An outline is a plan for the paper that will help you organize and structure your ideas in a way that effectively communicates them to your reader and supports your thesis statement. You'll want to work on an outline after you've completed some of the other exercises, since having an idea of what you'll say in the paper will make it much easier to write.
An outline can be very informal; you might simply jot down your thesis statement, what the introduction will discuss, what you'll say in the body of the paper, and what you want to include in the conclusion. Remember that all writing — even academic writing — needs to tell a story: If you work on telling a story in the paper, it will help you to structure it in a way that the reader can easily follow and understand.
Sometimes you may be required or you may want to develop a more formal outline with numbered and lettered headings and subheadings. This will help you to demonstrate the relationships between the ideas, facts, and information within the paper.
Here's an example of what this might look like:. Your outline will contain more detailed information, and if there are certain areas that the assignment requires you to cover, then you can modify the outline to include these. You can also expand it if you're writing a longer research paper: The discount for Federal employees and their spouses and eligible dependents will be applied to out-of-state tuition and specialty graduate programs.
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APA style and resources are also addressed. Skip to Main Content. Prewriting and Outlining Get tips on developing and outlining your topic. You may also state what type of approach it is that you'll be using in your paper for the entire discussion of your topic.
Generally, your Introduction should orient your readers to the major points the rest of the paper will be covering, and how. The body of your paper is where you will be presenting all your arguments to support your thesis statement.
Start with a strong argument, followed by a stronger one, and end with the strongest argument as your final point. The conclusion is where you form a summary of all your arguments so you can arrive at your final position. Explain and reiterate why you've ended up with the said conclusion. As mentioned earlier, here are some sample outlines for research papers:. Shakespeare Adapted from AResearchGuide. Check out our quiz-page with tests about:. Research Paper Outline Examples.
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Writing a Paper: Outlining Print Page Report a broken link. Overview; justify the discussion of this topic by pointing out a connection to a current problem that your paper will help address. Outlining Your Outline as a Way to Write Every Day (blog post) Writing Center blog post.
An outline will help you organize your main ideas and determine the order in which you are going to write about them. Writing an outline is a very effective way to think through how you will organize and present the information in your essay.
Jul 07, · An outline is a great way to organize ideas and information for a speech, an essay, a novel, or a study guide based on your class notes. At first, writing an outline might seem complicated, but learning how to do it will give you an essential organizational skill! Start by planning your outline and 77%(12). The outline structure is approximately the same whether you write a research outline on dreams or some topic distant from this one, like a research outline for PhD application. The structure is identical to the structure of the research paper itself.
An essay outline can even help you determine the length of each paragraph. Especially in cases where you are limited to a number of pages or assigned a word count, you can use an essay outline to break the structure into percentages or words. An essay outline denotes how you’ll structure your paper. You can (and should!) make changes along the way. You can (and should!) make changes along the way. But you want to get everything written down so that you can refer to the outline while you’re writing your rough draft.