Building an Effective Thesis Outline

thesis outlineWelcome to our guide to making a thesis outline! In this article, you will find the steps you need to take in order to build an effective thesis outline. Follow them in order to arrange the ideas you want to develop in your paper.

  1. Formulate a thesis statement
  2. Your overall thesis paper should be focused on the main idea that you will support by means of different evidences. This idea is, in fact, your opinion on the problem under consideration. So, what do you think about the problem? Formulate your answer clearly, and you will get a thesis statement.

  3. Write out all supporting ideas
  4. When making a thesis outline, follow the principle “from the most general up to the most specific”. In other words, you need to:

    • Write down the most general statements in the thesis outline;
    • Support these statements by certain ideas;
    • Give examples.

    We also strongly recommend you write out all the sources used. If you list all the sources in the thesis outline, you will not have problems making foot/endnotes and your bibliography list.

  5. Adjust your thesis outline to the structure required
  6. Now that you arranged the most specific ideas, it is time for the general organization of your thesis. So, make notes in your thesis outline and briefly state what each of the following parts will be about:

    • Introduction;
    • Literature
    • Review;
    • Methodology;
    • Data Presentation;
    • Discussion;
    • Conclusion


You do not have to write the whole sentences in the thesis outline. You need only prompts, not a straight text. So, write down some keywords, phrases, or terms that can serve you as effective prompts.
 
Remember, you make this thesis outline for your own benefit, not for your supervisor. The thesis outline is your map showing the direction to move in when writing your thesis paper.
 
Probably, a thesis writing guide will also be useful to you.
 
You can also find out how to build political science theses and make the theses outline by analogy.

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