Video: Outlining and converting to text

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Using an outline can organize your paper, and you can do it automatically in the MLA style.

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Creating an MLA paper with citations and a bibliography

Now, when you first start a paper you probably shouldn't start drafting right away, right?

You probably need to outline, organize your thoughts, and some people do that with Post-It Notes,

some people do that with various other programs, maybe OneNote. You can do it here in this template, which is pretty cool.

So I'm going to put a page break in there and then just show you how to outline here.

If you need to outline in this template click the no-indent style and then multilevel list button,

and then there's a special style in here called the MLA outline, right?

Here's that classic outline structure of Roman numeral, uppercase letter, one period, little A, right?

And you select that guy, and you can go ahead and outline your paper, you know, introduction, body, conclusion, right?

The second pet peeve of the professors that I polled — they said students just write sometimes.

They just do a big mind dump.

They don't really have this classic structure of introduction, body, conclusion, okay?

So use an outline. Help yourself out in that regard, okay? It'll keep that structure enforced for you.

Okay, when you add other lines you just hit an enter like you would in any kind of list in Word,

and then you can indent and get that A, right? And so maybe this is the opening sentence about zombies.

Build the case that zombies are strong in numbers. Talk about herd mentality. I don't know.

And then your thesis statement is here. Okay?

And you can use these indent buttons, right, and get that further level of detail,

get those parentheses around the number or use the little A, okay?

This is nice, because if you need to hand in an outline to your professor it's in the MLA format.

It's all kosher and ready to go, all right? There's also outline view, right, up here, view tab, outline, okay?

That works too, but if you gave that to your professor they may not quite know to go in an outline view,

so it may not be quite what they're used to seeing. So for an outline you need to turn in this is a good way to go.

Okay, when you need to actually replace this outline content with real written text you could just type over it, right?

I'm going to just pretend as if I did that and paste in this paragraph here.

When you're ready to convert this list item here into a real honest to goodness MLA paragraph

you just choose the normal style, okay? And, boom, paragraph's automatically formatted with MLA formatting.

We've got that first-line indent, we've got the double spacing.

Everything's great, okay, and you just keep going and typing and typing,

replacing your outline content with that normal style?

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