Workshop: Reverse Outline & Sideshadowing

Reverse Outline

Organization is an issue for many of us. This is where reverse outlining becomes extremely useful. For the first part of the workshop today, I’d like everyone to reverse outline. There are several ways to do this, but for class purposes, I’d like you to follow these steps.

1. Give each of your paragraphs a brief heading that tells me what that paragraph is about.

2. Under each heading, write a brief statement about the purpose of that paragraph. How does it advance your argument or enhance a reader’s understanding of your topic?


The Purdue OWL has some suggestions for reverse outlining that are just slightly different from what we are doing in class today. It is a useful resource if you have further questions about the purpose of reverse outlining.



Sideshadowing is basically a way to get custom-tailored feedback. To sideshadow, you should use the comment feature on MS Word (if you are not using Word, there are other strategies we can discuss). In the comments, pose questions for your reader. Be specific. The better your questions, the better the answers you will receive.



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