Outline

1. The rough outline establishes what you will do in the introduction,  the body of the paper, and the conclusion.

A.  The outline for the introduction should consist of a reference to an attention-getter and the thesis.

1.  Even if you are not sure what you will use as an attention-getter, leave a space for it.

2.  You have a thesis already, so include it as a subpoint of your introduction.

3.  The order is not important at this point.

a.  Either the thesis or the attention getter can come first.

                              b.  Usually the attention getter will come first in the introduction.

B.  The outline for the body of the paper should consist of references to the main points and to minor developing points.

C.  The outline for the conclusion should consist of a reference to the need for a summary of the overall argument and a reference to a closing attention-getter.

1.  It is impossible to write the conclusion to a paper until the entire paper is written, but remind yourself that you need a conclusive summary statement.

2.  If you run across a good quote or ending example to use as a closing attention-getter, make a reference to it or remind yourself that you need a closing attention-getter.

D.  Use either the standard outline form or a modified form that establishes the above order for your paper.

 

Standard Outline Form

I.  Introduction

A.  Attention-getter gets the readers' attention to your paper and thesis.  Quotes are good, as are exaggerated examples, or even stories.  However, make sure that you can see a connection between your attention-getter and your thesis.

B.  Thesis:  The thesis for your rough outline can be a rough approximation of the thesis for your paper.  Remember that your thesis is not engraved in stone and can change if you find the development of the paper changing.  However, remember that when you change your thesis at a point in the paper, you must rewrite everything before that point so that it still connects to your thesis.

 

II.  Body

A.  Background information:  Here's where you want to give definitions of key terms or historical background to your thesis.  Ask yourself if readers need to know something about your topic before they can understand your thesis.  Give that information first.

1.  Define ambiguous terms, such as "mother" or "home."  Readers must accept your definition—so long as it is logical and documented—and they will base their understanding of the paper on that definition.

2.  If you need to give historical background, give names, dates, and places.  Be sure the background is relevant and is necessary to understanding the rest of the paper.

B.  Major point 1:  makes a specific point to develop a major portion of the thesis.

1.  Supporting point 1:  gives a point about how the major point connects to the thesis.

a.  Example 1:  specific examples allow readers to "see" your point.

b.  Example 2:  whenever possible try to give a follow-up or second example. However, if such an example doesn't fit or is redundant, exclude it.

i.  If you think of some analysis as your are outlining, include that analysis in this level of the outline.

2.  Supporting point 2.

C.  Major point 2.

1.  Follow the pattern given under B.

 

III.  Conclusion

A.  Summary of key points of the thesis:  Draw together your major points and link them to your thesis.

B.  Closing attention-getter:  End with some strong example, statement, or quote that connects to your paper and is interesting to the reader.

 

Sample outline for joke paper. 

I.  Introduction

A.  Attention getter:  Cow joke

B.  Thesis:  In the attempt to avoid hurting people, jokes are becoming more difficult to tell.

II. Body

            A.  Definition of political correctness.

1.  Explain how it affects jokes

2.  Find a source about humor that will back up my attitude toward jokes

B.  Explain joke from attention-getter

1.  Explain how it affects jokes

2.  Find a source about humor that will back up my attitude toward jokes

B.  Explain joke from attention-getter

1.  How it offends teachers

2.  How it offends students

3.  How it offends cows

C.  Lawyer jokes

1.  Example of lawyer joke

2.  How lawyers are offended

3.  Expert validation to explain how jokes offend when not intended to

D.  Canada (United States) jokes

1.  Example of jokes

2.  How Canadians or Americans are offended

3.  Expert validation about ethnic or culture jokes

E.  Political humor

1.  Example of joke

2.  How joke offends politicians

3.  Why politicians can’t take jokes (expert validation)

 

 

III.  Conclusion

A.  Summary of main points about how jokes are going to offend somebody

B.  Closing attention-getter:  Find joke about myself

 

 

Outlining.

 

1.  Use the following outline form to write your last outline which includes references to your sources.

A.  Fill out the parts for the introduction and as many of the main points as you will have.

B.  Indicate from where the information will come with parenthetical citations.

1.  As you fill in the respective areas of the outline form, use parenthetical citations to indicate from where each piece of information will come.

2.  Do the works cited entries as you fill in the parenthetical citations.

C.  Do the closing attention getter, but the summary is optional.

 

2.  Once you have the thesis, let me see what your thesis is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outline form

 

I.  Introduction

A.  Attention-getter: 

 

 

 

 

 

B.  Thesis:

 

 

II.  Body

A.  Background or point 1:

 

 

 

 

 

 

B.  Point 1 or 2:

1.  Supporting detail 1:

 

 

2.  Supporting detail 2:

 

 

3.  Supporting detail 3:

 

 

 

C.  Point 2 or 3:

1.  Supporting detail 1:

 

 

2.  Supporting detail 2:

 

 

3.  Supporting detail 3:

 

 

D.  Point 3 or 4:

1.  Supporting detail 1:

 

 

2.  Supporting detail 2:

 

 

3.  Supporting detail 3:

 

 

E.  Point 4 or 5:

1.  Supporting detail 1:

 

 

2.  Supporting detail 2:

 

 

3.  Supporting detail 3:

 

 

F.  Point 5 or 6:

1.  Supporting detail 1:

 

 

2.  Supporting detail 2:

 

 

3.  Supporting detail 3:

 

 

G.  Point 6 or 7:

1.  Supporting detail 1:

 

 

2.  Supporting detail 2:

 

 

3.  Supporting detail 3:

 

 

III.  Conclusion

A.  Summary of main points:

 

 

 

 

 

B.  Closing attention-getter:

 

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