Formal Three-Part Outline

Introduction, Body & Conclusion

NOTE: Formal outlines require a special numbering system.  If you have a I, you must have a II. If you have an A, you must have a B.  If you have a 1, you must have a 2, and so on:. The traditional outline has three sections: introduction, body, and conclusion. The basic model looks like this:


  1. Introduction
    1. The background
    2. The thesis statement

  2. Body
    1. First major category of support
      1. Supporting detail
      2. Supporting detail
      3. Supporting detail
    2. Second major category of support
      1. Supporting detail
      2. Supporting detail
    3. Third major category of support
      1. Supporting detail
      2. Supporting detail

  3. Conclusion
    1. Review of the major categories of support
    2. The answer, solution, or final option


Now here is an example of the basic model of this formal three-point outline.

Title: Alcohol Testing for Mass Transportation Employees

  1. Congress mandates testing for transportation employees
    1. Background on why
    2. Explanation of new policy

  2. How and why alcohol testing is used
    1. Circumstances for Alcohol Testing
      1. Pre-employment
      2. Post-accident
      3. Reasonable suspicion
      4. Random
      5. Return to duty/follow-up testing
    2. Method of Alcohol Testing
      1. Blood
      2. Urine
      3. Breath
      4. Performance
    3. Options for Alcohol Abusers
      1. Retesting
      2. Treatment
      3. Termination of employment

  3. Conclusion
    1. Review this issues and restate on new policy
    2. Opinion regarding Alcohol Testing policy and its results in testing
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