Writing a Thesis
Before writing an outline, the writer must develop a solid thesis
statement. When finalized, these statements should be in the form of a
sentence; however, sometimes writers start off with questions.
Here are some questions that can be
turned into thesis statements:
Should high school athletes be tested for drugs?
Should the US require citizens to have national ID cards?
How does the symbolism in "The Scarlet Ibis" support its
Start with a question, do research and develop a working thesis.
working thesis is a statement of what you think you will write about. By
using a working thesis, you are admitting that you
may change your mind later when you begin the writing process -- and that's
okay. Perhaps you'll start writing the paper and realize that the
research you have doesn't support what you're saying, or your beliefs will
change as you learn more information. If that's the case, your working
thesis will change. Either way, by the time you begin writing, your final
thesis should be in the form of a statement that asserts your opinion
without a personal pronoun. In other words, you should never say, "I
believe" or "I think."
Here are some sample thesis statements:
Drug education programs such as the DARE should begin
earlier to help convince
children that drugs are dangerous.
The symbolism in
Gatsby distracts from the plot and weakens the storyline.
Again, both of these statements contain strong opinions without using
personal pronouns. Both writers would spend their time researching journals,
articles, and essays to find other individuals who agree with these ideas.
Using quotes and paraphrases, the student would write a paper that would
support his or her thesis statement to prove his or her idea.
Need more help with writing your thesis statement and/or introduction?
Writing an Outline
To begin an outline, have a thesis in mind -- at least a working
thesis. The thesis will direct the outline and organization of your paper.
An outline is necessary to give you guidance when writing the
essay. It will organize your ideas and researched information during the writing process.
Writing an outline is really not hard if you did the note cards correctly.
All you have to do is organize your note cards in piles according to their
subject lines, and that should give you some idea as to how to write the
outline. Your subjects (at the top of your note cards) will be the "slugs"
for your outline. Your teacher will give you some guidance on how this is
Attached you will find a template of an outline and an example of an
outline. You may use this template or create an outline on your own.