Topic Outline – What Is Topic Outline and Here’s An Example

Here’s an example of a topic outline and what it means.

TOPIC OUTLINE – These are the several aspects that must be considered in writing a topic outline and here’s an example.

In making a quick overview of topics to be included in a certain topic or subject, the most effective thing to do is topic outlining. It has headings and subheadings which must be in words and not sentences. It simply generalizes the logic of your paper. The hierarchy shows which points are the main and which points are the sub.

Outlining is defined as the “general plan of the material that is to be presented in a speech or a paper”. A person does outline to arrange various topics, show the relative importance of each, and reveal the relationship of the parts.

It is far different from sentence outlining. The advantage of sentence outlining is that it provides efficient and specific details about the subject.

From Oakton Community College, here’s an example of a topic outline:

I. Family Problems      A. Custodial: Non-custodial Conflicts      B. Extended Family      C. Adolescent’s AgeII. Economic Problems      A. Child Support      B. Women’s Job Training      C. Lower Standard of Living      D. Possible Relocation         1. Poorer Neighborhood         2. New SchoolIII. Peer Problems      A. Loss of Friends      B. Relationships with Dates

It is important to note that you cannot mix topic and sentence outline methods. Also, make sure that you indent properly. Begin each point with a capital letter and place a period after each division number or letter.

You cannot place periods after the ideas.

Here are some outlines you can follow for structuring and patterns of organizing the ideas:

  • Compare – Contrast
  • Chronological
  • Sequential
  • Advantages – Disadvantages / Pros vs. Cons
  • Cause – Effect
  • Problem – Solution
  • Topic-specific


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