elaborations on concrete examples, and etc.] )

I. The Main Points must be stated in complete, declarative sentences.

A. Full declarative sentences help clarify your main ideas B. Only one sentence per Main Point C. Do not use questions, words, phrases in stating Main Points

II. The Main Points must be supported by Sub-points

A. Main points develop, support, or explain the Thesis Statement B. Sub-points develop, support, explain, and clarify the Main Points C. Sub-sub-points develop, support, explain, and clarify the sub-points D. Sub-points, sub-sub-points, etc. do not need to be stated in complete sentences (in this class - may be different with other instructors - check with them)

III. Outline symbols must be consistent with specific rules.

A. Use Roman Numerals for Main Points
B. Use Upper Case Letters for Sub-points
C. Use Arabic Numbers for sub-sub-points
D. Use Lower Case Letters for sub-sub-sub-points
E. The common form is shown in the following example









IV. In the body of the outline, you should provide an adequate number of developmental or support materials.

A. There are several ways to develop or support material

1. Statistics, figures, or numbers
2. Quotations from testimony, interviews, articles, etc.
3. Examples from real life, or hypothetical examples
4. Analogies for comparison

B. All sources used for supporting material must be cited in the body of the outline, and cited orally in your speech presentation.

1. In the outline, a brief reference to the source will suffice
2. In the speech, the author, publication, or other identification of the source must be clearly stated, along with the date of the publication
3. Publications may include books, magazines, newpapers,
television shows, pamphlets, radio programs, etc.

A Full Sentence Outline needs a conclusion, written out in full prose style. The conclusion should do three things: 1) summarize, 2) provide closure, and 3) have a clincher.
Summarize means that the Main Points of the speech should be repeated to remind the audience of the main ideas of the speech. Provide closure means the audience should be reminded of how the subject may be relevant to them, often reminding them of what was said in the introduction. Have a clincher means that there should be a final statement, a last sentence, that clearly indicates that the speech is finished.


Every speech that uses references or sources must list those in a bibliography.

Sources include books, articles, etc. that were cited in the speech and outline

The bibliography will often include your own annotation for each source

Bibliography (in this class) may use APA Style (examples elsewhere in the workbook) or MLA Style

 Updated Wednesday, May 29, 2002 at 3:27:55 PM by Rob Dewis -
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