Creating a formal outline for a research paper

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Creating a formal outline for a research paper

FOSS This is a formal outline for your final research paper. It will present your thesis, the major points in support of that thesis, and the sub-points supporting each major point. It may have additional levels of sub-sub-points if you feel that is necessary. The basic idea of a formal outline is that different types of letters or numbers I, A, 1, a, i represent different levels of the hierarchy of your paper, and sub-levels are indented below main levels.

The reader should be able to see at a glance which are the main points, which are the secondary points, which are at the third level of importance, and so on. It should also be obvious which secondaery points belong under which main points. Usually this is accomplished by using different numbering for different levels, and indenting the less important levels.

Please follow those guidelines when writing your outline. In addition to the elements of a formal outline, please also: Include a thesis statement at the start.

This list may differ from the one you submitted for the Preliminary Bibliography, if you have added new sources or eliminated old ones.

Writing a good research paper outline

Topic and Sentence Outlines There are two major types of outline: Topic Outline Sentence Outline A topic outline lists words or phrases. A sentence outline lists complete sentences. A topic outline arranges your ideas hierarchically showing which are main and which are sub-pointsin the sequence you want, and shows what you will talk about.

As the name implies, it identifies all the little mini-topics that your paper will comprise, and shows how they relate. A sentence outline does all of this, plus it shows exactly what you will say about each mini-topic.

Each sentence, instead of simply identifying a mini-topic, is like a mini-thesis statement about that mini-topic. It expresses the specific and complete idea that that section of the paper will cover as part of proving the overall thesis. The method described below will produce a sentence outline.

Your sentence outline should, if done thoroughly and carefully, represent almost a first draft of your research paper. The purpose, in other words, of doing this work is not to make work for you, but to save you work in the long run by breaking the job down into smaller, manageable tasks.

A paper of 12 pages about 4, words might have four major topics or points, represented by roman numerals I - IV in the outline. This would mean each point would represent about three pages of the final paper.

These three pages will include background information, multiple sources, different pieces of evidence and explanation supporting that point, and often a brief description of alternative views and an explanation of why those views are not so convincing. Finally, even smaller points under these might correspond to individual paragraphs in the final draft.

Creating a formal outline for a research paper

Writing the Sentence Outline Write out your thesis at the top of the page. Make a list of points you must prove to prove your thesis. What would someone have to agree with, in order to agree with the thesis?

These will be the main sections of your paper. On a new page, write your first main point. This is the thesis for that section of the paper.

Make a list of the points you have to prove to prove that point. These are your sub-points for that section. Repeat the process for each of your main points. First make sure which are main and which are supporting points.

For example, you may find that what you thought was a main point is really part of proving another main point. Or, what you first listed under a main point may need its own section.

This may change as you continue to work on the outline and draft the paper.Creating an Argument Outline. Argument/Research Paper Outline Guide: This outline can help guide you through a series of questions.

You can highlight-and-print this outline, but it's not a fill-in-the-blank outline; use it as a guide. Many of my students like to use this outline for both research papers and argumentative papers. Creating Outlines Outlines can be a helpful tool when you're trying to organize your thoughts for an essay or research paper.

After you've decided on a topic and done some brainstorming to generate ideas, think about the best way to group your ideas together. An outline is a “blueprint” or “plan” for your paper. It helps you to organize your thoughts and arguments.

A good outline can make conducting research and then writing the paper very efficient. This is a formal outline for your final research paper. It will present your thesis, the major points in support of that thesis, and the sub-points supporting each major point. It may have additional levels of sub-sub-points if you feel that is necessary.

Writing a research paper outline is a rather challenging but usual part of student’s life.

Creating a formal outline for a research paper

Every student has to spend a lot of time in order to create a successful well thought out research paper. A research paper has to reflect your position on the topic and persuade the readers in its accuracy and truthfulness.

An outline is a “blueprint” or “plan” for your paper.

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It helps you to organize your thoughts and arguments. A good outline can make conducting research and then writing the paper very efficient.

Creating Outlines