Create a Detailed Outline


  1. Sign into GoogleDrive again and open your previous freewrite or brainstorm. (If you haven’t created one yet, go here.)
  2. You should now have two tabs open in your browser, one for the freewrite/brainstorm and one that says “My Drive--Google Drive.” Click on the Google Drive tab.
  3. Click Create and Document and rename the new document <Lastname+first initial>_<Topic>_Outline. (Mine would be “GrunwaldE_darkmatter_outline”)
  4. You should now have THREE tabs in your browser window. With your mouse, grab the right bottom corner of the window and shrink it so that it fills only the left side of the screen, like this:
  5. Now put your mouse over the Process_Outline Tab and click-and-drag it to the right side of the screen. This should create a new window, so you’ll have two windows side by side, like this:
  6. Make sure your freewrite/brainstorm appears in the left-hand window.
  7. Click on the right-hand window, click on Format, click on "Lists," choose “Numbered List,” and click on the list in the middle of the second row. (It should start with roman numerals (I, II, etc.) and have capital letters (A, B, etc.) for the second level of outline.
  8. A roman numeral “I” should have appeared on your screen. Type “Introduction” next to it and press <Return>.
  9. Press the <Tab> button on your computer. The cursor should move over and give you an “A” on the screen. Type: “Hook” (this is a placeholder) and return.
  10. Press Tab again. You should get a “1” on the screen Type “supporting idea.”
  11. Press Return. You should get a “2.” Press <Shift-Tab>.  The cursor should move left again and give you a "B." Press <Shift-Tab> again, and you should get a "II."
  12. Now, navigating with these commands and selecting-and-dragging text from your freewrite, begin creating a DETAILED outline for your process paper:
    1. Use roman numerals for main ideas
    2. Use A, B for supporting ideas and details
    3. Use 1., 2., and a), b) (the next level) for finer-level ideas.
    4. The lettering and numbering should look like this:
  13. Copy and paste ideas over from your freewriting/brainstorming. Add other new ideas as they come to you, and leave placeholders for ideas you will need to fill in later.
  14. Plan and fill in EVERY idea that will appear in your paper into your outline. (You may need to do more idea generation to complete this step.)
  15. When you have finished your outline and a ready to start writing, share this document (under “Share”) with me at (or your instructor).
  16. You may then print out your outline and draft from it or, when you are ready to draft, put your outline on the left side of your screen and create a second window (in your own word processor or in a new Google doc) on the right side and draft right from your outline!