Research paper outline characters

A sentence outline lists complete sentences. A topic outline arranges your ideas hierarchically showing which are main and which are sub-points , in the sequence you want, and shows what you will talk about. As the name implies, it identifies all the little mini-topics that your paper will comprise, and shows how they relate. A sentence outline does all of this, plus it shows exactly what you will say about each mini-topic.


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Each sentence, instead of simply identifying a mini-topic, is like a mini-thesis statement about that mini-topic. It expresses the specific and complete idea that that section of the paper will cover as part of proving the overall thesis. Your sentence outline should, if done thoroughly and carefully, represent almost a first draft of your research paper.

Outline (list) - Wikipedia

The purpose, in other words, of doing this work is not to make work for you, but to save you work in the long run by breaking the job down into smaller, manageable tasks. A paper of 12 pages about 4, words might have four major topics or points, represented by roman numerals I - IV in the outline. This would mean each point would represent about three pages of the final paper.

These three pages will include background information, multiple sources, different pieces of evidence and explanation supporting that point, and often a brief description of alternative views and an explanation of why those views are not so convincing.

How to Write a Good Analytical Research Paper; Expert Tips

Finally, even smaller points under these might correspond to individual paragraphs in the final draft. First make sure which are main and which are supporting points. For example, you may find that what you thought was a main point is really part of proving another main point.

Or, what you first listed under a main point may need its own section. This may change as you continue to work on the outline and draft the paper.


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Now you can decide what order you want to present your ideas in. Again, label them with letters or numbers to indicate the sequence.

How to create an outline for your research paper

Try out at least two different sequences. You may find that your thesis suddenly snaps into focus, or that points that seemed unrelated in fact belong together, or that what you thought was a main idea is actually a supporting idea for another point. You can do this at every stage of the writing process, and especially at the organization stage.

How to Write a Research Paper?

Remember to include a thesis statement at the start of the outline, and cite and list your sources. Supporting point 1 Supporting point a Supporting point You should have at least two points for each level of the outline. This means that if you have roman numeral I. Check your professor's instructions to find out if you must write your outline in full sentences or not.

Full sentences means that each point of your outline would be a full sentence that could be included in your final paper. Your professor may require you to include your thesis statement.

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If your professor has not specified where to place the thesis statement, you could list it at the top of the page before your outline starts, or place it in the Introduction section where it will go in the paper. You may want to label the thesis statement. If your professor requires a certain number of sources to be submitted with your outline, format this list of sources like a standard Works Cited page that would appear at the end of your paper.