How to make an outline

Discover how to make outlines

There are many study techniques that we can use. It is important that the student is involved in the development of a good outline. Otherwise, the unmotivated student does not really take advantage of the time during the execution of the scheme.

It is necessary to know what is a scheme and how to do it to use this technique in the study. In addition, it is also important to find a suitable place to have a good concentration and be able to pay all the necessary attention to the subject.

How to make an outline?

Learn to make outlines easily

For study

It is very important to have some final notes to help us review the days prior to an exam. This review tool is always essential, but even more so when the content is extensive. In this way, we can remember what is essential.

Schemas, which complement traditional summaries, help us remember information. The student uses them to review before the date of an upcoming exam. This tool serves a practical function.

How does how to make an outline? These are some of the indications that you can put into practice:

  • As we have previously commented, you should read the notes several times and underline them. It is also advisable to take notes in the margin.
  • Pick a title for your outline that perfectly defines your main theme.
  • Identify the most important sections of the topic to develop the information in a clear order.
  • Summarize and synthesize the content of each section. If you need to, use some abbreviations to make the most of the space on the page.
  • Link different concepts to create a common thread between main ideas and secondary data.
  • If you want, you can also use multiple colors to differentiate themes. In this way, this differentiation helps you identify specific content.

After completing this process, review the outline to make any corrections. Use this study tool to review. It is very important that the study time is of quality. And the schemes help you make the most of the minutes you invest in an academic goal.

Study in the library
Related article:
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In Word or on your computer

You can use different resources to create a good outline. Using pencil and paper allows you to do this anywhere. But you may prefer to develop the content on the computer. In that case, you can use Word. How to start this task? Click directly on the View menu, and see the options that it integrates. In this section you will find the Scheme section. By clicking on it, you will be able to see the text of the document with this structure.

The visual format of a diagram developed in this way is not made up of a succession of keys or arrows. The relationship between main and secondary ideas is immediately perceived by means of an organization at different levels. When you have clicked on the View section and the Outline section in Word, the toolbar presents a wide variety of resources to shape the exercise. Structure content around different levels of titles.

A good scheme stands out for its perfect visual organization. Presents in a synthetic way the main points that deepen around the main topic. We have commented that a design made in Word shows a text that is organized in different levels. However, the program also makes it possible to integrate specific symbols from a paper diagram into writing. For it, Create a new document, click on the Insert menu and check the options available in the Shapes section.

By clicking on this point you can see a wide variety of block arrow designs, flow charts, lines and other basic shapes. In this way, you can customize the scheme with different signs that help you structure the information. What if the size of a key or other sign that you selected takes up too much space in the document? You can adjust this look to give it the precise shape.

How to make pretty or creative outlines

Pretty or creative schemes can be done easily

En Formación y Estudios We give you some proposals and recommendations to achieve the objective:

  • First, prioritize what is truly important: content. The aesthetics of a schema improve significantly when the information is perfectly organized. That is to say, it is a direct consequence of an excellent previous preparation. Since, in that case, there is a visual order that connects the main points. To enhance creativity during the exercise, it is recommended that you use some drafts before defining the details of the final outline. In this way, you have the possibility to make corrections, evaluate alternatives, compare different designs, identify some improvements and refine the document through attention to detail. Practical experience is essential to create original and beautiful schemes.
  • Draw pictures next to important words to accompany the concept with a visual image. Often the primary purpose of completing the outline is to use it as a study tool to review the content of an exam. The excellent combination of text and image is perfect for improving visual memory and understanding of information. It is not about making multiple drawings that complement the scheme, but about using this creativity in an intentional way to emphasize those aspects that present a higher level of difficulty. What is the goal of the drawing? Clarify the information.
  • The choice of the typeface is another of the aspects that you must specify in the realization of a computer scheme. The selected font should beautify the text visually but, although aesthetics are relevant, the typeface is not the main element of an outline. What is truly essential is the content and what it expresses. It should be kept in mind so that creativity is perfectly aligned with the main purpose: to facilitate understanding and understanding of the subject analyzed. For example, using different fonts in an outline can create a sense of chaos and visual noise.
  • Use various colors to create a pretty scheme. Look for harmony between the selected tones. And, in turn, choose shades that stand out against the background. If there is not this clear distinction between the tone itself and the background in which it is framed, there is greater difficulty in reading.
  • Brevity. A good outline manages to masterfully synthesize the essence of the full text in a smaller space. To do this, it is convenient to identify which are the keywords that are repeated in the text and integrate them into said study technique. Reread the complete information and eliminate those words or phrases that do not add real value. Take away everything that is left over. The aesthetics of the outline improve when there is greater clarity.
  • Customize the outline format from your perspective. When you make your own notes, make a summary or make an outline, you delve into the subject of study. For this reason, it is highly recommended that, although you can review a content from another colleague's scheme, you get involved in the elaboration of your own elaborations. Customize the scheme with the font, format, colors or signs that you like the most. Use those ingredients that help you increase your understanding of what has been studied thanks to a careful presentation.
  • Look for inspiration in other schemes that can serve as an example.

In short, it seeks the balance between form and content to create a scheme with a careful aesthetic.

What is a schema

A scheme is a tool that relates different concepts linked around a common thread. It offers a visual representation of a subject that, structured in this way, is perfectly organized. Synthesis is the key to this study technique so widely used at school, at the institute, at the university and when preparing for public examinations. Since, this is one of the fields of application that this medium has.

A scheme can also serve as a guide to follow the prompts of an action plan. For example, an entrepreneur can use a reference laid out in a schematic way to make a business plan.

When a student uses the schema on an academic level, they relate this tool to the subject to which this representation refers. Thus, when establishing this link, it is possible to synthesize the main ideas in this analysis. To make a good outline, previously, it is necessary to carefully read the content to be summarized in order to analyze it, underline it and have an overview of it.

Scheme types

There are many types of schemes

Choose the type of outline that helps you review better. That is, of all the available formats, you may have a greater preference for one of them.


This is the link chosen for show the linkage between the points that are part of this exposition described schematically. In this case, one idea connects with another through an arrow that serves as a link. One of the advantages of this format is that it is very simple and, at the same time, perfectly clarifies the information.

The main theses are reinforced with the argumentation of the secondary ideas. The use of arrows allows you to develop the initial idea with new data that are perfectly linked. During the review, you can easily observe the position that each idea occupies in the diagram and what is its connection with the context. You just have to follow the direction of the arrows to answer any questions about it.

Of keys

Do you prefer to use an alternative format to the first option described above? In essence, the key scheme is very similar to the previous one. However, you use a different resource to present the connection between the different ideas. In this case, the braces are part of this visual representation. Although this type of outline is one of the clearest, it may not be so if the content to be summarized is very extensive. The representation acquires a greater complexity when it presents a high number of differentiated sections.

Horizontal or vertical scheme

In a diagram you can see different ramifications from the initial idea. But the type of representation can also be differentiated by the way the data is structured. Writing the ideas vertically or horizontally are some of the most used options. This therefore influences the reading experience. Depending on the type of scheme, the reading is carried out from the top of the page downwards or, conversely, from left to right.

Column scheme

An outline is a study tool, therefore, this is an instrument that has a practical purpose. It is convenient to select a simple format to focus on what is important: understanding the subject. Well, this kind of scheme is the one that groups the data around several perfectly differentiated columns. Each one of them gathers the ideas around a specific common thread. But, in turn, each of the columns is related to the others.

Alphabetical scheme

This type of scheme, instead of using keys or arrows to link the different ideas, uses the letters of the alphabet. Capital letters are used to highlight main ideas. Conversely, lowercase introduces secondary data.

Number scheme

All the schemes named so far have their own characteristics, but are essentially identical. The purpose of this representation is to clearly present information. Well, there are different ways to organize that data: the numbers allow you to group different terms, establish subdivisions and structure each content. This type of enumeration is very simple.

Combined: letters and numbers

This is a type of scheme that does not use a single type of ingredient, but the sum of the two described above: the numbers and the letters of the alphabet. Although you can take inspiration from the examples previously described to develop a good outline from a format that only uses one type of sign, it is also you can visually enrich this exercise with the sum of two ingredients like these, since letters and numbers complement each other.

The ideas present in an outline can be presented sequentially. But there are also schemes that reflect a level of hierarchy between concepts. In this way, one piece of information is more relevant than another. And this is reflected in the way of organizing the information.

Just as it is positive that you study and review the topic of an upcoming exam from your own notes, it is also recommended that you draw up your own diagrams. For it, select a format that is useful and clear to you.

Why do schematics

Some people find this exercise boring, but it is very important not to skip this step. The outline helps you organize the information and put it in order. In addition, this ordered structure facilitates the understanding of the analyzed content. All the data, perfectly linked, make sense in the context of a good schema.

This tool helps you study in an orderly way. And by following each step, you will learn the concepts first.

The order of study to make diagrams

To conduct a good study it will be necessary to know an order where the scheme will have the fifth place. Once the outline is reached, the content of the study will have to be well understood. In this way, a good outline can be made that can provide the main ideas to be highlighted and also that is well ordered to better remember the concepts.

The order of study to make diagrams will be as follows:

  1. Fast reading. First, do a quick preview of the study text to find out what the main topic is. In this way, you acquire a first contact with the object of study.
  2. Divide the content in sections to focus on the sections that make up the topic.
  3. Reading and comprehension of the text. In this phase, read the text carefully to understand the message. Write down those concepts that are more complicated for you to look up their meaning in the dictionary. In this way, you understand the entire text more clearly.
  4. Underline the main ideas. Underlining is necessary before making the outline. The underline helps you choose the main ideas and be able to discard those that are not so relevant to us. Thanks to underlining, you can better organize the content you need to study.
  5. The scheme. The scheme is essential to be able to carry out a successful study. At this stage, organize the main ideas that you have underlined in the text. In this way, you can give them an order to visualize and understand the content.
  6. The outline complements the information in the text. Add synthesis and clarity. Use this tool to delve into the most complex concepts.
  7. The review. Use this resource to review the content of an upcoming exam.

In this way, during this study process, you will also be able to check which aspects you need to reinforce even more.

Quality vs quantity of study

People who are studying at any academic stage should prioritize quality in study time. Namely, it is better to study less time to be in front of the book for hours, but without really taking advantage of this temporary space. Time management should be improved to achieve the desired objectives.

Therefore, motivation is essential to study and make diagrams. Focus on your main goal to come up with a clear and orderly outline.

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  1.   Atreyu said

    very good answer for an almost difficult question, well it's all in the good content, the summary and the context that it carries, keep it direct, don't give it so much spin for a question so easy, no vemoj and happyness !!!



  3.   jenni said

    It would be good to explain more about that topic

  4.   83l3n said

    I want you to put more examples of diagrams, how to make them.

  5.   MJ castes said

    Thanks, but I would like more information, there are still doubts…. !!!!

  6.   pearl said

    I would like them to put more information on that topic, so it is more understandable .ok.

  7.   yajaira guadalupe said

    I mean, what's wrong with them! who want me to provide so much information, there are still many doubts with this issue. okay.

  8.   Universitary residence said

    The article that he shares with us about how to make or create a scheme that helps us study or concentrate better is very good, the main thing is discipline when making the scheme because it is useless to have a good scheme if we do not apply it and follow it the verbatim

  9.   Eva said

    It is not clear to me how to develop it is difficult with so much aim to get so little

  10.   Pancho said

    It was good wey

  11.   Your awela with legs said

    I like raw nepe