Author Guide

Author Guide
Manuscript Outlines

Although readers will not see your outline, it can help plan and organize your article. Your outline should consist of both major and minor topics included in your manuscript. If you are inexperienced with scholarly publication, the ideas on this page may help you put together your outline. When creating and ordering your manuscript, it is important not only to recognize categories and related topics among your notes and research findings, but also to present them in a logical order, with one major idea leading to the next.

The following recommendations can help you organize your notes into sections and present them in a way that makes sense to the reader.

Creating Topic Categories

To translate your notes and research findings into an outline, follow these steps:

  1. Identify the major topics from your notes and research.
  2. Turn these topics into headings.
  3. Organize all of your information under these headings.
  4. Consider ordering the information within topics in this way: idea, fact, detail, example.

Ordering Topics in Your Outline

After you have classified your information into a few major topic headings, the next step is to order the major headings logically. You will need to determine the connections between and among topics, and organize them accordingly. A few easy ways to do this include:


Order information or events according to the passage of time.

Example: The historical progression of radiologic equipment, a use of an imaging technique or the radiologic technologist's role in a particular area.

Cause and Effect

  • Identify and explain a cause or initial event.
  • Describe the effects.
  • Explain how the effects are linked to the cause.

Example: An explanation of a new development in radiologic technology and its effects on both radiologic technologists and patients.

Definition and Application

  • Define and explain a new innovation.
  • Describe and explain its current or future uses.

Example: A description of a new radiation therapy technology, explanation of various applications for the technique and prediction of ways that the technology might be used in the future.

If you need help determining the scope of your writing, you may want to read about the various manuscript types included in ASRT's publications.