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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.

PAPER TOPIC 
What goes into making an airline run smooth and efficient. 
PLEASE FOLLOW THE OUTLINE SAMPLE

The Basic Outline of a Paper

The following outline shows a basic format for most academic papers. No matter what length the paper

needs to be, it should still follow the format of having an introduction, body, and conclusion. Read over

what typically goes in each section of the paper. Use the back of this handout to outline information for

your specific paper.

I. Introduction

The introduction should have some of the following elements, depending on the type of paper:

� Start with an attention grabber: a short story, example, statistic, or historical
context that introduces the paper topic

� Give an overview of any issues involved with the subject
� Define of any key terminology need to understand the topic
� Quote or paraphrase sources revealing the controversial nature of the subject

(argumentative papers only)

� Highlight background information on the topic needed to understand the direction
of the paper

� Write an antithesis paragraph, presenting the primary opposing views
(argumentative paper only)

The introduction must end with a THESIS statement (a 1 to 2 sentences in length):

� Tell what the overall paper will focus on
� Briefly outline the main points in the paper

II. Body

� Clearly present the main points of the paper as listed in the thesis
� Give strong examples, details, and explanations to support each main points
� If an argumentative paper, address any counterarguments and refute those arguments
� If a research paper, use strong evidence from sources—paraphrases, summaries, and

quotations that support the main points

III. Conclusion

� Restate your thesis from the introduction in different words
� Briefly summarize each main point found in the body of the paper (avoid going over 2

sentences for each point)

� Give a statement of the consequences of not embracing the position (argumentative paper
only)

� End with a strong clincher statement: an appropriate, meaningful final sentence that ties the
whole point of the paper together (may refer back to the attention grabber)

Additional Tips

� Decide on the thesis and main points first
� You do not need to start writing your paper with the introduction
� Try writing the thesis and body first; then go back and figure out how to best introduce the body

and conclude the paper

� Use transitions between main points and between examples within the main points
� Always keep your thesis in the forefront of your mind while writing; everything in your paper

must point back to the thesis

� Use the back of this handout to make an outline of your paper

Paper Topic:____________________________________________________ Audience:__________

I. Introduction

Possible ideas for the introduction (see front side of handout for suggestions):
_______________________________

_______________________________

_______________________________

Thesis Statement (Usually the last sentence(s) in the introduction):

_________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

II. Body (A paper may have a few or many main points; decide how many your paper will need)

Main Point: ___________________________________________________________________

Examples/Details/Explanations:

a. ______________________________________________________________________

b. ______________________________________________________________________

c. ______________________________________________________________________

Main Point: ___________________________________________________________________

Examples/Details/Explanations:

a. ______________________________________________________________________

b. ______________________________________________________________________

c. ______________________________________________________________________

Main Point: ___________________________________________________________________

Examples/Details/Explanations:

a. ______________________________________________________________________

b. ______________________________________________________________________

c. ______________________________________________________________________

Main Point: ___________________________________________________________________

Examples/Details/Explanations:

a. ______________________________________________________________________

b. ______________________________________________________________________

c. ______________________________________________________________________

III. Conclusion

Reworded Thesis (Usually found near the beginning of the conclusion):

_________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

Other Ideas to Conclude:

________________________________

________________________________

Clincher Ideas: _________________________________________________________________