Steps for Developing an Annotated Outline sample - Essay Prowess

Steps for Developing an Annotated Outline sample

Steps for Developing an Annotated Outline sample

  

Steps for Developing an Annotated Outline

Developing an annotated outline can at first be a very confusing, often frustrating procedure. But, as noted in the Welcome to Activity 7 Letter, the more time you spend developing an outline showing the meaningful relationships between the main topic, the subtopics, and the research resources, the less time it will take to write the paper and the better organized the paper will be.  The following examples will walk you through that process. Consider the following:

  • The main theme or topic of your paper is reflected in the title of the paper. 
  • The major topics will become the main or level one headings (centered). 
  • The subtopics will become the level two subheadings (at the left margin).
  • Important subordinate topics under the level two headings might become level three subheadings but that is not necessarily a requirement; it would depend on how you organize your narrative.

Example of the First Step: Identifying Major Themes (topics)

The first step is to identify your major themes or topics that relate to the title of your paper and focus of your research. Each of these will eventually become a level one heading in your literature review. Your preliminary list of major themes or topics is not written in stone, and it may evolve as you reflect on how best to organize your material, but you need to start somewhere. Below is an example of what the first stage could look like if your topic is bullying in school (please note, the resources are imaginary and were developed only to use for illustration in this sample outline). As you identify your main themes or topics be sure to list the relevant sources for each theme.

Title of the Paper

            As a brief introduction to your outline, state clearly the main topic of your paper in the context of the research you have brought together; example:  Bullying is becoming a significant problem in many public schools.  This type of behavior has profound effects on the victims and presents a serious challenge for parents, educators and counselors who are attempting to improve the situation.  This paper will examine the different types of bullying, their prevalence, and their effects on victims in the context of research.  It will also address the causes of bullying and steps being taken by parents, schools, and communities to prevent this behavior. 

I. Definitions and Types of Bullying

(Allen & Rose, 2010), (Campbell & Davids, 2012), (Moss, 2011), (Samuelson, Greg, & Toppler, 2012), (Richards, 2010)

II. The Prevalence of Bullying in Schools

(Hall, Leeds, Marsie, & Sackery, 2010), (Longbottom, 2012), (Richards, 2010), (Peters & Rose, 2012)

III. The Effects of Bullying on Victims

(Moss, 2011), (Moss, Tiller, & Williams, 2012), (Peters & Rose, 2012), (Greghall, Tomulson, Pitt, & Palace, 2013), (Richards, 2010)

IV. The Causes of Bullying Behavior

(Oppenheim, Rostral, & Starr, 2011), (Fox, 2012), (Billard & Rose, 2010), (Greghall, Tomulson, Pitt, & Palace, 2013), (Victor & Brillant, 2013), (Richards, 2010)

V. The Prevention of Bullying Behavior

(Laggert & Fox, 2009), (Peters, Allen, & Rose, 2011), (Victor & Brillant, 2013), (Richards, 2010)

Example of the Second Step: Adding Subtopics to the Major Themes or Topics

As your major themes or topics are established, you will begin to identify subtopics within each. These are destined to become level two headings in your literature review but for now we will just list them in outline form. You may discover that some of these subtopics grow into whole themes in and of themselves. That is the nature of beginning to organize and synthesize a large volume of information. The important thing is that you keep working on your outline until your organizing scheme becomes clearer and clearer.

I. Definitions and Types of Bullying

            A. Physical bullying

            (Allen & Rose, 2010), (Campbell & Davids, 2012)

            B. Psychological bullying

            (Moss, 2011), (Samuelson, Greg, & Toppler, 2012), (Campbell & Davids, 2012)

            C. Cyber bullying

            (Richards, 2010), (Campbell & Davids, 2012)

II. The Prevalence of Bullying in Schools

            A. The overall picture of bullying frequency in U.S. Schools

            (Hall, Leeds, Marsie, & Sackery, 2010), (Longbottom, 2012)

            B. Comparisons between the U.S. and other countries

            (Longbottom, 2012), (Richards, 2010)

            C. Differences by grade level

            (Richards, 2010), (Longbottom, 2012)

            D. Differences by gender

            (Peters & Rose, 2012), (Longbottom, 2012), (Richards, 2010)

III. The Effects of Bullying on Victims

            A. Immediate effects

            (Moss, 2011), (Moss, Tiller, & Williams, 2012)

            B. Long term effects

            (Peters & Rose, 2012), (Greghall, Tomulson, Pitt, & Palace, 2013), (Richards, 2010),         (Moss, 2011)

IV. The Causes of Bullying Behavior

            A. Personality profiles of bullies

            (Oppenheim, Rostral, & Starr, 2011), (Fox, 2012)

            B. Home life of bullies

            (Fox, 2012)

            C. Significant past experiences of bullies

            (Billard & Rose, 2010), (Fox, 2012)

            D. Contextual influences on bullying behavior

            (Greghall, Tomulson, Pitt, & Palace, 2013), (Fox, 2012)

            E. Media influences

            (Victor & Brillant, 2013), (Richards, 2010), (Fox, 2012)

V. The Prevention of Bullying Behavior

            A. School based anti-bullying programs

            (Laggert & Fox, 2009), (Victor & Brillant, 2013)

            B. Community based anti-bullying programs

            (Peters, Allen, & Rose, 2011), (Victor & Brillant, 2013)

            C. Parental involvement

            (Victor & Brillant, 2013)

            D. Law enforcement involvement

            (Richards, 2010), (Victor & Brillant, 2013)

Example of the Third Step: Adding Notes (Annotations) to your Outline

If you are like most students, none of this exercise in organizing a lot of material will be a nice orderly process. In fact it can be downright frustrating.  What it can often show you is that some of the resources you initially researched may not be as relevant as you first thought.  The possible development of new topics or subtopics might indicate the need for further research to adequately support those areas.

As you work on your outline, numerous thoughts and connections will burst into your mind and fade away. Capture as many ideas as you can by making notes while you work on your outline. Keep adding to it as you go back and forth between the resources and your outline.  Eventually your annotated outline will begin to take its final form and it will look something like this.

I. Definitions and Types of Bullying

Campbell and Davids have produced a definitive work on bullying and their work is helpful in developing all aspects of this outline.

            A. Physical bullying

            (Allen & Rose, 2010), (Campbell & Davids, 2012)

Physical bullying does not seem to be as great a concern to most scholars as psychological and cyber bullying. Campbell and Davids imply it is the easiest form to prevent because it is more visible.

            B. Psychological bullying

            (Moss, 2011), (Samuelson, Greg, & Toppler, 2012), (Campbell & Davids, 2012)

            C. Cyber bullying

            (Richards, 2010), (Campbell & Davids, 2012)

Richards has a lot of material on cyber bullying and considers it to be one of the more serious forms because it is easy to engage in and difficult to prevent.

II. The Prevalence of Bullying in Schools

            A. The overall picture of bullying frequency in U.S. Schools

            (Hall, Leeds, Marsie, & Sackery, 2010), (Longbottom, 2012)

It is challenging to present this information in an easily accessible manner. Perhaps I can develop a chart.

            B. Comparisons between the U.S. and other countries

            (Longbottom, 2012), (Richards, 2010)

Longbottom offers some interesting statistics I can use, but they will need additional narrative in order to make them accessible to my readers.

            C. Differences by grade level

            (Richards, 2010), (Longbottom, 2012)

            D. Differences by gender

            (Peters & Rose, 2012), (Longbottom, 2012), (Richards, 2010)

There does not seem to be many differences in frequency by gender but the form of bullying is different. A case might be able to be made to show that cyber bullying is more common among girls than boys and physical bullying is more common among boys than girls. However, that is a stereotype that needs careful exploration.

III. The Effects of Bullying on Victims

            A. Immediate effects

            (Moss, 2011), (Moss, Tiller, & Williams, 2012)

Moss points out that the most immediate danger is suicide.

            B. Long term effects

            (Peters & Rose, 2012), (Greghall, Tomulson, Pitt, & Palace, 2013), (Richards, 2010),         (Moss, 2011)

Scholars indicate it is difficult to credibly identify the long term effects of bullying during the school years because there are so many confounding variables.    

IV. The Causes of Bullying Behavior

            A. Personality profiles of bullies

            (Oppenheim, Rostral, & Starr, 2011), (Fox, 2012)

            B. Home life of bullies

            (Fox, 2012)

Fox seems to be the only one who has in-depth material on the effects of home life on bullying behavior.

            C. Significant past experiences of bullies

            (Billard & Rose, 2010), (Fox, 2012)

            D. Contextual influences on bullying behavior

            (Greghall, Tomulson, Pitt, & Palace, 2013), (Fox, 2012)

This is by far the most promising area to explore. I should continue to look for information on contextual influences. Unfortunately it is difficult to clearly define what these are.

            E. Media influences

            (Victor & Brillant, 2013), (Richards, 2010), (Fox, 2012)

V. The Prevention of Bullying Behavior

            A. School based anti-bullying programs

            (Laggert & Fox, 2009), (Victor & Brillant, 2013)

According to Laggert and Fox, school based anti-bullying programs are having mixed results. In some cases they seem to make things worse.

            B. Community based anti-bullying programs

            (Peters, Allen, & Rose, 2011), (Victor & Brillant, 2013)

            C. Parental involvement

            (Victor & Brillant, 2013)

Victor and Brillant feel parents are an underutilized resource for bullying prevention.

            D. Law enforcement involvement

            (Richards, 2010), (Victor & Brillant, 2013)

References

Make a list of your resources correctly formatted for APA requirements.  This can then be used for the literature review paper.