How to make the outline of an end-of-course project

Table of contents:

How to make the outline of an end-of-course project
How to make the outline of an end-of-course project
Anonim

An end-of-course assignment is usually, but not always, a research essay that is delivered at the end of a semester or quarter. In this type of work, you are expected to demonstrate your knowledge and mastery of the material covered the previous quarter. Your teacher can be guided in large part by the quality of this essay when grading your course. Outlines are ways of organizing your thoughts to give an overall structure to an essay. The schematics contain a logical progression and subtle transitions from one approach to another as the central argument is laid out step-by-step.

Steps

Part 1 of 3: Laying the Foundation

Outline a Term Paper Step 1
Outline a Term Paper Step 1

Step 1. Review your subject

You may have been given a subject or an indication for your end-of-course work, if you can't find its description in your syllabus. Review all the information they have given you about the subject so that you are clear about the requirements and the format.

  • If you have any questions about your end-of-course work, ask in advance. Your teachers will be happy to clarify doubts, as long as you have read the subject or indication first and give them enough time to respond.
  • Don't wait a day before the due date to email your teacher about an end-of-course assignment question. Most likely, your teacher is very busy at the moment and does not have time to answer you. This delay will also let him know that you haven't planned ahead or given your work due attention.
Outline a Term Paper Step 2
Outline a Term Paper Step 2

Step 2. Decide on your topic

You may have been assigned a topic or you may have to choose one of your own. Even if you have been assigned a general theme, you will most likely have to decide what “angle” of approach you intend to take. For example, the "Spanish Civil War" is too broad a subject to be dealt with in an end-of-year project. Therefore, you will need an angle like "The role of Jewish women during the Spanish Civil War."

You will also need to identify the purpose of your work. Sometimes they will give it to you, for example: "Write an analytical essay on___" or "Develop on the story of___." If they don't give it to you, you can have some freedom to determine the purpose: Is this to persuade, inform, argue or analyze? We recommend asking your teacher to make sure your goal is consistent with the job

Outline a Term Paper Step 3
Outline a Term Paper Step 3

Step 3. Do your research

Research is required for most end-of-year assignments. You should start gathering your research materials before you make the outline and write the essay itself. As you write, you will likely find gaps in your argument that you will need to investigate further, but you will not have a solid idea of what you want to say until you do some preliminary investigative work.

  • If you have a library, check with your librarian. These people are excellent resources that can guide you in finding important and reliable sources of research.
  • Make sure your sources are reliable. We recommend looking for information in published books, peer-reviewed publications, and government or university websites. Major news sources like El País or La Nación are also helpful, but make sure you don't use opinion pieces or editorials as factual sources.
  • Keep track of your sources. EndNote and RefWorks are very handy for keeping track of your query sources. You can access these through your educational institution. You can also keep that record by writing the bibliographic information (author's name, publisher, city and publication date) on a card or in an electronic text document. Be sure to include the page numbers and sources of any quotes that you copy verbatim.
Outline a Term Paper Step 4
Outline a Term Paper Step 4

Step 4. Develop your theme

You should come up with some ideas about your topic before trying to organize your essay. Maybe some pre-writing exercises will help you get started. You can try the following:

  • Try writing freely. Write for 5-10 minutes about anything you can think of related to your topic. Don't stop or make changes. After writing, review your material and highlight or outline what seem like useful starting points. You can repeat this exercise many times to generate ideas.
  • Try grouping. Grouping is a type of mind mapping that helps you see the connections between ideas. First, write your topic in the center of a sheet of paper and draw a square around it. Then draw a few lines that originate in and out of the square. At the end of each of these lines, write an idea that corresponds to the topic and circle it. Keep drawing lines out and connecting ideas until you feel like you've thoroughly explored the connections between the various facets of your topic.
  • Try answering the big questions. The big questions, “Who? That? When? Where? Why? How?”Can help you determine what information you need in your essay. Write each question on a separate sheet of paper and answer each one in as much detail as possible. When you get to the point of not having any more answers to the question, keep that in mind: these are the places where you will have to do more research.
Outline a Term Paper Step 5
Outline a Term Paper Step 5

Step 5. Write a basic thesis

Your thesis statement will likely evolve as you write your essay. This often happens a lot in argumentative or analytical essays, where you will continue to think about your material as you write, and could come to unexpected conclusions. It is important to have a basic thesis to begin with so that you can know the main objective or purpose of your work.

It is common for high school to write tripartite thesis statements, which include three main points, which are developed in individual paragraphs. This type of thesis seldom works in end-of-year projects, since these are longer and more complex essays. Choose a statement that expresses the focus or statement of your essay

Outline a Term Paper Step 6
Outline a Term Paper Step 6

Step 6. Start early

An end-of-course assignment tends to take longer than other types of essays, and it tends to make up a significant portion of the grade. In addition, for an end-of-year project you generally have to do research, which takes time and work to produce. Don't wait until the last minute to get to work.

Advance your essay in stages, if you can. Give yourself at least a day between each stage so that you can return to your rehearsal with a fresh look

Part 2 of 3: Outline an End-of-Course Project

Outline a Term Paper Step 7
Outline a Term Paper Step 7

Step 1. Start with the introduction

This can include explanatory comments about what your approach assumes, the purpose of your essay, and the contextual information your reader needs to understand your argument.

  • Don't fully write the introduction yet. Generally, it is best to wait until you finish writing your essay to sketch your introduction. Your thesis and argument can evolve as you write, so spending too much time on the introduction before you start can be a waste of time.
  • Make a preliminary outline for now. The introduction usually begins with a broad statement and is defined until the thesis statement is presented. Put a few bullet points where you are going to start and include your thesis statement.
Outline a Term Paper Step 8
Outline a Term Paper Step 8

Step 2. Write the topic sentences for each paragraph

Separate different topics into different sections or paragraphs so that each paragraph contains a main idea. This will give the reader a visual or organizational idea that different blocks of information will be presented to them.

  • Your topic sentences should set the direction of the paragraph. Make sure it is the "roadmap" that points the reader to the main topics that you will encounter.
  • Avoid using facts or statements that don't give an idea of what the rest of the paragraph will be about. Good topic sentences are informative, directional, and interesting.
  • For example: "Salt water is not safe to drink" is not a great topic sentence for a paragraph on water rights, because it does not communicate the main idea of the paragraph. A better topic sentence might be: “It is a fundamental right to have access to clean water,” because it states the main argument of the paragraph.
Outline a Term Paper Step 9
Outline a Term Paper Step 9

Step 3. Start with the first level of your outline

When you have your topic sentences, you will have an idea of what you will be dealing with in your paragraphs. Then you can decide how to organize those paragraphs at the first level of your outline. For this level you have to use Roman numerals (I, II, III, IV, etc.).

  • I is the introduction, II is the first body paragraph, III is the second body paragraph, and so on. Put each Roman numeral on a separate line, followed by a topic sentence.
  • Don't be afraid to experiment with the order of the paragraphs. You may find as you develop your paragraphs that they fit better in other sections of the essay.
Outline a Term Paper Step 10
Outline a Term Paper Step 10

Step 4. Put the subpoints on the second level of your outline

For the second level of the scheme, use capital letters (A, B, C, D, etc.). This level incorporates subpoints of the main point. These will form the body paragraphs.

  • Put capital letters in separate lines below the first level. Leave an indentation of about 0.5 inch (1.5 cm) after the first level. Many word processing programs do this automatically.
  • List your subtopics under your topic sentence. Each subtopic should be related to the goal or main idea of the paragraph.
  • Use your research material and the one you generated during the pre-writing stage to complete this level.
Outline a Term Paper Step 11
Outline a Term Paper Step 11

Step 5. Expand your sub-points with the third level of the outline

If you need to, you can use a third level of the outline to expand your sub-points. For this level you have to use Arabic numbers (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.).

Make use of this level to provide proof or further explanation of your sub-points

Outline a Term Paper Step 12
Outline a Term Paper Step 12

Step 6. Provide a conclusion in the last section

The conclusion summarizes the argument for the reader, and should go back to the thesis, but not repeat it exactly.

  • You don't necessarily have to write your conclusion during outline preparation. You may not yet have a clear idea of what you want to conclude until you have written more of the essay.
  • Some common ways to conclude an essay are: return to the topic presented in the introduction, extend the importance of the argument to a larger context or problem, propose measures or a solution to a problem, or end with a provocative question.
Outline a Term Paper Step 13
Outline a Term Paper Step 13

Step 7. Choose the structure of the number scheme, if you prefer

Although less common than alphanumeric organization, you can also organize your scheme using only Arabic numbers and decimal points. This type of structure is sometimes used in final coursework to identify headings and subheadings in longer work.

  • Begin the number scheme with "1.0" and each subsequent section with the next number ("2.0", "3.0", etc.).
  • Change the number after the decimal point to reflect new information. For example, "2.1" could be your first sub-point and "2.2" could be your second sub-point.
  • You can continue adding subsections by adding another decimal point and a number, for example, “2.1.1” etc.

Part 3 of 3: Outline During Review

Outline a Term Paper Step 14
Outline a Term Paper Step 14

Step 1. Make a reverse outline of your first draft

After you finish writing your first draft, leave it intact for a day, if you can. Come back to it with a renewed vision and read it cover to cover. As you read, briefly summarize the main argument of each paragraph. You can do this on the side of the paper, on another sheet of paper, or as a comment in an electronic text document.

  • Try to limit your summary to one sentence. You can also use a keyword phrase or a few keywords.
  • If you find it difficult to summarize the main idea, it may be because the paragraph is off-topic. Consider splitting the paragraph in two so that you can dedicate each part for each idea.
Outline a Term Paper Step 15
Outline a Term Paper Step 15

Step 2. Examine the schematic in reverse

When you have finished summarizing the main ideas of each paragraph, look at the writing. Do the ideas progress logically? Do they seem to support each other to create the momentum your argument needs? Or do they just stray from the topic?

You may have to consider the idea of changing the position of the paragraphs. In some cases, you will even have to delete them (yes, delete them!) And rewrite sentences or even entire paragraphs

Outline a Term Paper Step 16
Outline a Term Paper Step 16

Step 3. Cut the essay into paragraphs

If you have trouble visualizing the organization of your end-of-year paper after writing the first draft, it may be because you have been staring at it for too long on a computer screen. Print your draft and cut it into individual paragraphs.

  • Physically change the position of the paragraphs. Do they make more sense in another order?
  • In a good end-of-course project, each paragraph should develop the previous one so that there is only one ideal way to structure them for your argument. If you can easily swap the position of your paragraphs, you may need to refine your focus.
  • Consider adding clearer transitions and topic sentences to make the connections between paragraphs stronger.
Outline a Term Paper Step 17
Outline a Term Paper Step 17

Step 4. Review your outline

You may have a fairly large project to do, so it may help to revise your original outline to reflect the new order you've decided on. After doing so, review the end-of-course work according to your new outline.

After reviewing your end-of-course work, review the new outline again to make sure you stick with the structure you've decided on

Advice

  • Use the order that is most effective for you. No set of guidelines is effective 100% of the time. However, putting your ideas and evidence in an order where one topic provides the necessary context to understand the next, or explains the meaning and context of the next idea, is important. Clarity should be your goal. Having an overview or sense of what the end result of your essay will look like, and writing down key points as you develop your vision, will be great for organizing your end-of-course work.
  • Don't feel chained to your scheme. When you write the end-of-course work itself, you will have a much more detailed perspective of the outcome of your essay.

Popular by topic