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Research Outlines. Information for successfully creating an outline worthy of an A+ research paper. The Benefits of an Outline. An outline of an essay can be very helpful for two reasons:

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Research outlines

Research Outlines

Information for successfully creating an outline worthy of an A+ research paper.


The benefits of an outline
The Benefits of an Outline

  • An outline of an essay can be very helpful for two reasons:

  • An outline will help make your essay more organized. A careful plan will help your body paragraphs stay focused on the ideas in your thesis statement.

  • An outline saves time for writers. Preparing an outline can take time, but when you are finished, you will be able to write the rough draft of your essay more quickly than if you didn’t have an outline.


Types of outlines
Types of Outlines

  • Scratch outline: a preliminary list that lets you see where you need to go. It is a rough list of your first ideas. It is a starting point only. It is putting on the clothes without the accessories.

  • Formal outline: Shows, in logical order, what you will be writing about. Helps you separate main ideas and supporting ideas. Gives you a foundation from which to build an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Often changes after you write your first draft. It will show you where you need to add more research or make other changes.


Scratch vs formal
SCRATCH VS. FORMAL

  • A scratch outline is a collection of notes or ideas that needs to be refined and expanded. It’s a raw material rather than a finished product.

  • A formal outline shows evidence of thought, revision, planning, or research. It uses a prescribed format: Roman numerals, upper case letters, numbers, and lower case letters. It may be further expanded or revised as research progresses.


Sample process scratch outline
Sample Process: Scratch Outline

Working (Preliminary) Outline

I. Milton Hershey

A. Childhood

B. Chocolate Factory

II. Hershey Park

A. When did it open?

B. How has it changed?

C. What’s it currently like?

III. Other parks

A. Disney World

1. Size

2. Cost

3. Number of visitors

B. Dorney Park

1. Size

2. Cost

3. Number of visitors

IV. Why is Hershey Park better?

TOPIC: Hershey Park

PRELIMINARY OR WORKING THESIS: Hershey Park dominates the Amusement Park world.


Sample process final outline
Sample Process: Final Outline

Thesis: With its fascinating history, impact on the local community, and charitable activities, Hershey Park dominates the Amusement Park world.

I. Milton Hershey

A. Childhood

B. Chocolate Factory

1. Its origins

2. Its success through the Depression

3. Its current success

C. Boys’ Home for orphans

1. Why he built it

2. When it became The Milton Hershey School

II. The Park

A. Opening

B. Changes since opening

1. Most expensive

2. Most publicized

3. Costs

a. public admission

b. cost of operation

4. Safety requirements

C. Impact on the local community

Purpose: Serves as a table of contents for your paper. Use it to organize your note cards as your write the rough draft.

Notice that the final outline is still a topic outline, even though there is more detail. Your final outline should follow this exact format, with Roman numerals, capital letters, etc. If there is no B, then there should not be an A.

*PLEASE NOTE: THIS SAMPLE OUTLINE IS NOT COMPLETE! YOURS SHOULD HAVE 3-5 MAJOR HEADINGS (Roman Numeral sections)


An outline organizes the major parts of your essay
An Outline Organizes The Major Parts Of Your Essay:

  • Your Thesis Statement - The sentence that tells your reader your ultimate point and what they should expect.

  • Your Major Points - The facts that you are using to prove your main point.

  • Your Supporting Details - The examples, facts, quotations, etc. that further explain and back up each major point. You should have several for each Major Point.

  • Your Transitions - The statement or information you will use to transition form one major point to the next. This stops your paper from sounding jumpy or disorganized.

  • Concluding Thoughts - Any thoughts that you would like to include at the close of your paper to wrap things up and tie it all together. NEVER INCLUDE NEW FACTS OR INFORMATION IN YOUR CONCLUSION!


Where do i start
Where do I start?

  • Gather all of your research or notes on the topic that you are writing about.

  • Review it all and decide what your research/information is telling you about your topic.

  • Form a working thesis statement that describes the point that you want to make about your topic.

  • Begin to select what information you would like to include in your essay based on what proves your point.


How to start organizing
How to start organizing?

An Outline Organizes Your Information Into 3 major parts in Preparation For Your Paper:


What goes in the intro section
What goes in the intro. section?

The Same Information That Should Be In Your Essay’s Introductory Paragraph


What about the body section
What about the Body section?

The Body Section Outlines The Following Information On Each Of Your Major Points:

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And the conclusion section
And the conclusion section…

Your Conclusion Section Does The Following:

NOTE:You do not have to rewrite the thesis or major points in your outline if you do not choose to, but they should be in your essay’s conclusion!

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The Process

Making an Outline

Essay Outline

I. Introduction Thesis: ____________________

II. Body Paragraph #1- Topic Sentence: _________

A. supporting idea

B. supporting idea

III. Body Paragraph #2- Topic Sentence: _________

A. supporting idea

B. supporting idea

IV. Body Paragraph #3- Topic Sentence: _________

A. supporting idea

B. supporting idea

V. Conclusion

In a formal outline, Roman numerals are used to represent paragraphs. Capital letters can be used to represent supporting details for the paragraphs.


The Process

Thesis Statement

To begin an outline, you need to start with your thesis statement. The thesis statement will be your guide throughout the process of writing your essay. From the thesis statement, you can begin writing the topic sentences for the body paragraphs in the outline.

ESSAY OUTLINE

Thesis Statement

Topic Sentence #1

Topic Sentence #2

Topic Sentence #3


The Process

Topic Sentences

The topic sentence for each body paragraph should support the thesis statement. The topic sentences need to agree with the main idea or subpoints in the thesis statement; otherwise, the essay could be confusing.


The Process

Topic Sentences

Topic Sentence Paragraph #1:

The way you dress can have a big impact on an interview panel’s first impressions of you.

Thesis Statement

A job interview can often make or break your chances of getting your dream job. There are several things that you can do in an interview to increase the possibility of your success such as dressing properly, answering interview questions thoroughly, and asking good questions at the end of the interview.

Topic Sentence- Paragraph #2:

An interview is an opportunity for potential employers to get to know you better, so it is important that you answer each question as completely as possible.

Topic Sentence- Paragraph #3:

By preparing some thoughtful questions for the end of the interview, you can show the panel that you have prepared for the interview and want the job.


The Process

Supporting Details

Under the topic sentence for each paragraph, list some of the supporting details, examples, or ideas you want to include in each paragraph. This would include quotes from your sources or paraphrases used to support your own ideas.


The Process

Supporting Details

II. Body Paragraph #1:

Topic Sentence: The way you dress can have a big impact on an interview panel’s first impressions of you.

A. Men and women should consider wearing dark suits.

B. Conservative dress will show the interview panel you are serious about what you do.

C. Don’t carry too many things into the interview. A notebook, pens, and/or laptop computer should be carried in a briefcase.

D. Hair and nails should be clean and neat.

supporting details,

examples, and ideas


Example outline

  • for potential employers to get to know you better, so it is important that you answer each question as completely as possible.

  • A. Ask interviewers to repeat questions you don’t understand.

  • B. Take some time to think about the questions before you answer.

  • C. A notebook to write down key words in interview questions is sometimes helpful.

  • IV. Body Paragraph #3:

  • Topic Sentence: By preparing some thoughtful questions for the end of the interview, you can show the panel that you have prepared for the interview and want the job.

  • A. Research the job and/or company before you go to the interview.

  • B. The interview is your opportunity to get to know your potential employer. Ask questions about company goals, mission, expectations of employees, etc.

  • C. Don’t ask questions about benefits or salary during the interview. You should try to get this information before you apply for the job.

  • Conclusion: Don’t underestimate the importance of a good interview.

Example Outline

  • Introduction- Thesis Statement: A job interview can often make or break your chances of getting your dream job. There are several things that you can do in an interview to increase the possibility of your success such as, dressing properly, answering interview questions thoroughly, and asking good questions at the end of the interview.

  • Body Paragraph #1:

  • Topic Sentence: The way you dress can have a big impact on an interview panel’s first impressions of you.

  • A. Men and women should consider wearing dark suits.

  • B. Conservative dress will show the interview panel you are serious about what you do.

  • C. Don’t carry too many things into the interview. A notebook, pens, and/or laptop computer should be carried in a briefcase.

  • D. Hair and nails should be clean and neat.

  • III. Body Paragraph #2:

  • Topic Sentence: An interview is an opportunity


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