Before writing a term paper, it is necessary to understand its different components. Without having proper information about its components, it becomes very difficult to manage everything on time. In simple words, you can say that there are different milestones for writing a term paper. The very first milestone is to write an outline. It works as a foundation for your term paper. When you spend time on the foundation, it does not let you get confused for the rest of time. Clear one thing in your mind; an outline is a flexible section of a term paper. Whenever you get a better idea, you can go for an amendment in your working outline. Also, if you find that you are not going in the right direction, at the same moment, you can change your plan. Hence, in light of working outlines’ importance, this article aims to discuss how to write an outline for a term paper.
What is an Outline for a Term Paper?
The outline is a structure that helps to visualise the whole research work. You can make changes as per the demand of work. Simply you can say that it is a way to organise all of the ideas in one row. It can be in the form of small or long sentences. You have to see which one is easy to understand and better for the development of ideas.
On the other hand, the selection of sentence length can be as per the requirement of your institute. Every institute has some sets of standards that are necessary to follow. In such cases, you should ask your professors to guide you on the required structure so that you can end up with effective work. To write an outline, you can structure all of the important information for the term paper. In the same way, you can organise the main ideas in an effective outline that you are supposed to add in the term paper.
In a term paper, the first step is to work on the topic. Topic is the thing that makes the whole of your research work easy or difficult. So, you have to be very careful in this aspect. The very next step is to collect relevant information. All of the information is necessary to collect so that outlines can be structured in a well-mannered way. Without information, outlines cannot be organised. So, you can understand how every step is linked with the other one. It does not matter if you are writing a term paper at the bachelor’s, master or PhD level; it is necessary to write an outline. First of all, it is important to develop an outline so that you can show it to your advisor. Your advisor checks if it is making a logical structure or not. Secondly, you have to add outlines just after the title page of a term paper.
What Should be Included in an Outline?
To write an outline, you have to focus on the main parts as well as sub-parts of a term paper. Let’s discuss the main and sub-parts one by one. For the main parts, you need to divide the term paper’s information into three parts. The first part is an introduction, while the second part is of explaining body. In the same way, the last and third part of an effective paper is the conclusion. Under each main part, there are many subparts.
In the case of subparts, you have to start with a thesis statement. A thesis statement is the subpart of introduction. In explaining body, you need to mention all of the major and minor ideas. You can have more than one idea, so you have to discuss each idea in detail. In the working outline, you just have to mention the heading of idea and its supporting detail. Everything else will be in the discussion section. If you have mentioned two ideas in the outline and in the discussion section, you have mentioned three ideas, it will cause confusion for the reader. Also, it shows the unprofessionalism of the writer.
In the same way, if you mention three ideas in the outline and discuss only two of them, it will be a big mistake on your end. So, you have to be very careful in all these aspects when you write an outline. Here comes the last part of the effective outline, which is a conclusion. The conclusion would not have any subpart. Everything related to the conclusion will be in the discussion section rather than outlines. The way you write an outline, in the same way, you have to cover each milestone. You can take every outline as a milestone and set a specified range of time for it.
How Should a Term Paper Outline Look Like?
When you write an outline, then its format or look should be somehow the same as shown below:
1.1 Background Information
1.3 Thesis Statement
- Explaining Body
2.1 Major Idea
2.1.1 Evidence A
2.1.2 Evidence B
2.1.3 Proposed solution to the problem
2.2 Major Idea
2.2.1 Evidence A
2.2.2 Evidence B
2.2.3 Proposed solution to the problem
2.3 Major Idea
2.3.1 Evidence A
2.3.2 Evidence B
2.3.3 Proposed solution to the problem
2.4 Major Idea
2.4.1 Evidence A
2.4.2 Evidence B
2.4.3 Proposed solution to the problem
To write an outline, requirements can vary as per the instructions of your advisor. It includes numbering style, sectioning and headings too. There are three types of outlines. It includes alphanumeric, full sentences and decimal outlines. In a term paper, the writers use a decimal outline style frequently. The format of decimal outline is mentioned above. The sample available at dissertation help can assist you in structuring your work.
We have discussed the draft of term paper’s outline, its parts and format. All of the information discussed will help you create an effective outline which can help you a lot.