The main difference between topic outline and sentence outline is that a topic outline includes brief phrases or single words, whereas a sentence outline includes full sentences.
In academia, an outline is a general plan or description showing the essential points to be presented in a paper or a speech. Outlines are also helpful in many writing tasks as they help you show the order of various topics, their relative importance, and the relationship between various topics. Moreover, an outline helps you to organize your thoughts, shape your information in order, to pinpoint the information that might be missing. In addition, there are two main types of outlines as topic outline and sentence outline.
How to Create an Outline
Brainstorming is the first step in creating both topic and sentence outlines. Once you write down all your ideas about the essay topic/assignment topic, you can start to arrange them in order. When you spend some time thinking about them, you will naturally begin to see where they fit and where some ideas overlap. You can combine these ideas into a single section in the outline.
Furthermore, an outline should begin with an introduction, which describes the general ideas and includes a thesis statement. Then it should move on to points proving the thesis. Each section should also move from general to specific. In an outline, the topic of each section is called a heading. These are accompanied by a Roman numeral. Ideas under each heading are marked with a letter, while ideas under the letters are marked with numbers. Moreover, sub-ideas that come under these ideas come with a lower-case letter.
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What is a Topic Outline
A topic outline gives all headings and subheadings in brief phrases or words. Topic outlines do not use full sentences. Let’s now look at a simple example to understand this type of outline better.
Benefits of Playing Chess for Senior Citizens – Thesis
1. Chess tournaments
2. Mental Health
II. Mental alertness
A. Relieves stress
B. Retains youth
A. Activity done with others
B. Introduces new friends
What is a Sentence Outline
A sentence outline is an outline that uses complete sentences. Unlike topic outlines, sentence outlines do not use words or phrases. Therefore, they may be more time-consuming to write. Given below is an example of a sentence outline.
I. It provides pleasure for senior citizens.
A. It is a good way to relax.
B. Competing with others gives a sense of excitement.
1. They can participate in chess tournaments.
II. Chess has many mental health benefits.
A. It can increase mental alertness.
1. It can relieve stress.
2. It helps seniors to retain youth.
III. Chess can also provide seniors companionship.
A. It is an organized activity done with others.
B. It’s a great way to make new friends.
Difference Between Topic Outline and Sentence Outline
A topic outline is an outline that uses words and phrases for headings, while a sentence outline is an outline that uses complete sentences for headings.
In a topic outline, headings are brief phrases or words, while in a sentence outline, headings are complete sentences.
Topic outlines are easier to write than sentence outlines as they take less time to write.
An outline is a general plan or description showing the essential points to be presented in a paper or a speech. In fact, there are two main types of outlines; they are the topic outline and the sentence outline. The main difference between topic outline and sentence outline is that a topic outline includes brief phrases or single words, whereas a sentence outline includes full sentences.