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Once you have determined and arranged your main points, you can break down into more
Once you have determined and arranged your main points, you can break down into more
Once you have determined and arranged your main points, you can break down into more

Once you have determined and arranged your main points, you can break down into more specific statements that explain and support them. These more specific statements belong at the sub point level of your outline. Usually each main point will be buttressed by two or more sub points that substantiate and clarify it. Each sub point must relate directly to the main point it follows and should make that point more understandable, believable, or compelling. 4

To identify the sub points for each of your main points, imagine a critical listener in front of you. When you state the main point, this listener will want to know:

What do you mean?

Why should I care?

How do I know this is true?

The sub points of each main point should answer these questions. If the main points are columns built on the foundation of your purpose and thesis statement, the sub points reinforce these columns so that they will stand up under critical scrutiny. For example, as you develop your working outline, you might list the following sub points for your first main point:

list the following sub points for your first main point: Will a speech based on this
list the following sub points for your first main point: Will a speech based on this

Will a speech based on this outline satisfy my thesis statement? Will I be able
Will a speech based on this outline satisfy my thesis statement?
Will I be able to do all of this in the time available?
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A list of major sources consulted Separation of Speech Parts

A list of major sources consulted Separation of Speech Parts
A list of major sources consulted Separation of Speech Parts

A list of major sources consulted Separation of Speech Parts

A list of major sources consulted Separation of Speech Parts

A list of major sources consulted Separation of Speech Parts

A list of major sources consulted Separation of Speech Parts

A list of major sources consulted Separation of Speech Parts
A list of major sources consulted Separation of Speech Parts
A list of major sources consulted Separation of Speech Parts
A list of major sources consulted Separation of Speech Parts

A list of major sources consulted

A list of major sources consulted Separation of Speech Parts
A list of major sources consulted Separation of Speech Parts

Separation of Speech Parts

A list of major sources consulted Separation of Speech Parts

Title Let’s look at how you can change your working outline to a formal outline.

Title Let’s look at how you can change your working outline to a formal outline.

Title

Title Let’s look at how you can change your working outline to a formal outline. In
Let’s look at how you can change your working outline to a formal outline. In
Let’s look at how you can change your working outline to a formal outline. In the working example provided
in Figure 8.2, the third main point appears as follows:
Third Main Point: