Outlining is a good method to present your ideas in a coherent and logical way. With a help of outlining you can develop, classify and organize your thoughts, ideas and information. If you are planning a great work such as composition, retelling, story or novel etc. you outlining will help you to create a hierarchy of information based on importance and relevance. Different points are arranged in logical sections, and then subsections, moving from abstract to concrete. This way you will always tell what you wanted and never miss any important part.
Outlining techniques may be used in the listening, speaking and writing sections of the TOEFL. For example, while listening to a conversation or lecture, you can make a short list of the main points, sub-points and examples. If you manage to make your outline accurate, it will help you then to answers given questions.
In the speaking section, you also have a short time – about 20-25 seconds for planning, it is better to use a quick outline to plan your response.
The independent and integrated tasks of the writing section where you will be to write an essay, outlining will be useful in order not to confuse your thoughts but to present a well organized topic.
Developing outlining skills
You can work on your outlining skills using all kinds of materials – textbooks, newspaper and magazines. Listening to newscasts or audio books jot down the chief points. By developing the outline, you give yourself a chance to reconstruct the written or spoken information.