22.6. Writing an Outline¶
While you are creating the outlines, you may find writing about one topic is a lot easier than writing about another. You may not even need to complete outlines for all of them. Once you have generally analyzed each potential topic, ask yourself: Which one seems most fascinating AND accessible to write and present about?
After deciding on a topic, you already have an outline to work off of! Ask more questions such as:
- What are the long-term impacts of the innovation?
- Example: Migration toward automated and smarter cars.
What are the long-term impacts of your innovation?
- Short-term impacts?
- Example: A growing number of buyers are no longer willing to consider cars without wi-fi connectivity.
What are the short-term impacts of your innovation?
- Beneficial effects?
- Example: Connected cars integrate seamlessly with advancing mobile technology and the internet of things trend.
What are the beneficial effects of your innovation?
- Harmful effects?
- Example: People are worried about data privacy.
Creating an outline provides a thorough and efficient method for deciding and developing your topic. Here is an example:
- Google Search:
Top 30 Innovations: https://compsci.lafayette.edu/homepage/top-30-innovations/
- Top Three Topics
- Outline 1: ATMs
Purpose: Allows you to access your bank account and withdraw money miles away from your bank.
Tech: Asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) networks; support video, voice, and data traffic in one transmission
… (At this point I would probably choose a different topic that is easier to understand and write about.)
Here are a few more possible topic examples from the University of Berkeley’s Beauty and Joy of Computing “Lecture Slides on Social Implications of Computing”.