Module 6: Outlining Your Content

Now that you have begun your research, it is time to envision how it will all fit together to present your review to your readers.   

The most efficient way to organize your thoughts is usually through an outline. (It could also be done through a graphic representation of this but you would have to base it upon the linear outline format that is being presented here.) This outline is designed to organize your formative information in a structure that will easily transfer into the UNI Instructional Technology Masters Literature Review template.

The template is self-explanatory, but here are a few hints that you should consider before you begin outlining your review:

  1. This outline is NOT the final document on your review's structure.  It is a snapshot of how you envision it based upon your present level of research and discovery.  It will evolve as you continue to research.
  2. The title is a working title.  It will probably change as you move along.
  3. You are asked to identify 3 research questions. These questions are meant to provide direction.  Remember that you are organizing existing research in the field so it may turn out that your questions are not being studied by researchers in the field. THEREFORE you will have to change your research questions so that they can be used as organizers for the research that you DO find.
  4. You only have to write about a single question in your 10-page lit review this semester.  You will find information about the other questions, but they will not be included in this review.
  5. The Analysis and Discussion section of your outline is DIFFERENT than the other  parts of your outline. This is where you will be identifying the content of the research you have found. It will not include ALL of the research you will find for this review, but it will provide a framework for your future research.
  6. REVIEW Dr. Z's Dos and Don'ts for Writing Literature Reviews.  I strongly suggest reading it through twice before writing your Lit Review.  Some of these points will stick in the back of your mind and will be helpful sometime in the future.
You have 4 resources that you will find useful in completing this outline:

  • Student example of a completed outline This is an outline about Designing Interactive Multimedia Learning Environments. Please review it to see how he was providing a snapshot of his research up to that point and envisioning the future structure of his work. (Pay attention to the Analysis and Discussion section.)
  • .pdf version of the Literature Review outline template.  Here is a non-maleable version of the template.  It  may not open on your screen but download directly to your computer.
  • Word Doc outline template Here is your template if you want to just open it up and complete it in Word. It May not open on your screen but download directly to your computer.
  • Google Doc outline template  If you want to do this in Google Docs, make a copy of the template and then modify for your own needs.

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