This is a paragraph outline of the persuasive article Toxic Soup Redux: Why Environmental Racism and Environmental Justice Matter after Katrina, by Julie Sze. The main purpose of the example is to show you what a paragraph outline might look like. You dont have to read the article to get the point, but if you want to its only 10 paragraphs, 1742 words, about 2 pages (3 with footnotes).
This is one way of doing the outline. There are others. Its not so important that your outline look just like this one. (And note that its for you; abbreviations are fine as long as you will remember what they mean.) What is important is that you get the basic information. This includes all the main ideas in the article, and the hierarchy of ideas (whats the single overall idea, which are main ideas and which are supporting ideas).
Before trying to do any of the steps below, you should read the article through at least once for basic understanding. Then go back and review, following these steps.
Thesis: The concepts of environmental racism and environmental justice are more important than ever for understanding Katrina, specifically, and, generally, the situation of poor people and people of color around the nation with respect to health and the environment.
Here are the labels Ive given to the sections (the writing on the right, next to the brackets, in the handwritten example below).
Ive scanned a handwritten version so you can see what it looks like while its being created. Scroll down for a more readable, typed version.
Here is what the main list in the image says (the one on the left, listing the main idea in each paragraph):
The finished, typed outline would look something like this: