Mapping Your Ideas

Video Transcript Part 1
Slide 1

Tutor: OK, we’re making a lot of progress. You know what you want to write about, and you have a good working thesis statement.

Student: Yes, and I know where to look for information.

Tutor: Before you start collecting information, it’s time to map your ideas.

Student: What do you mean exactly?

Tutor: When you map your ideas, you come up with an outline for your paper.

Slide 2 – Developing an Outline

Slide 3

I. Introduction
II. Body
III. Conclusion

As we saw before, American professors expect you to produce the basic organization of an outline in academic writing.

Slide 4 – The Introduction

The introduction provides a preview of what you are going to say. It includes the thesis statement. Its purpose is to get the attention of the reader.

Slide 5 – The Body

The body contains the main discussion. It includes all your arguments, evidence, examples, statistics, and facts.

The body may be several paragraphs.

Slide 6 – Conclusion

The conclusion is the final piece of your essay. It may be a summary or re-statement of what you have said before.

Slide 7 

Introduction – What you will say.

Body – Say it.

Conclusion – What you just said.

As Dale Carnegie said, “Say what you’re going to say. Say it. Tell them what you just said.”

Slide 8 – How Can You Get Your Ideas Into an Outline?

Slide 9

One way to do this is to map your ideas.

Slide 10

Start with a blank sheet of paper.

Or, if you use a computer, start with a drawing or paint program.

Slide 11

Write a general topic at the center of the page. As an example, let’s use the essay about airline fees.

Slide 12

As quickly as possible, let’s write down whatever we think about this topic. For now, don’t worry about organization.

Slide 13

Ok, here are some more words for this topic: “meals,” “drinks,” “blankets,” and “pillows.”

Slide 14

…and more words: “profit,” “fuel,” “baggage,” and “carry-on.”

Slide 15

Still more words: “reservations,” “seats,” and “headsets.”

Video Transcript Part 2
Slide 16

Now we need to look for connections among all these ideas.

Slide 17

We can make a connection between “baggage” and “carry-on.”

Slide 18

…and another group among “meals,” “snacks,” and “drinks.”

Slide 19

We can draw lines between other ideas that seem to be related.

Slide 20

We can continue grouping and connecting the words as we like.

Slide 21

We can then arrange the words into groups as the main discussion paragraphs.

Slide 22

We can add some ideas to get the reader’s attention in the introduction.

Slide 23

Finally we can add our conclusion at the end.

Slide 24

Now we have all of the information we need for the basic organization of an outline.

Slide 25

Tutor: Now you can practice what you’ve learned about developing an outline.

Slide 26 – Ordering Activity (introduction slide)

Slide 27 – Ordering Activity

Slide 28

To see the summary of your activity, go to slide 29.

When you are ready, select Reflection Questions: Getting Ready to Write in the menu on the left.

After completing this activity, you may download or print a completion report that summarizes your results. To save a PDF copy of the report, click below and follow instructions for your browser.

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