General Writing Style


General Rationale

This document contains the template for the preparation outline, which is required for your formal speaking assignments in this course. This document is intended to guide you and save you time in formatting your assignment correctly. Please use this template to create your outlines, paying careful attention to the expectations required for your assignment.

General Writing Style

1. The thesis statement should be written in complete sentences.

2. The general purpose should be one of the four generally identified: to inform, to persuade, to entertain, or to commemorate.

3. The specific purpose should be written as a more detailed infinitive phrase. (An infinitive phrase begins with to added to a verb and an object. Here is an example: “To apply for a scholarship.”)

4. When using research for subpoints and sub-subpoints, you should write enough of your interpretation of what the point means to demonstrate to your professor your understanding of the source. Use citations to indicate which reference items reinforce materials.

5. Every item on the references list should be cited in the outline at least once.

What Should and Should Not Be Changed

The general formatting for the outline template is correct, though please do the following:

· Fill in all the top heading information (e.g., Name, Professor,…Thesis statement) without removing any of the italicized labels. This is necessary information for your audience (your professor).

· Fill in all the outline information (e.g., Introduction, Attention-getter, Transition, etc.) without removing any of the italicized labels. Those are signals to you and your professor.

· Eliminate any prompts that are in brackets by typing over them (e.g., Main point, Subpoint, Summary, etc.).

· Do not forget the references page and corresponding citations in the appropriate subpoint and sub-subpoint places on the outline. Several samples are provided to show you how to format this page. Replace the references of that sample with your own relevant references. If research is not required for the presentation, eliminate that page.

· Put your presentation title on the second page header where it prompts you.

· Eliminate this instructions page entirely once you have read it so that the document begins with the top heading information.

· Save your file with the following convention: First Last SPCH 275 Week # Assignment Outline.

[Title of Presentation] DeVry University Page 3

Final Note: You should not assume that this particular template shows you exactly how many main points, subpoints, and sub-subpoints you should use. Every formal outline has its distinct number of main points and subordinate points. The number of those points depends on your speech topic, its content, and your development. Thus, your outline will vary from what you’ve been given here. The traditional alphanumeric system of a formal outline, however, does not change and should be followed.

Name(s): Click here to enter text.

Professor: Click here to enter text.

Assignment: Click here to enter text.

Title of Presentation: Click here to enter text.

Date: Click here to enter text.

General Purpose: Click here to enter text.

Specific Purpose: Click here to enter text.

Thesis Statement: Click here to enter text.

I. Introduction

A. Attention-getter: [start typing here—eliminate the brackets throughout the outline]

B. Relevance statement: [start here]

C. Credibility statement: [start here]

D. Thesis statement: [start here]

E. Preview statement: [start here]

Transition: [start here—keep the green text to have the visual distinction]

II. Body

A. [Main point]

1. [Subpoint]

a. [Sub-subpoint]

b. [Sub-subpoint]

2. [Subpoint]

Transition: [start here]

B. [Main point]

1. [Subpoint]

2. [Subpoint]

a. [Sub-subpoint]

b. [Sub-subpoint]

Transition: [start here]

C. [Main point]

1. [Subpoint]

2. [Subpoint]

3. [Subpoint]

a. [Sub-subpoint]

b. [Sub-subpoint]

Transition: [start here]

III. Conclusion

A. [Summary of main points]

B. [Action statement (only for persuasive speeches)]

C. [Memorable close]

Sample References

Author’s last name, first initial. (year of publication). Title with only first word capitalized and any Proper Nouns. Journal Italic and Capitalized, if no Journal, Italic the title. Retrieved from doi number or URL

NCA credo for ethical communication. (1999). National Communication Association Legislative Council. Retrieved February 27, 2014 from

Simonds, C., Hunt, S. & Simonds, B. (2010). Public speaking: Prepare, present, participate. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.