Term Paper Outline

Term Paper Outline

When writing a term paper, it is vital for your performance to sketch an outline. It really helps to organize your thoughts and ideas. Term paper outline is like a road map that leads you to your final destination.

This stage is not to be skipped; otherwise you will regret it later, when you get lost in the middle of your paper not knowing what course you should take further. Term paper outline provides you the general framework that you’ll have to follow.

How to Make an Outline

  • First and foremost, you need to define your topic by the time you start writing your term paper outline.
  • Do a bit of brainstorming to write down all your thoughts evoked by this topic. Don’t worry if they are chaotic or incoherent, do it automatically.
  • Now that you’ve done the brainstorming, you may sort out the ideas that you’ve written and relate them with one another. This should help you to come up with your thesis. Write it in the introduction part of your outline, labelled with Roman numeral I.
  • Think about the arguments you can provide for your thesis. You should have at least three ironclad arguments for the vindication of your viewpoint. Label them with English uppercase letters.
  • What kind of evidence will you use? Look for credible sources, either printed or electronic, and write their names under Arabic numerals.
  • Think of some additional data or statistics that can reinforce your arguments and/or refute counterarguments – label them with lowercase letters.

The general scheme should look like this:

I.  Introduction.

II.  Body.

A.  Argument 1.

1. Evidence1.

  a. Detail or statistics.

  b. Detail or statistics.

2. Evidence 2.

B.  Argument 2.

1. Evidence 1.

  a. Detail or statistics.

  b. Detail or statistics.

2. Evidence 2

(and so forth, depending on how many arguments you have)

  III. Conclusion.

As you see, it is better to use level indentations for convenience.

This is the most common type of term paper outline. It will definitely help you to stay on track while writing. Don’t chain yourself to your outline, however. As you work, new details can come into light: modify your outline to incorporate them.

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