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Succeeding with Writing Assignments

A general guide for writing a paper in any course

Plan the assignment structure

Outlining is an important strategy for organizing your paper.

After you have completed gathering information and reading about your topic, you need to plan the writing assignment's structure and make sure you address the assignment question.  Outlines provide a means of organizing your information in a logical order and can help you keep track of large amounts of information for research and other papers. The more detailed an outline, the easier it is to write a paper. Start with the big ideas that support your central idea.

To create an outline:

  1. Place your working thesis statement at the beginning - a thesis statement is the central idea you are developing in the paper. 
  2. List the major points that support your thesis. Label them with roman numerals (I, II, III) - These are the key points of your paragraphs. or sections in your paper.
  3. List supporting ideas or arguments for each major point. Label them in capital letters (A, B, C) - These statements provide major support for each paragraph's key point
  4. Continue to sub-divide each supporting idea until your outline is fully developed. Label them 1,2,3,etc. then a, b, c, etc.

Additional Resources:

Creating an Outline

How to Create a Useful Outline