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American History text for outlining


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I think Albert Marrin biographies are good for outlining, but you would have to schedule a lot of them to cover American history.  Or, you could have a spine for American History and then just read a couple Marrin books on the side depending on what pace you want.  

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I have a spine chosen, but it isn't good for outlining because it is so top level. We're going to get depth with biographies and other books, but I haven't chosen all of them yet, so I don't know if they'll be easy for beginner to outline. 

Some sources are easier to outline than others. The more narrative/storylike books are harder to outline because the student has to figure out when a paragraph is a new roman numeral and when it's just more detail within an existing outline point. That's fine for someone who has experience with outlining, but it's harder for a student that has never outlined before. 

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According to SWB, logic stage students should practice outlining a variety of history and science texts. My understanding is that the goal is for them to see the many ways a piece of writing can be organized because not every writer organizes their work in the same way. The idea is that, when they reach the rhetoric stage, they will have seen lots of different ways they can organize an essay. For this reason, I have my student outline different resources.  I don't have them do all of their outlining from one source. In history, for example, they could outline SOTW, like others have suggested, The Kingfisher encyclopedia (or whatever you happen to use as a spine), and library books. Library books were my favorite to use. Also, I didn't have her outline only from a history text. She alternated. One week she would outline a passage history and the next week she would outline a passage in science. If in your American History study, you have your student(s) read additional books to enhance their study, you can have them outline from one of those resources. My understanding is that the only rule is, you can outline expository writing but you cannot outline fiction. I hope this helps. 

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27 minutes ago, silver said:

I have a spine chosen, but it isn't good for outlining because it is so top level. We're going to get depth with biographies and other books, but I haven't chosen all of them yet, so I don't know if they'll be easy for beginner to outline. 

Some sources are easier to outline than others. The more narrative/storylike books are harder to outline because the student has to figure out when a paragraph is a new roman numeral and when it's just more detail within an existing outline point. That's fine for someone who has experience with outlining, but it's harder for a student that has never outlined before. 

I agree.  It seems so straight forward, but some books outline more easily than others.  And some books seems to favor lots of shorter paragraphs which makes outlining even harder, imho.  

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14 minutes ago, stlily said:

According to SWB, logic stage students should practice outlining a variety of history and science texts. My understanding is that the goal is for them to see the many ways a piece of writing can be organized because not every writer organizes their work in the same way. The idea is that, when they reach the rhetoric stage, they will have seen lots of different ways they can organize an essay. For this reason, I have my student outline different resources.  I don't have them do all of their outlining from one source. In history, for example, they could outline SOTW, like others have suggested, The Kingfisher encyclopedia (or whatever you happen to use as a spine), and library books. Library books were my favorite to use. Also, I didn't have her outline only from a history text. She alternated. One week she would outline a passage history and the next week she would outline a passage in science. If in your American History study, you have your student(s) read additional books to enhance their study, you can have them outline from one of those resources. My understanding is that the only rule is, you can outline expository writing but you cannot outline fiction. I hope this helps. 

This is a really good answer! I didn't choose whole books to use as outlining sources. Instead, I would look through each week's reading and choose my passages to assign. History spines, history supplements, science texts, an encyclopedia article...

My college kids have helpfully reported back to me, about their most effective learning methods and study skills that I had taught them at home. One that they've all mentioned is remembering when I would tell them, *after* they'd learned several levels of outlining, to choose "any 6 to 10 related paragraphs from your text, to outline." They would have to look for themselves, to figure out when a new topic was being addressed.

So that's part of the picture -- teach your level of outlining (WTM style), and then assign any body of text in which the student will be able to recognize that structure. Work toward more complex outlining, eventually get to more messy texts, and make sure you teach them how to isolate a section of text for themselves to outline. You'll have been practicing this, even though they won't understand your selection process yet, so it will be easy for you to transfer that skill to your students later. So that's one reason you should be the one to devise these outlining lessons, as a more effective practice than trying to find sources that are already laid out.

Edited by Lang Syne Boardie
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When your student starts outlining, it is helpful to have a text that is organized. The texts that are rather narrative can be challenging. I like to use the Kingfisher Encyclopedia or the Usborne Encyclopedia. Could you just pull the American history chapters and work from there? Or go to the library and look through what they have on their shelf. 

 

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