Answered By: Suzanne Schriefer, Education & General Education Librarian
Last Updated: Mar 12, 2018     Views: 503

Creating a working outline helps you organize information you plan to include in an essay or research paper.  It provides a framework so that information is presented to the reader in a logical and orderly manner.  It is called a working outline for two reasons; first, it is a "sketch" or initial plan for your paper and it is flexible and can change as you research and learn more about your topic.

A working outline often begins with the thesis statement. It is followed by the major points you plan to make in the paper along with supporting information to bolster your position.

Use this format when creating a working outline:

I. Thesis Statement

II. Major point

    a. Supporting detail

    b. Supporting detail

III. Major point

    a. Supporting detail

    b. Supporting detail

IV. Major point

   a. Supporting detail

   b. Supporting detail

V. Conclusion

View this short video clip from the Research Paper Boot Camp series for a better understanding of the working outline:

 

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