Developing a strong term paper outline


Outlining a paper is a major factor when writing a paper. It helps to set the structure and helps with organization for your paper. This is a necessary part of the writing process. This article seeks to help you develop a strong term paper outline.

The first step

Outlines are not only necessary for people having trouble setting up their paper, it helps novice writers as well. To start you can view an example of an outline to help guide you in setting yours up.

Typical outline structure

In order to start your outline you will need to take out a sheet of paper, or use an outline tool on your computer. Label each section of a basic paper structure on the outline and then start writing from there.

Sections include:

  1. Introduction: There are a few things one must outline for the introduction to be developed. Those things are Identifying a current problem in which will be the focus of the paper, determining the audience that will most likely read the material, and defining key terms to be used throughout. Another major portion of the introduction that needs to be defined is the thesis statement.
  2. The body: The body consist of a number of paragraphs in which different things must be addressed. The first paragraph in the body must include background on the issue. An brief history on the issue, people it has affected, overview of the topic of field being studied, gaps in research, and the scope of the issue should all be noted in the outline. One line for each component should be fine for the outline. The remaining paragraphs should state each main point and offer up additional points which help strengthen the main point presented. Note that each point made in the paper, and outline, should revert back to the thesis statement in some way.
  3. The conclusion: In the conclusion of the outline and paper, one must make note of a few things. One, the author must restate the thesis in some way that is clear and concise for the reader. The author must also restate important points, and if talked about in the body of the paper restate the future impact of the issue.

While it is understood writing an outline can be difficult, this article serves as a tool which can be utilized to break down the outlining process.

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