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Outline a Paragraph

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From The Writing Revolution (Hochman & Wexler, 2017), Outline a Paragraph is a revision strategy for identifying incomplete paragraphs.


To perform this activity, students must have a complete draft of a paragraph. For that draft, instruct students to deconstruct the paragraph into its main parts (topic sentence, supporting details, concluding sentence) and outline those parts (refer to the Single-paragraph Outline strategy for examples and an outline template).

Encourage students to evaluate whether any of the content of the paragraph seems out of place. Additionally, consider having students identify the least relevant detail and evaluate whether that detail enhances the paragraph (or not and ought to then be removed).

For a cooperative activity, have partners swap draft paragraphs and attempt to outline the other’s writing. After they finish, have them share and discuss.


For additional explanation and examples of the Single-paragraph Outline, visit this strategy page.

For more resources from The Writing Revolution, click here.

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