How to Write a Thesis Outline

How to Write a Thesis Outline

What is an outline?
An outline is a preliminary blueprint of your paper. It is an intermediary step between research and writing. Your outline is subject to change as you continue your research, but the preliminary blueprint gives you direction. However, if you carefully write your outline, it will require fewer changes later. This saves you time in researching and writing your paper. An outline is not an “extra” or unnecessary step. It’s an important step that makes writing your paper easier.

How should you write your paper’s outline/what should it look like?
With your thesis statement in mind, make a list of subtopics that you want to include in your paper. Check each subtopic and ask yourself whether it helps prove your thesis statement. If the answer is no, eliminate it. You should organize those remaining subtopics in a logical order while focusing on solving your thesis statement. Each entry in your outline must be a complete, grammatically correct sentence. No fragment sentences. The MLA outline format is:

Jane M. Smith
Honors ____
[Date] Thesis Outline
Topic:
Thesis:
I. Introduction
A. Supporting detail
1. Sub-detail
a. Detail about the sub-detail
(1)
(a)
(b)
(2)
b. Detail about the sub-detail
2. Sub-detail
B. Supporting detail
II. First topic