Outlines have gotten a bad rap. An outline is simply a way to organize your thoughts before you begin to write your first draft—a roadmap as formal and detailed or as informal and rough as you like. Here, your note categories come in handy. As long as you have a logical sequence of categories, you’re on the right track. General guidelines for sequencing categories include starting with the most general category and moving to the most specific category, or starting with the least interesting category and moving to the most interesting category. Put yourself in your reader’s position and use your common sense: if you write about your most interesting point first, what will motivate your reader to keep reading?
Next, write your paper!