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How to Create an Effective Thesis Statement in 5 Easy Steps
Creating a thesis statement can be a daunting task. It’s one of the most important sentences in your paper, and it needs to be done right. But don’t worry — with these five easy steps, you’ll be able to create an effective thesis statement in no time.
Step 1: Brainstorm Ideas
The first step is to brainstorm ideas for your paper. Think about what you want to say and write down any ideas that come to mind. This will help you narrow down your focus and make it easier to create your thesis statement.
Step 2: Research Your Topic
Once you have some ideas, it’s time to do some research on your topic. Look for sources that support your ideas and provide evidence for the points you want to make. This will help you refine your argument and make it more convincing.
Step 3: Formulate Your Argument
Now that you have done some research, it’s time to formulate your argument. Take the points you want to make and put them into one or two sentences that clearly state what your paper is about. This will be the basis of your thesis statement.
Step 4: Refine Your Thesis Statement
Once you have formulated your argument, it’s time to refine your thesis statement. Make sure that it is clear, concise, and specific. It should also be arguable so that readers can disagree with it if they choose.
Step 5: Test Your Thesis Statement
The last step is to test your thesis statement. Does it accurately reflect the points you want to make? Is it clear and concise? Does it make an arguable point? If not, go back and refine it until it meets all of these criteria.
Creating an effective thesis statement doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With these five easy steps, you can create a strong thesis statement in no time at all.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
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Research Paper: A step-by-step guide: 3. Thesis Statement & Outline
- 1. Getting Started
- 2. Topic Ideas
- 3. Thesis Statement & Outline
- 4. Appropriate Sources
- 5. Search Techniques
- 6. Taking Notes & Documenting Sources
- 7. Evaluating Sources
- 8. Citations & Plagiarism
- 9. Writing Your Research Paper
About Thesis Statements
Qualities of a thesis statement.
- state the subject matter and main ideas of a paper.
- appear in the first paragraph and announces what you will discuss in your paper.
- define the scope and focus of your essay, and tells your reader what to expect.
- are not a simple factual statement. It is an assertion that states your claims and that you can prove with evidence.
- should be the product of research and your own critical thinking.
- can be very helpful in constructing an outline for your essay; for each point you make, ask yourself whether it is relevant to the thesis.
Steps you can use to create a thesis statement
1. Start out with the main topic and focus of your essay.
youth gangs + prevention and intervention programs
2. Make a claim or argument in one sentence. It can be helpful to start with a question which you then turn into an argument
Can prevention and intervention programs stop youth gang activities? How? ►►► "Prevention and intervention programs can stop youth gang activities by giving teens something else to do."
3. Revise the sentence by using specific terms.
"Early prevention programs in schools are the most effective way to prevent youth gang involvement by giving teens good activities that offer a path to success."
4. Further revise the sentence to cover the scope of your essay and make a strong statement.
"Among various prevention and intervention efforts that have been made to deal with the rapid growth of youth gangs, early school-based prevention programs are the most effective way to prevent youth gang involvement, which they do by giving teens meaningful activities that offer pathways to achievement and success."
5. Keep your thesis statement flexible and revise it as needed. In the process of researching and writing, you may find new information or refine your understanding of the topic.
You can view this short video for more tips on how to write a clear thesis statement.
An outline is the skeleton of your essay, in which you list the arguments and subtopics in a logical order. A good outline is an important element in writing a good paper. An outline helps to target your research areas, keep you within the scope without going off-track, and it can also help to keep your argument in good order when writing the essay. Once your outline is in good shape, it is much easier to write your paper; you've already done most of the thinking, so you just need to fill in the outline with a paragraph for each point.
To write an outline: The most common way to write an outline is the list format. List all the major topics and subtopics with the key points that support them. Put similar topics and points together and arrange them in a logical order. Include an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.
A list outline should arrange the main points or arguments in a hierarchical structure indicated by Roman numerals for main ideas (I, II, III...), capital letters for subtopics (A, B, C...), Arabic numerals for details (1,2,3...), and lower-case letters for fine details if needed (a,b,c...). This helps keep things organized.
Here is a shortened example of an outline:
Introduction: background and thesis statement
I. First topic
1. Supporting evidence 2. Supporting evidence
II. Second Topic
III. Third Topic
I. Summarize the main points of your paper II. Restate your thesis in different words III. Make a strong final statement
You can see examples of a few different kinds of outlines and get more help at the Purdue OWL .
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Research Paper Menu
- 1. Overview
- 2. Finding Topic Ideas
3. Creating a Thesis Statement & Outline
- 4. Choosing Appropriate Resources
- 5. Using Butte College Library Resources
- 6. Scholarly Journals
- 7. Online Search Techniques
- 8. Taking Notes and Documenting Sources
- 9. Evaluation of Resources
- 10. Citation and Plagiarism
I.What is a thesis statement?
A thesis statement is usually a sentence that states your argument to the reader. It usually appears in the first paragraph of an essay.
II. Why do I need to write a thesis statement for a paper?
Your thesis statement states what you will discuss in your essay. Not only does it define the scope and focus of your essay, it also tells your reader what to expect from the essay.
A thesis statement can be very helpful in constructing the outline of your essay.
Also, your instructor may require a thesis statement for your paper.
III. How do I create a thesis statement?
A thesis statement is not a statement of fact. It is an assertive statement that states your claims and that you can prove with evidence. It should be the product of research and your own critical thinking. There are different ways and different approaches to write a thesis statement. Here are some steps you can try to create a thesis statement:
1. Start out with the main topic and focus of your essay.
Example: youth gangs + prevention and intervention programs
2. Make a claim or argument in one sentence.
Example: Prevention and intervention programs can stop youth gang activities.
3. Revise the sentence by using specific terms.
Example: Early prevention programs in schools are the most effective way to prevent youth gang involvement.
4. Further revise the sentence to cover the scope of your essay and make a strong statement.
Example: Among various prevention and intervention efforts that have been made to deal with the rapid growth of youth gangs, early school-based prevention programs are the most effective way to prevent youth gang involvement.
IV. Can I revise the thesis statement in the writing process?
Sure. In fact, you should keep the thesis statement flexible and revise it as needed. In the process of researching and writing, you may find new information that falls outside the scope of your original plan and want to incorporate it into your paper. Or you probably understand your thoughts more and shift the focus of your paper. Then you will need to revise your thesis statement while you are writing the paper.
V. Why do I need to make an outline when I already have a thesis statement?
An outline is the "road map" of your essay in which you list the arguments and subtopics in a logical order. A good outline is an important element in writing a good paper. An outline helps to target your research areas, keep you within the scope without going off-track, and it can also help to keep your argument in good order when writing the essay.
VI. How do I make an outline?
You list all the major topics and subtopics with key points that support them. Put similar topics and points together and arrange them in a logical order.
Include an Introduction , a Body , and a Conclusion in your outline. You can make an outline in a list format or a chart format .
Next Chapter: 4. Choosing Appropriate Resources
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12 Writing the Thesis and Outline
To write well, you need to understand your audience and purpose. Once you know why you are writing, and to whom, you can start to organize your ideas. One way to get organized is to create an outline before you begin to write. An outline is the blueprint to your finished product.
After completing the activities in this chapter, you will be able to:
- Identify three ways to organize your ideas (Minnesota Libraries Publishing, 2015)
- Identify the components of a thesis statement
- Evaluate thesis statements
- Identify the steps needed to create an outline (Minnesota Libraries Publishing, 2015)
- Create a thesis statement and outline (Minnesota Libraries Publishing, 2015)
Starting with a Research Question
It’s a good idea to start a writing project with a research question.
Look at these example research questions:
- Is music piracy beneficial or harmful to the music industry?
- What are the benefits of exercise?
- Should the government increase the minimum wage?
- How can people live more environmentally friendly lives?
Now you need to do research to determine your answer to the question.
You need to decide your stance and how you can support your stance.
Creating a Thesis Statement
You can write a draft thesis statement after you’ve done some preliminary research to determine your stance and some main reasons for your stance. Your thesis statement is a concise one-sentence answer to your research question.
The thesis statement expresses three things:
- the specific topic of the paper
- your stance (or, “opinion” or “position”) on that topic
- the main reasons for your opinion
The table below shows how a thesis statement evolves from a broad topic.
Can you identify the three necessary components in each of the thesis statements above?
Parallel Structure in Thesis Statements
Notice that the supporting reasons in each thesis above are given in parallel structure.
Thesis Statement Placement
Your thesis is the single most important sentence in your writing. In academic writing, the thesis statement is placed at the end of the introductory paragraph.
Develop a working thesis statement that states your controlling idea for the piece of writing you are doing. On a sheet of paper, write your working thesis statement.
You will make several attempts before you devise a working thesis statement that you think is effective. Each draft of the thesis statement will bring you closer to the wording that expresses your meaning exactly.
Writing an Outline 
For an essay question on a test or a brief oral presentation in class, all you may need to prepare is a short, informal outline in which you jot down key ideas in the order you will present them. This kind of outline reminds you to stay focused in a stressful situation and to include all the good ideas that help you explain or prove your point.
For a longer assignment, like an essay or a research paper, many college instructors require students to submit their outline for approval before writing and submitting the paper for grading. This is a way to be sure you are on the right track and are working in an organized manner.
A formal outline is a detailed guide that shows how all your supporting ideas relate to each other. It helps you distinguish between ideas that are of equal importance and ones that are of lesser importance. You build your paper based on the framework created by the outline.
Instructors may also require you to submit an outline with your final draft to check the direction of the assignment and the logic of your final draft. If you must submit an outline with the final draft of a paper, remember to revise the outline to reflect any changes you made while writing the paper.
Here’s an example of a detailed outline for a standard 5-paragraph essay  :
Notice that each body paragraph contains two to four main ideas (A-D) and that each main idea is further supported with specific details (1-4). In a research essay, those specific details should be facts from reliable sources and there should be an APA in-text citation (Author, year) next to each one.
Organizing Ideas 
The three common methods of organizing writing are chronological, spatial, and importance.
As you create your outline, be mindful of how you organize your supporting body paragraphs. In the example outline above, the writer has chosen to present ideas in “order of importance” with the last, and most persuasive, reason last. Putting the most important reason at the end is an effective strategy for persuasive writing.
Checklist: Writing an Effective Outline
- 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?
- Anonymous. (2015, October 27). 8.2 Outlining. In Writing for success . University of Minnesota Libraries. https://bit.ly/3jvW61b . CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 . ↵
- Veillieux, H. (2021, April 9). 5POutlineExample [Digital Image]. In Writing the thesis and outline . Confederation College. https://bit.ly/36aiBWn . CC BY 4.0 . ↵
- Anonymous. (2015, October 27). 8.2 Outlining. In Writing for success . University of Minnesota Libraries. https://bit.ly/3M3p7gY . CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 . ↵
a writer's position, or opinion, on their topic
Supporting points are the main reasons that explain your point of view on a topic. In a research paper, support should be facts and opinion of experts that you have located from reliable sources. In reflective writing, support might include your personal experiences.
In grammar, parallelism, also known as parallel structure or parallel construction, is a balance within one or more sentences of similar phrases or clauses that have the same grammatical structure. The application of parallelism affects readability and may make texts easier to process.
Provide an in-text citation (with author and date information) along with a reference entry (containing complete retrieval information) to tell the reader the original source of the information used.
Intercultural Business Communication Copyright © 2021 by Confederation College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.
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- Dissertation & Thesis Outline | Example & Free Templates
Dissertation & Thesis Outline | Example & Free Templates
Published on June 7, 2022 by Tegan George . Revised on November 21, 2023.
A thesis or dissertation outline is one of the most critical early steps in your writing process . It helps you to lay out and organize your ideas and can provide you with a roadmap for deciding the specifics of your dissertation topic and showcasing its relevance to your field.
Generally, an outline contains information on the different sections included in your thesis or dissertation , such as:
- Your anticipated title
- Your abstract
- Your chapters (sometimes subdivided into further topics like literature review, research methods, avenues for future research, etc.)
In the final product, you can also provide a chapter outline for your readers. This is a short paragraph at the end of your introduction to inform readers about the organizational structure of your thesis or dissertation. This chapter outline is also known as a reading guide or summary outline.
Table of contents
How to outline your thesis or dissertation, dissertation and thesis outline templates, chapter outline example, sample sentences for your chapter outline, sample verbs for variation in your chapter outline, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about thesis and dissertation outlines.
While there are some inter-institutional differences, many outlines proceed in a fairly similar fashion.
- Working Title
- “Elevator pitch” of your work (often written last).
- Introduce your area of study, sharing details about your research question, problem statement , and hypotheses . Situate your research within an existing paradigm or conceptual or theoretical framework .
- Subdivide as you see fit into main topics and sub-topics.
- Describe your research methods (e.g., your scope , population , and data collection ).
- Present your research findings and share about your data analysis methods.
- Answer the research question in a concise way.
- Interpret your findings, discuss potential limitations of your own research and speculate about future implications or related opportunities.
For a more detailed overview of chapters and other elements, be sure to check out our article on the structure of a dissertation or download our template .
To help you get started, we’ve created a full thesis or dissertation template in Word or Google Docs format. It’s easy adapt it to your own requirements.
Download Word template Download Google Docs template
It can be easy to fall into a pattern of overusing the same words or sentence constructions, which can make your work monotonous and repetitive for your readers. Consider utilizing some of the alternative constructions presented below.
Example 1: Passive construction
The passive voice is a common choice for outlines and overviews because the context makes it clear who is carrying out the action (e.g., you are conducting the research ). However, overuse of the passive voice can make your text vague and imprecise.
Example 2: IS-AV construction
You can also present your information using the “IS-AV” (inanimate subject with an active verb ) construction.
A chapter is an inanimate object, so it is not capable of taking an action itself (e.g., presenting or discussing). However, the meaning of the sentence is still easily understandable, so the IS-AV construction can be a good way to add variety to your text.
Example 3: The “I” construction
Another option is to use the “I” construction, which is often recommended by style manuals (e.g., APA Style and Chicago style ). However, depending on your field of study, this construction is not always considered professional or academic. Ask your supervisor if you’re not sure.
Example 4: Mix-and-match
To truly make the most of these options, consider mixing and matching the passive voice , IS-AV construction , and “I” construction .This can help the flow of your argument and improve the readability of your text.
As you draft the chapter outline, you may also find yourself frequently repeating the same words, such as “discuss,” “present,” “prove,” or “show.” Consider branching out to add richness and nuance to your writing. Here are some examples of synonyms you can use.
If you want to know more about AI for academic writing, AI tools, or research bias, make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!
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When you mention different chapters within your text, it’s considered best to use Roman numerals for most citation styles. However, the most important thing here is to remain consistent whenever using numbers in your dissertation .
The title page of your thesis or dissertation goes first, before all other content or lists that you may choose to include.
A thesis or dissertation outline is one of the most critical first steps in your writing process. It helps you to lay out and organize your ideas and can provide you with a roadmap for deciding what kind of research you’d like to undertake.
- Your chapters (sometimes subdivided into further topics like literature review , research methods , avenues for future research, etc.)
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How to Do Research: A Step-By-Step Guide: 4b. Outline the Paper
- Get Started
- 1a. Select a Topic
- 1b. Develop Research Questions
- 1c. Identify Keywords
- 1d. Find Background Information
- 1e. Refine a Topic
- 2a. Search Strategies
- 2d. Articles
- 2e. Videos & Images
- 2f. Databases
- 2g. Websites
- 2h. Grey Literature
- 2i. Open Access Materials
- 3a. Evaluate Sources
- 3b. Primary vs. Secondary
- 3c. Types of Periodicals
- 4a. Take Notes
- 4b. Outline the Paper
- 4c. Incorporate Source Material
- 5a. Avoid Plagiarism
- 5b. Zotero & MyBib
- 5c. MLA Formatting
- 5d. MLA Citation Examples
- 5e. APA Formatting
- 5f. APA Citation Examples
- 5g. Annotated Bibliographies
For research papers, a formal outline can help you keep track of large amounts of information.
Thesis: Federal regulations need to foster laws that will help protect wetlands, restore those that have been destroyed, and take measures to improve the damange from overdevelopment.
I. Nature's ecosystem
A. Loss of wetlands nationally
B. Loss of wetlands in Illinois
1. More flooding and poorer water quality
2. Lost ability to prevent floods, clean water and store water
II. Dramatic floods
A, Cost in dollars and lives
1. 13 deaths between 1988 and 1998
2. Cost of $39 million per year
B. Great Midwestern Flood of 1993
1. Lost wetlands in IL
2. Devastation in some states
C. Flood Prevention
1. Plants and Soils
2. Floodplain overflow
III. Wetland laws
A. Inadequately informed legislators
2. Interconnections in natural water systems
B. Water purification
IV. Need to save wetlands
A. New federal definition
B. Re-education about interconnectedness
1. Ecology at every grade level
2. Education for politicians and developers
3. Choices in schools and people's lives
Example taken from The Bedford Guide for College Writers (9th ed).
How to Create an Outline
To create an outline:
- Place your thesis statement at the beginning.
- List the major points that support your thesis. Label them in Roman numerals (I, II, III, etc.).
- List supporting ideas or arguments for each major point. Label them in capital letters (A, B, C, etc.).
- If applicable, continue to sub-divide each supporting idea until your outline is fully developed. Label them 1, 2, 3, etc., and then a, b, c, etc.
NOTE: EasyBib has a function that will help you create a clear and effective outline.
How to Structure an Outline
- << Previous: 4a. Take Notes
- Next: 4c. Incorporate Source Material >>
- Last Updated: Sep 28, 2023 1:09 PM
- URL: https://libguides.elmira.edu/research
An outline is a “blueprint” or “plan” for your paper. It helps you to organize your thoughts and arguments. A good outline can make conducting research and then writing the paper very efficient. Your outline page must include your :
- Paper Title
- Thesis statement
- Major points/arguments indicated by Roman numerals (i.e., I, II, III, IV, V, etc.)
- Support for your major points, indicated by capital Arabic numerals (i.e., A, B, C, D, E, etc.)
Roman numeral I should be your “Introduction”. In the introduction portion of your paper, you’ll want to tell your reader what your paper is about and then tell what your paper hopes to prove (your thesis). So an Introduction gives an overview of the topic and your thesis statement.
The final Roman numeral should be your “Conclusion”. In the conclusion, you summarize what you have told your reader.
Following are 3 sample outlines, from actual student papers. YOUR outline can be MORE detailed, or might be LESS detailed. Remember that a good outline makes writing easier and more efficient.
Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts
Tips and Examples for Writing Thesis Statements
Welcome to the Purdue OWL
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Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.
This resource provides tips for creating a thesis statement and examples of different types of thesis statements.
Tips for Writing Your Thesis Statement
1. Determine what kind of paper you are writing:
- An analytical paper breaks down an issue or an idea into its component parts, evaluates the issue or idea, and presents this breakdown and evaluation to the audience.
- An expository (explanatory) paper explains something to the audience.
- An argumentative paper makes a claim about a topic and justifies this claim with specific evidence. The claim could be an opinion, a policy proposal, an evaluation, a cause-and-effect statement, or an interpretation. The goal of the argumentative paper is to convince the audience that the claim is true based on the evidence provided.
If you are writing a text that does not fall under these three categories (e.g., a narrative), a thesis statement somewhere in the first paragraph could still be helpful to your reader.
2. Your thesis statement should be specific—it should cover only what you will discuss in your paper and should be supported with specific evidence.
3. The thesis statement usually appears at the end of the first paragraph of a paper.
4. Your topic may change as you write, so you may need to revise your thesis statement to reflect exactly what you have discussed in the paper.
Thesis Statement Examples
Example of an analytical thesis statement:
The paper that follows should:
- Explain the analysis of the college admission process
- Explain the challenge facing admissions counselors
Example of an expository (explanatory) thesis statement:
- Explain how students spend their time studying, attending class, and socializing with peers
Example of an argumentative thesis statement:
- Present an argument and give evidence to support the claim that students should pursue community projects before entering college
Thesis and Outline
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- 1. Formulating a Thesis Statement
- 2. Thesis Statement • The main idea of the whole composition. • One statement that describes the viewpoint you are going to express and support in your paper.
- 3. Thesis Statement • The purpose in the rest of the paper: – To prove the validity of the thesis • The thesis statement provides a controlling idea which will help you choose the resource materials you will use. • It helps the writer focused on the main idea of the research paper.
- 4. Thesis Statement • It is always written as a sentence, never as a phrase. – It is also called thesis sentence.
- 5. Example • Thesis statement: Ancient Greek culture is reflected in the lives of present day Greeks. • Controlling idea: “reflected in” – The writer will look for materials that describe the characteristics of ancient Grecian culture and characteristics of modern Grecian culture, and for any similarities between the two.
- 6. • It is usually the sentence that answers the question stated in the 3rd step in the writing of the research paper: – Stating a question that identifies the problem.
- 7. • Sample topic: – “Impact of robots on industry in the next millennium”
- 8. • Question: “What impact are robots likely to have on industry?” • Answer: “Despite of the misgivings of some people, robots will probably have a beneficial effect on industry and its work force.” • Thesis Statement: “Although the rapid growth in robot technology has aroused some fears of its consequences, robots will actually benefit everyone, and efforts are being made to lessen any harmful impact upon the work force.”
- 9. REMEMBER! • Because a thesis must prepare readers for facts and details, it cannot itself be a fact. • It must always be a generalization demanding proof or further development. • It must be a general statement of opinion not a self-explanatory statement of a fact.
- 10. Example • Too factual: Gunpowder was not used in China. • Revised: Gunpowder was not used in warfare in China as it was in Europe because the Chinese had a different attitude toward death, battle, and personal honor than did the Europeans.
- 11. CAUTION • Thesis Statement should NOT be any of the following: 1.Announcement rather than a statement: -The subject of this paper will be crimes. -All want to talk about the crime wave in our country. -The incidence of crimes in our country is the concern of this paper.
- 12. 2. Too broad statement: -Crime is a major concern of everyone in our country. 3. Too narrow statement: -There were five recorded robberies in our community last year.
- 13. 4. Too vague statement: -The problem of overcrowded prisons must be solved and tougher penalties must be imposed.
- 15. 1. A thesis cannot be a fragment; it must be expressed in a sentence. Poor: How life is in racial ghetto. Better: Residents of a racial ghetto tend to have higher death rate, higher disease rates, and higher psychosis rates than any other residents of American cities in general.
- 16. 2. A thesis must not be in the form of a question. Poor: Should eighteen-year-old males have the right to vote? Better: Anyone who is old enough to fight in a war is old enough to vote.
- 17. 3. A thesis must not contain phrases such as “I think.” Poor: In my opinion most men wear beards because they are trying to find themselves. Better: The current beard fad may be an attempt on the part of the men to emphasize their male identity.
- 18. 4. A thesis must not contain elements that are not related. Poor: All novelists seek the truth; therefore some novelists are good psychologists. Better: In their attempt to probe human nature, many novelists appear to be good psychologists.
- 19. 5. A thesis must not be expressed in vague language. Poor: Bad things resulted from religion are being taught in the classroom. Better: Religion as a part of the school curriculum should be avoided because it is highly personal and is a individual commitment.
- 20. 6. A thesis must not expressed in muddled or incoherent language. Poor: In Act One of Othello, to cause them to feel fury against Othello, Iago fuels Brabantio, Othello, Roderigo, and Cassio with deceit by telling those lies. Better: In Act One if Othello, Iago deceives several characters in order to further his plot to destroy Othello’s life.
- 21. 7. A thesis should not be written in figurative language. Poor: Religion is a phoenix bird of civilization. Better: As long as man can conceive the idea of God, religion will rise to give man a spiritual reason for existence.
- 23. Ask yourself the following: • Do I answer the question? • Have I taken the position that others might challenge or oppose? • Is my thesis statement specific enough? • Does my thesis pass the “So what?” test? • Does my essay support my thesis specifically without wandering?
- 24. Making an Outline
- 25. What is an outline? • An outline is an abbreviated picture of the parts of your paper and the order in which they will come. • You can think of it as a “road map” of your journey toward making a final product.
- 26. Outline • It shows the relationship of ideas. • It becomes the skeleton of your research paper. • It shows the main ideas to be expanded in the actual writing of the paper. • It indicates through its indentions and symbols the major and minor supporting ideas.
- 27. Why make an outline? • It helps to… – Stay on course and not get off-track when you put your final product together. – See if you have enough (or too much) material to support your thesis statement. – Figure out the order in which your subtopics will appear in your final product.
- 28. Two types of Outline 1. Topic Outline- It makes use of words, phrases or clauses; Hence, the lines don’t end with a period
- 29. Two types of Outline 2. Sentence outline- It makes use of sentences that contains only one idea. It is more detailed; hence more difficult to construct It reveals how coherent and unified the ideas in the outline are.
- 31. Number-letter sequence pattern I. A. B. 1. 2. a. b. II.
- 32. Decimal Pattern 1.0. 1.1. 1.2. 1.2.1. 1.2.2. 22.214.171.124. 126.96.36.199. 2.0.
- 33. An outline should have… • Main topics tell the main idea. – It is set off by a Roman numeral followed by a period. • Subtopics give supporting facts. – It is set off by a capital letter followed by a period. • Details give specific facts about the subtopics. – It is set off by a number followed by a period.
- 35. Topic outline with number sequence pattern I. Family Problems A. Custodial: Non-custodial Conflicts B. Extended Family C. Adolescent's Age II. Economic Problems A. Child Support B. Women's Job Training C. Lower Standard of Living D. Possible Relocation 1. Poorer Neighborhood 2. New School III. Peer Problems A. Loss of Friends B. Relationships with Dates
- 36. Sentence outline with decimal patterm 1.0. When family conflicts arise as a result of divorce, adolescents suffer. 1.1. During the first year, these young people may be depressed due to conflicts between the custodial and non-custodial parents. 1.2. Grandparents, aunts, and uncles are often restricted by visitation provisions. 1.3. Almost without exception, adolescents find divorce very painful, but they react in differing degrees depending on their age. 2.0. Some of the most negative effects on adolescents may be associated with economic problems. 2.1. The family will most probably experience a lower standard of living due to the cost of maintaining two households. 2.2. Some female custodial parents have poor job skills and must train before entering the job market. 2.3. The lower standard of living may result in misunderstanding and conflicts within the family. 2.4. The decreased standard of living, particularly for an untrained female custodial parent, often causes relocation. 2.4.1. The family may have to move to a poorer neighborhood in order to cut costs. 2.4.2. As a result, the adolescent may have to attend a different school.
- 38. 1. Logical Subordination • Items in the outline should be logically subordinated. • Subtopics listed under larger headings should be subordinate in meaning . – Should not be of equal importance or even greater. • Any subtopic should be related to the major topic under which it is listed.
- 39. 2. Parallel structure • All members of the divisions of equal rank should have similar grammatical structure. – If you start with a noun phrase for the first of the main headings, the 2nd , the 3rd , etc., must also be expressed as a noun phrases. – Unnecessary shifts from active to passive voice or from statement to question should be avoided
- 40. In addition… 3. Any subdivision which is subdivided must have at least two subdivisions, the new subdivisions being indented and marked by symbols
- 41. 4. Avoid mixing two types of outline, or the two sequence patterns in the same outline. Be consistent.