AHS English Stylebook

OUTLINE STYLES: WHICH ONE DOES YOUR TEACHER PREFER?

FORMAL

  • I. Four conditions encouraged combining ivory and slave trading.
    • A. Slaves and ivory were abundant in the same area.
    • B. The outside world provided huge markets for both.
    • C. The African natives themselves practiced combined ivory and slave trading.
    • D. The tsetse fly made human bearers necessary.
  • II. European explorers reported to the world the evils of Arab slave and ivory trading in Central Africa.
    • A. They reported on the trade routes set up for ivory and slave trading.
    • B. They reported on the evils of the combined trade.
      • 1. They reported on the devastation of the country.
      • 2. They reported on the traders' inhuman methods.
          • a. The traders had no regard for human life.
          • b. They killed adults and reared children as slaves.
            • (1). Girls were put in harems.
            • (2). Boys were trained to become slave raiders for their Arab masters.
          • c. The explorers reported how the Arabs incited native fighting and then exploited the winners.
    • C. They reported the depletion of the elephant herds.
  • III. The elimination of the slave trade was slow.
    • A. Early efforts were futile.
      • 1. There were still markets for both slaves and ivory.
      • 2. Despite agitation by missionaries, the average European was too selfish to work for abolishment.
      • 3. The African natives made no protests against a combination which they carried on themselves.
    • B. European explorers' reports finally led to successful action.
      • 1. Military expeditions were sent out to unseat the Arab traders.
      • 2. Leading European colonizers in Africa finally made effective pacts and regulatory laws.
  • IV. Conclusion: Today the ivory trade is carried on without slavery.
The thesis sentence covers all of the material in the outline and insures the paper's unity.










The development of II.B. is complete enough that it was not necessary to waste time wondering just how that part of the paper was to be developed when the rough draft was written
















III.B.2 might have been more fully developed








Section IV goes beyond the discussion of the conditions in the Nineteenth century; yet it makes a good conclusion, indicating the final outcome of the Nineteenth century activity. Outlines do not have to have special conclusions, but one was appropriate here. Occasionally, outlines have introductions, indicating why a problem is of interest of something about its background that is outside the actual range of the paper.



OR INFORMAL

This kind of MAPPING or CLUSTERING may be taught in your English class.  It's a good way to begin organizing your thoughts.  The map will change as your ideas develop.

Informal Outline Example