Outline for a Term Paper

Outlines for Term Papers – the best way forward

Deciding on an outline for a term paper could be quite challenging if you are not in the habit of preparing one. When essay writing is first taught in primary school, the teacher always insists on an outline. This is to provide a kind of framework for the student to follow and make the task of writing an essay that much easier. We all know how difficult it is to complete a specific task when you don’t know the path you have to follow or the guidelines you have to stick to. In order to ensure that students get a feel of what a term paper contains, we have given a few steps that would make their term paper writing task less burdensome.

Follow these steps while writing outlines for term papers

1.    If you are beginning to write an outline, it means that you have already chosen a topic. The point now is this: do you understand the topic or the term paper question completely? If you don’t, it is necessary for you to read it thoroughly so that you know what is expected of you.

2.    While reading the question, it is good to make a note of the various points that are raised in it. Most of the time, a term paper question will raise at least two or three issues. Put these down in your outline. It makes it a lot easier to list out the points that you have to collect information on. For instance, let us imagine that you are doing a term paper on the theme of jealousy in Shakespeare’s Othello. Jealousy is the main part of the question; but there could be other smaller issues that have to be addressed too. The family structure, his ambitions, the society he lived in, the influence of his friends – all these could be points that you need to bring in.

3.    Having an outline for a term paper also helps you correct the right kind of quotations that have to be put in. If you are looking at the same example given in point two above, you could look for a critical appraisal of Shakespeare’s tragedy and bring in a quote from that specific criticism. It would help give some meat to your paper and also show the extent to which you have researched your topic.

4.    Final editing becomes a lot easier when you have an outline for your paper. Whether it is a simple essay or a detailed term paper, having an outline helps in the final editing and re-checking process. This is because you have a kind of checklist that will help you see whether you have put in all the points and not left out a great deal.

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