Outline of a thesis report

The Guide to Writing Research Papers has a special section on writing outlines, and we recommend you review that material. From that document, here is one image (below) that might prove especially helpful, a sample outline (from the MLA Handbook ) of another proposed paper. The important thing to notice about it is how supporting details are arranged beneath more important ideas and the outline branches out (toward the right) as ideas become more supportive in nature. Logic demands that an "A" be followed by a "B." (If there is no "B," maybe there shouldn't be an "A," or "A" should be incorporated into the paper in some other way.)


  1. Answer the following questions in short phrases (not full sentences).
  2. Do not use periods / full stops (.) at the end or capital letters at the beginning of the phrases you write. You can see an example .
  3. Click the "Build a Thesis" button when you're finished.
  4. A window will pop open with your Built Thesis.
  5. Go back and adjust your answers to smooth out the thesis until it makes sense and expresses your beliefs. Clicking on the "Build a Thesis" button again will update your thesis to show your changes.
  6. Once you've got a thesis statement, use the Make an Online Outline button to generate the framework for your essay. (Would you like to see an example outline ?)

Let's get started! What's the topic you want to write about?
What's your main opinion on this topic?

( Note: use the topic somewhere in this opinion statement and maybe the word "should")
What's the strongest argument supporting your opinion?
What's a second good argument that supports your opinion?
What's the main argument against your opinion?
What's a possible title for your Essay?
Once you are happy with your thesis statement,
you can crank out a quicky outline by clicking the button below.

The second way one uses the word "thesis" is in reference to a major paper that one writes as a capstone for his or her bachelor's or master's degree. Whereas term papers are projects that last one term, theses are projects that last several terms. Theses are usually much, much longer than term papers, often stretching past two hundred pages. Perhaps counterintuitively, however, theses often cover much more specialized topics than term papers. For example, one may write a term paper on Herman Melville for a literature survey course, but one would be much more likely to write a thesis on homosexual symbolism in Herman Melville's Moby Dick or on some other extremely specific aspect of one of Melville's novels. In fact, one could write an entire thesis on a single paragraph of Moby Dick . The goal of a thesis is to expound fully one's opinion on a given subject and to confront and exhaust all the opposition to that opinion. Therefore, one usually specializes his or her thesis topic almost to the point of absurdity.

Outline of a thesis report

outline of a thesis report


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