the movie 300 (outline)
the movie 300 (outline)
An outline is your tentative scheme for organizing and writing the paper. The main purpose
of the outline is to determine the structure of your paper. Without an overall sense of how
the component parts of your research will address your topic (and hence support your
thesis), you will have a very difficult time writing your paper. Through preparation of an
outline, you should begin to get a sense of the argument you want to make. This argument is
your tentative thesis, or hypothesis. You should keep your hypothesis in mind at all times
when writing; you should ask yourself if your material supports it, or if you need to modify it.
The thesis is the controlling idea around which you construct the rest of your paper. In a
history paper, the thesis generally explains why or how something happened. Every word of your paper
should support your thesis. Information you do not directly relate to your thesis will appear
irrelevant. This means, of course, that in a paper with a weak or no thesis, much of the paper
will appear to be irrelevant and unguided.
Most writing attempts to convince the reader of something. Even a poetic description of a
rock is an attempt to convince the reader that the rock appears a certain way. A history paper
takes a stand on a historical issue or problem, and attempts to develop a coherent and
persuasive line of thought intended to convince the reader of the validity of that stand. Your
thesis is the concise statement of your argument.
• Place the title of the paper one inch from the top of the page. (Do not title Outline)
• Center the title; type in full capitals.
• Single space.
• The “Introduction” and “Conclusion” are not included in the outline. These are not
topics to be discussed in the composition; they are organizational units in the writer’s
• Your preliminary thesis must be included.
• Number main headings with Roman numerals.
• Letter the subtopics under each main heading with capital letters.
• Divisions of subtopics, in descending order of importance, are given numbers and
letters as follows: Arabic numerals, small letters, Arabic numerals in parentheses,
small letters in parentheses.
• Indent subtopics so that all corresponding letters or numbers are in a vertical line.
• Never allow a subtopic to stand alone; use two or more subtopics, or none at all
Subtopics are divisions of the topic above them, and a topic cannot be divided into
fewer than two parts.
• Headings should be capitalized sentence style. Sentence outlines should be
punctuated like a sentence. Topic outlines topics should not be followed with a
period. Either a sentence outline (one that uses complete sentences) or a topic
outline (one that uses key words) is fine. it should be written in bolt points and roman numbers.
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