Now that you have developed your topic, research question, and thesis, it is time to develop a framework for your entire paper. At this point, you have not started your research in earnest, but your outline will help guide your research and ensure that you find the resources that will help you prove your thesis.
1. Develop the outline for your research paper by considering the following:
- Organizing your ideas in an order that makes sense: what do you plan to present first, second, third and so on in your writing?
- Choose a method of organizing your writing, such as chronological order, spatial order, and order of importance.
- Be sure your ideas support your thesis statement.
- Choose whether you want to create a topic outline or a sentence outline.
2. After you develop your outline, use the following checklist to discover whether you need to do additional reading or prewriting:
- Do I have a controlling idea that guides the development of the entire piece of writing?
- Do I have three or more main points that I want to make in this piece of writing? Does each main point connect to my controlling idea?
- Is my outline in the best order—chronological order, spatial order, or order of importance—for me to present my main points? Will this order help me get my main point across?
- Do I have supporting details that will help me inform, explain, or prove my main points?
- Do I need to add more support? If so, where?
- Do I need to make any adjustments in my working thesis statement before I consider it the final version?
3. Upload your outline to the submission.