Outlining Example


  • Listen and then write down points in an organized pattern, based on space indentation.
  • Place major points farthest to the left and indent each more specific point to the right.
  • Levels of importance will be indicated by distance away from major point.
  • Indentation can be simple (no marking, just space relationships or more complex, by using Roman numerals, letters and/or decimals.

When to use

  • When lecture is organized and sequential.
  • There is enough time in lecture to think about and make organizational decisions.


  • Well-organized system, if done correctly.
  • Reduces need to edit.
  • Easy to turn main points into questions.


  • Requires more thought in class for accurate organization.
  • May not show relationships by sequence when needed.
  • Doesn’t lend to itself to variety of review and question applications.
  • VERY difficult if lecturer speaks fast.