How to properly and beautifully
maintain an outline

People have to deal with notes quite often. The need to reflect on the information heard on paper occurs at school lessons, lectures at a technical school or institute, thematic courses, meetings, and other events. The ability to competently take notes will help you to prepare quickly for exams, as well as become a useful skill for future professional activities.

Why do students need an outline?

According to the researchers from the essay writing service Writingapaper, an outline is a written record of facts, thoughts, and definitions, which are set out orally by the teacher or presented in literary sources. An important requirement for the notes is to provide a logical connection of individual blocks of information heard or read in the process of their analytical processing.

As a result of the outline, the author receives a well-structured record, thanks to which, after a certain period of time, it is easy to recall useful information. Other readers of the outline get a holistic view of the topic in a summary of its main theses. There are several types of written recordings of information that can be learned. They differ in purpose and application:

  • The plan outline includes paragraphs and subparagraphs, under which their essence is summarized. Such a solution allows you to formulate thoughts consistently, extract the most important facts, to structure information. Such a method of outlining is advisable to start using during lectures when the teacher announces the plan in advance, as well as for effective preparation for examinations, in which it is easier to remember the content of the topic by the title.
  • When making a schematic plan, questions are written down, which are then answered in a few sentences. Typically, the sheet is divided into two columns. The first column contains the question, and the second column the answer. Outlining by this method is quite simple and convenient.
  • A textual outline is a set of quotations or main thoughts, arranged in a logical sequence or according to a pre-designed plan. This type of outlining will be effective in the process of analyzing the statements of the author when you need to set out the thoughts in an accurate formulation. Common applications are lectures in literature, philosophy, and other humanities.
  • The thematic outline is based on a given topic. It provides an in-depth answer to a question obtained from a variety of information sources. At the same time, only those abstracts that allow revealing the essence of the topic are outlined. The material is useful for in-depth study of the topic, requires a lot of time to analyze the literature, and turns out to be as informative as possible, as it contains valuable information.
  • A graphic outline involves presenting information graphically using tables, graphs, or charts. The main data are supported by explanations and conclusions. Such a technique is often used for lecture notes on technical topics.
  • The lecture notes reliably and fully reflect the main theses conveyed by the lecturer. The quality of such an outline is determined by the ability to highlight the main points, analyze information, eliminate unnecessary material, and take notes promptly. In this case, you should concentrate on a consecutive presentation of the lecture. It is not necessary to make a plan.
  • A freewriting outline is a successful combination of different types of outlining. Such a technique requires a high level of professionalism and experience. The author is required to record the main points of the topic, supplementing them with diagrams, quotations, graphs, illustrations, and questions. An important requirement is to obtain logically connected and informative material.

Despite the vast amount of data on the Internet and in print publications, in which you can easily find the information you need, for example, find on reddit essay writing service to delegate your paper writings, the ability to take notes is difficult to overestimate. Taking an outline yourself will help transform knowledge from short-term memory to long-term memory, master the techniques of systematizing data and structuring material, and develop logical thinking.

How to write an outline correctly

An outline involves summarizing information. This is quite a difficult task since in common cases, simple and clear formulations become unreadable after some time. Therefore, it is important to approach the issue of outline design responsibly.

Working with handwritten text will be easier if you buy quality stationery in advance. The main tools are notebooks, pads, pens, and highlighters. Pens should be comfortable to use, have an ergonomic shape and write well. You can test them in advance by making some notes.

There are several simple rules to help you take notes correctly and competently. Helpful guidelines:

  • you can quickly navigate through the notes if you highlight the main points in different colors or use special highlighters;
  • you should write the outline by hand, as the information is formulated in your own words and is remembered faster;
  • the key to success – is the ability to abbreviate the information correctly by skipping vowels or using icons instead of the most commonly used words such as “which”, “if”, and “because”.

There are several important requirements for writing an outline. The main aspects of outlining:

  • the text must be convenient and understandable primarily to the author;
  • it is advisable to use ready-made techniques for conveying information, as well as to modify them to suit your individual needs;
  • you can test several effective ways of taking notes to choose the most acceptable of them.

Information is usually outlined in a notebook. Designs with interchangeable blocks are the best choice. They make it more convenient to structure information by replacing or removing individual sheets. Unused pages can later be transferred to another notebook if necessary.

The purpose of note-taking is to preserve important information. To quickly recall the lecture in your memory, you can spend a few minutes after it to make a plan from the key theses and recall the material. After a while, it will be useful for the author to reread the outline. In the process, you should correct inaccuracies, highlight key points, and supplement the information. Then all that remains is to repeat the lecture from memory.

How to beautifully design an outline

Only a few people can memorize a large amount of information at once during a lecture. Therefore, the ability to take notes is useful for everyone. The text should have a clear structure and clear meaning. The competent and beautiful design of records will allow you to quickly restore memory knowledge after a certain period. Such a skill is useful for several reasons:

  • saving time and reducing the workload during training;
  • effective preparation for seminars and exams;
  • acquiring the skill of quick search of the necessary data in a huge information flow;
  • development of attentiveness and diligence;
  • optimization of the learning process; quick comprehension of new material;
  • interaction with the teacher, not just a mechanical fixation on his words.


Proper note-taking will help you learn the course material perfectly, which is important for preparing for exams. Taking notes helps you remember the key points of a lecture. However, it is important that the notebook not only includes useful information but also looks neat. Useful tips for a beautifully designed notebook:

  • clear and readable notes;
  • using pens with blue, black, or dark purple ink for the main text;
  • using abbreviations where appropriate;
  • do not write unnecessarily in the margins, leaving space for dates and notations.

A beautiful outline consists of neat notes. The text should be clear to the author. It will be useful to develop an individual system of notation in advance. This will help to significantly reduce the time for outlining the information. If gaps are left during the lecture, they should be filled immediately after the end of the class. Keywords can be highlighted with colored markers or colored ink. Topics in the lecture notes should be marked with colored stickers, which will make it easier to navigate in the notebook.

In Word doc

In the era of information technology, the educational process is constantly being optimized. Today you can write notes not only in notebooks, but also take laptops, tablets, and other electronic devices to take notes with you to lectures. The text is typed in special editors. The most popular program is Microsoft Word. To perform the notes in Word qualitatively, you can use useful tips:

  • the presence of errors in the future will make it difficult to find the necessary information in the file, so it is necessary to type correctly at once;
  • the text should be made in one style with the same font, letter size, spacing, indentation, and other parameters so that the abstract would look neat;
  • use the opportunities of font and color markings should be systematized, so that it would be easy to find examples and definitions;
  • illustrations in the form of diagrams, maps, charts, and graphs, which you can create yourself in an editor or download from the Internet and paste into the text;
  • the material should be supplemented with references, by clicking on which it will be easy to find information on a particular issue.