EMPOWER - Choosing Your Topic: Page 12 of 13


Outlines will also help you focus your research to only those topics relevant to the paper you hope to write or project you hope to produce.

Of course you need some background knowledge before you can create an outline. See EMPOWER-Starting Your Research to learn what resources to use for background information.
  • Every paragraph should support the thesis statement.

  • An outline will help you find gaps in your topic.

  • Details in the outline will help you write the essay.

  • Outlines can be written in complete sentences or partial phrases, if that works best for you.

  • The early outline does not need any "supporting details," although it may be helpful to brainstorm ideas at this point.

  • The question words "who," "what," "when," "where," "why," and "how" can help generate ideas for supporting topics and details in the outline.

  • Each supporting topic in your final outline should be represented in your bibliography or works cited page. See EMPOWER-Citing Sources for more about citations.