The key to any successful paper is outlining the topics you wish to discuss before you actually begin writing. Outlining will help construct and organize ideas in a sequential manner and thoughtful flow. Doing so allows you to pick relevant information or quotes from sources early on, and gives writers a steady foundation and groundwork when beginning the writing process. Most importantly, developing these ideas will help create your thesis.

Begin your outline by writing your prompt at the top of a page. If you do not have one, you can brainstorm what you will write about.

Next, think about which direction or argument you wish to pursue.

  • How can you support this? 
  • What main points will you write about? 
  • How will you defend those ideas? 

Make bullet points for each topic and the resources you can use to defend it.

After identifying the important aspects of your paper in a bulleted outline form, you will have a clear idea of your argument and tone, and are prepared to tackle your assignment.

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