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Paper Outline

Guide to Paper Outlines

 

According to Dewitt Scott in his book,The Secrets of Successful Writing, you will need a “road map” to help you get to where you want to go. A writer’s road map is the outline. Scott says, “You save yourself work with an outline. With it you can ask yourself about every fact, anecdote or quote you write: Does it relate to a point in my outline? If not, you’re getting off the track (or else you’ve discovered another point you should have included).” For this paper you will be creating two types of outlines: a basic paper outline and an annotated paper outline. Instructions for both are included in this section.

I. Basic Paper Outline

 

Begin your outline by grouping your research into several main topics. The most important topic will probably be the First Main Point in your outline. Or, you may chose to organize your outline chronologically, which means that the First Main Point will be the topic that occurred first in historical time. Below is a model of an outline. Notice that there are no correct numbers of letters and numbers for each section of the outline. The sections of the outline will be determined by the number of points you want to make and the length of your paper. This outline covers only the body of the paper. The complete research paper will also include the title page and a Bibliography.

———————————————————————

Title of Paper

 

I. Introduction

A. Background information connecting the reader to the subject.

B. Thesis statement.

C. Brief overview of the main points you will make in the paper.

 

II. First Main Point

A. First sub point

B. Second sub point

C. Third sub point, etc. (continue with sub points as needed)

 

III. Second Main Point

A. First sub point

B. Second sub point

C. Third sub point, etc. (continue with sub points as needed)

 

IV. Third Main Point

A. First sub point

B. Second sub point

C. Third sub point, etc. (continue with sub points as needed)

 

V. Fourth Main Point, etc.

(continue with main points as needed)

 

VI. Conclusion

A. Review the main point or points made in the paper.

B. Offer your own ideas or judgments about these events.

C. Explain why this information is important or useful.

II. Annotated Paper Outline

 

Now that you have grouped your research into topics and organized your ideas you must support them with evidence. In addition, each time you support a point with evidence you must cite where that information came from. Your annotated paper outline will build on your Basic Paper Outline by including this information. Begin with your Basic Paper Outline, go back to your resources and begin gathering information that support your points and cite your sources as you work. By the time you are finished with your annotated outline you practically have completed your first draft.

———————————————————————

 

Title of Paper

 

I. Introduction

A. Background information connecting the reader to the subject.

B. Thesis statement.

C. Brief overview of the main points you will make in the paper.

 

II. First Main Point

A. First sub point

1. Supporting information and source

2. Supporting information and source

3. Continue with supporting information and sources as needed

B. Second sub point

1. Supporting information and source

2. More supporting information as needed.

C. Third sub point, etc. (continue with sub points as needed)

 

III. Second Main Point

A. First sub point

1. Supporting information and source

2. Supporting information and source

3. Continue with supporting information and sources as needed

B. Second sub point

1. Supporting information and source

2. More supporting information as needed.

C. Third sub point, etc. (continue with sub points as needed)

 

IV. Third Main Point

A. First sub point

1. Supporting information and source

2. Supporting information and source

3. Continue with supporting information and sources as needed

B. Second sub point

1. Supporting information and source

2. More supporting information and sources as needed.

C. Third sub point, etc. (continue with sub points as needed)

V. Fourth Main Point, etc.

(continue with main points as needed)

VI. Conclusion

A. Review the main point or points made in the paper.

B. Offer your own ideas or judgments about these events.

C. Explain why this information is important or useful.


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