Cover Page ofThe Mayfield Handbook of Technical & Scientific Writing
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Section 1.5.1

Developing a Detailed Outline

Outlines effectively reduce and order your source materials. An outline will force you to

partition material

develop a point of view

establish the scope of your document

sequence your topics

develop a writing strategy

The same outline can be used to generate feedback, serve as awriting aid, and provide the subject headings of your paper.

Work out a general plan first, and then make the outline more specific.

The following is an outline of a research article.


Title: "Chemical Changes in Ground Water Preceding the Kobe Earthquake"

General Specific
Problem Description of quake
Background Prediction model
Method Ground water variables, flow rate, radon
Results Flow rate Before quake

After quake

Radon content Before quake

After quake

Analysis Comparison with other recent quakes Possible mechanisms of change

Fissure widening from regional tectonic stress

Permeability from increased microcracking

--H. Wakita and U. Tsunogai, "Precursory Chemical Changes in Ground Water, KobeEarthquake," Science


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## Developing a Detailed Outline ##
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