An outline is a helpful way to plan a paper or to analyze it. An outline shows at a glance the point of a paper and a numbered list of the items that support the point. Here is an example of a paragraph.

1 People in my family love our dog Punch. 2 However, I have several reasons for wanting to get rid of Punch. 3 First of all, he knows I don’t like him. 4 Sometimes he gives me an evil look and curls his top lip back to show me his teeth. 5 The message is clearly, “Someday I’m going to bite you.” 6 Another reason to get rid of Punch is he sheds everywhere. 7 Every surface in our house is covered with Punch hair. 8 I spend more time brushing it off my clothes than I do mowing the lawn. 9 Last of all, Punch is an early riser, while (on weekends) I am not. 10 He will start barking and whining to go outside at 7 a.m., and it’s my job to take care of him. 11 When I told my family that I had a list of good reasons for getting rid of Punch, they said they would make up a list of reasons to get rid of me.

Point: I have several reasons for wanting to get rid of Punch.

Supporting detail: 1. He knows I don’t like him.

Supporting detail: 2. Punch sheds everywhere.

Supporting detail: 3. Punch is an early riser.