Using A Dissertation Outline Template For Composing A Strong Paper


Although every English teacher stresses the importance of outlining a paper, many students persist in avoiding it. An outline is one of the best ways to ensure a logical, coherent argument. Students can use the outline to group the quotations that they will use in each section and to divide the paper into management parts. For the strongest essays, students should always use a dissertation outline.

Separate the Sections

For a dissertation, students will need to begin by separating their outline into general sections. An essay on Ayn Rand's role in the conservative movement may be divided by background information, what conservatives of the time said and her relationship to the movement. Each paper has logical parts that it can be separated into. Often, dividing it into these sections will help the student to organize their thoughts and figure out the strength of their thesis.

Go Through the Paper Paragraph-by-Paragraph

After dividing the paper into several large sections, the student will have to go through and figure out the topic for each individual paragraph. Even with 50-page papers, this process allows the student to create a coherent argument. It also prevents them from becoming stuck when they begin the writing process.

There is an easy trick that students can use to figure out if their argument is coherent. In each paragraph or subsection, students have to write why it is included and why it must be included at that particular spot. If there is not a reason for the inclusion of that topic, the paragraph should be thrown out. Some students will even write out their paragraphs on note cards and tape them to the wall. This allows them to see the big picture and move around any paragraphs easily.

Include Research

Before the outline was started, students should have researched their topic. As they research, students should write down each quote or piece of data that they will need. Students can add a numerical code to each note card so they can find it easily. When they begin to work on the outline, these note cards will be invaluable. Instead of searching through books for a forgotten quote, students can write down the numerical code in their outline. This allows them to easily plan out where each piece of research will be used in the text. Since all of the citation information is on the card, students can easily write their bibliography when the writing process is complete.

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