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The outline can be a tricky element to writing an essay. Thankfully there are three tools you can use to help create an outline.
The process of mind mapping practices as well as exercises your ability to process information, your memory skills, and meanwhile utilizes all aspects of your cortical skills, enhancing them simultaneously. The process of mind mapping is even more powerful in that it uses tools for left brain thinking and right brain thinking. This enhances the overall organization, clarity, and structure of your thoughts and constructively integrates location, imagination, and association. This makes the process of mind mapping one of the most powerful methods of thinking because it incorporates all of the significant tools contained in the structure of the brain.
Since many students today prefer to be joined at the hip to their computer (or is it the wrist?) there are some great ways that you can take notes using your computer. You can open a standard writing document and collect your points in a row the same as you would on a single sheet of paper. You can easily cut and paste your ideas around when it comes time to work with the outline, moving them until you find something that works. There is an “outline view” in Microsoft Word which can come in handy when doing this. This view allows you to arrange the points you have hierarchically. So long as you do not mind using your computer for the research and writing parts of your essay this method works just fine. But for those who want to keep their note taking and research phases low-tech, it may not be the best option.
The circle method is much like mind mapping in that your purpose is to get all of your ideas out onto one page. You want to write down every idea you have and then draw a circle around that idea. If you write another idea down that supports your first idea then you want to draw a line between the two connecting them. You can represent your supporting source material in this way. The advantage is that you can look down and see all of your thoughts on one page and view exactly how they fit together. The disadvantage is that you can only get so much down on a single sheet of paper and if you are writing a particularly lengthy essay you won’t be able to fit it all there.