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How to Write an Essay Outline

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  1. How to Write an Essay Outline And How to Draft the First Page of your Paper

  2. Contents • Assignment Outline-Essay Outline • Rubric-Essay Outline • Outline Visual • Choosing a Topic • Creating a Title • Thesis Statement/Alternative Structures • Declaring Key Points • Article Summaries • Bibliography • The Essay Introduction Assignment • Further Information

  3. Assignment Outline-Essay Outline Essay Outline (5%) • This writing assignment is a one-page [not including the APA formatted references] essay outline due in seminar (Week 7). Your essay outline will include your essay’s proposed, working title, thesis statement and a one paragraph summary of each of two ‘key’ journal articles, in addition to a list of peer reviewed articles you intend to use in your essay. After your essay outline is reviewed, you will have one week to make improvements (if necessary) and resubmit your outline. [Please see evaluation rubric in the Bb Assignment Resources folder]

  4. Rubric-Essay Outline

  5. Rubric-Essay Outline

  6. Outline Visual • Title • Paragraph 1: Thesis + Key points • Paragraph 2: Article Summary 1 • Paragraph 3: Article Summary 2 • Bibliography(separate page)

  7. Choosing a Topic • The paper asks for a critical overview of one of the determinants of health (with the exception of biology and genetic endowment). Given the very general nature of the currently identified Health Determinants, you are encouraged to research a sub-theme or issue of interest within a key determinant framing.

  8. Choosing a Topic • Income and Social Status • Social Support Networks • Education and Literacy • Employment/Working conditions • Social Environments • Physical Environments • Personal Health Practices and coping skills • Healthy Child Development • X Biology and Genetic Endowment X • Health Services • Gender • Culture

  9. Creating a Title • Titles should also be creative, declarative and relevant (a colon can come in handy): • Spreading the Germ Theory: Sanitary Science and Home Economics 1880-1930 • Introduction to Professional Practice: Passion, Portals & Pie

  10. Creating a Title • Title – should not be a re-statement of the full thesis relationship/premise [TS] - rather is an edited version of the TS followed by a ‘:’ and some form of positioning which can be clever, funny, an alliteration OR which provides additional clarity. The theme of the title [if it works] should be reiterated at least twice within the essay [introduction and summary – being two suggestions]. [Clever doesn’t mean ‘inflammatory or stereotypic.]

  11. Thesis Statement Thesis Statement Formula: Archive + Proofs + Argument Archive is the text, authors and/or field of study (main topic). Proofs are the 2-5 categories you found interesting. Argument is the sum of these categorical parts, or the in this case, the sub-theme.

  12. Thesis Statement Examples: In Psycho the director uses cinematography, editing, and sound to create an atmosphere of suspense. What is the archive, proofs, argument? The statement can be in any order: Arguing that altruism does not exist and that sympathy is fundamentally selfish, in her text The Psychology of Sympathy, Karen Wispe suggests that sympathy is a collective survival mechanism. Archive, proofs, argument?

  13. Thesis Statement Simple vs. Sophisticated Thesis Statements Simple: In Psycho the director uses cinematography, editing, and sound to create an atmosphere of suspense. Slightly more sophisticated: In Psycho, Hitchcock uses distorted angles, rapid editing, and alarming sound effects to generate anxiety for the spectator. How is this 2nd example more sophisticated?

  14. Thesis Statement The Thesis Statement provides the Blueprint because it provides the proofs, or body paragraphs. The main argument is then restated at the start or end of each paragraph as that individual proof is used as evidence towards proving it. Most importantly: The thesis statement gives the reader an idea of what to expect in terms of structure. This is an invaluable rhetorical technique in terms of convincing the reader of the soundness of your argument.

  15. Thesis Statement • The preceding discussion introduces the traditional method of organizing a paper. What are some possible alternative structures to the ‘hamburger essay’?

  16. Alternative Structures There are infinite alternatives; some may be stronger than the traditional, some weaker. Some examples: • Progressive (each proof builds upon the previous) • Comparative (find similarities between texts) • Web • Circular

  17. Alternative Structures A good way to be creative with structure is to use visualization. If the ‘hamburger’ or ‘inverted triangle-rectangle-triangle’ formats are not working for you, play around with the shape(s): For example:

  18. Declaring Key Points • The key points are the ‘titles’ of your paragraphs. What is each paragraph about? • How can the paragraphs be structured for this paper? • Your key points may have been included as part of your thesis statement; if so, spend a few sentences elaborating on them. If not, list the key points below the thesis.

  19. Article Summaries • Summarize the most relevant parts of the most relevant articles you plan on using • Focus on support for your premise (as opposed to summarizing entire article or focusing on methodology) • Not reflective writing; now it is argumentative and scholarly • Authors and year in sentence (only mention article title if key to your discussion—ex. Smith and colleagues (2001) suggest…)

  20. Bibliography • Your paper should be supported by at least five non-course references, which must come from a range of sources and no more than one may be from a website or textbook. Additional references especially from the course readings are encouraged especially for the introductory positioning and context setting.

  21. Bibliography Where to research? • Google search to get started and brainstorm • Nutrition and Food Sciences (on BB, under ‘Assignment and final exam resources,’ under the last heading: Ryerson Library resources on Nutrition and food) • Ryerson library website, ‘articles,’ ‘by subject,’ ‘health and medicine’ or ‘health services management’ • Cecile Farnum (cfarnum@ryerson.ca) Nutrition Librarian

  22. Bibliography • Needs to be in APA format • Where to find an APA manual? • Google search APA • Find link on Blackboard under ‘Writing Skills Initiative’ under ‘Writing Slides and Material’ • On the Nutrition WSI blogsite • In the Ryerson Library • By using Refworks

  23. Essay Introduction Assignment • During the second half of seminar in Week 9, you will exchange the first page draft of your final essay for a peer review process. Included on your essay’s first page will be your introductory paragraphs and your thesis statement. Guidelines will be provided to you as to how to engage in the peer review process. Your original draft page and your reviewer’s comments will be submitted at the end of the seminar [ie Week 9]. [Please see the evaluation rubric in the Bb Assignment Resources folder]

  24. Essay Introduction • The intent is to position a very specific issue [the focus of the student paper] within the large and complex health and health determinant [social determinant] discussion [literature]. • The 'three paragraphs' should allow students to indicate that they understand the multifactorial nature of the field and provide an opportunity to state that their analysis will acknowledge the strengths and limitations [or the inconsistencies] of their paper's focus.

  25. Essay Introduction • Start broad (not too broad) and position yourself by becoming more focused: • Health • Emergence of SDH • Your determinant • Your sub-theme • Your Thesis Statement

  26. Essay Introduction • Three paragraphs and one page long • No lists! • Must provide references • Use key words/terminology from readings • No thoughts or previous experiences • Use 3rd person throughout (no more 1st or second person)

  27. Further Information • See Blackboard for TONS of information on writing the essay (and thus on writing the outline and introduction) Under ‘Assignment and Final Exam Resources’ click on: • Writing Supports, or • Marking Rubrics • Essay Outline • Top 10 recommendations for essays and introductions • Further thinking and writing suggestions that might be helpful for the term essay and final exam