Research Paper Formal Outline

Research Paper Formal Outline

 

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The following outline provides the structure for your research paper and ensures that you complete all nine required paragraphs. You may alter the order of the quotes or present additional quotes if you prefer in the body of the essay, but you must include at least two quotes in each body paragraph of the confirmation section and at least one quote from the secondary source in the concession paragraph and one in the refutation for a total of a minimum of ten quotes in the paper—four-six from the primary source and six or more from a variety of secondary sources. You may include additional quotes in paragraph two on the author’s background or other pertinent background information. Well-developed papers may include as many as twenty quotes, but you must introduce the quote in the same sentence that you state it and discuss each part of it in the next 1-3 sentences before introducing another quote.

Your paper should include nine paragraphs and six to eight typed pages followed by the works cited page. A 12 point, Times New Roman font is required. The entire paper is double-spaced including the heading. Do not quadruple space before the title or between paragraphs. Use MLA style citations to document all direct quotes, summaries or paraphrased information from a source.

 

Note that each letter in the outline precedes one sentence so that paragraph one will have 3-4 sentences, paragraph two will have 5-7 sentences, paragraphs three-six will have 9-11 sentences, paragraphs seven-eight will have 7-9 sentences, and paragraph nine will have three sentences.

 

I. Introduction

A. State the author, title and an intriguing aspect of the literary work to arouse interest

in your topic.

B. Narrow the topic with a more specific focus or question.

C. State the thesis by narrowing the topic more specifically and stating your claim

(argumentative interpretation) followed by a minimum of four subtopics that chart the organizing principles of your essay.)

 

II. Exposition (Ethical appeal)

A-G. In 7 sentences present any background information about the author or the historical period or any definitions of terms to prepare the reader for your interpretation (next to each letter below).

Include a topic sentence that describes the kind of information you are including. Add an in-text citation for the source(s) of the information and a works cited entry on the last page of your paper for the complete bibliographic information.

A. State the topic: What kind of background information will you describe?

B. Discuss the significance of this background info.

C. Introduce a quote and state it followed by an in-text citation in MLA style

(last name #).

D. Discuss the most relevant aspects of the quote.

E. Relate this information to your thesis.

F.

G. Sum up the significance of this information to your interpretation of the short story.

 

III. Confirmation Section

Four body paragraphs that provide the best evidence (right reasons) to accept your interpretation of the short story. The four paragraph body should include at least one quote from your primary source in each paragraph and one or two quotes from secondary sources in each paragraph. If you only include two quotes, you are still required to include a minimum of nine sentences (A-I), so you will have to analyze each quote with two or more sentences. Then, synthesize your information and add the transitional closing statement.

A. Topic Sentence-Re-introduce the first subtopic stated in your thesis and add your

argumentative claim.

B. Add information to further clarify the significance of this claim

C. Introduce and state a quote from the story as evidence of your claim.

D. Discuss the quote in 1 or 2 sentences.

E. Introduce an additional quote from secondary source #1 (journal article/library

resource) to support this claim.

F. Discuss the quote in 1 or 2 sentences.

G. Introduce another quote from a secondary source to develop your interpretation.

H. Discuss a particular word choice in the quote to zoom in on its significance.

I. Close the discussion with 1-3 sentences explaining your interpretation of the

significance of these three quotes and how they provide evidence to support your

topic sentence. J. K. Closing sentence

 

IV. Confirmation (2nd subtopic)

A. Topic Sentence-Reintroduce the second subtopic stated in your thesis and add your

argumentative claim.

B. Add a detail to clarify the significance of this claim.

C. Introduce and state a quote from the primary source as evidence of your claim.

D. Discuss your general interpretation of the quoted passage.

E. Continue to discuss the quote by analyzing the significance of several key words in

the quote.

F. Introduce a quote from another analytical article (secondary source #2) to add expert evidence and support your claim.

G. Fully discuss the quote in 1-2 sentences.

H.

I. Conclude the paragraph with a discussion of the relationship of these two quotes or add a 3rd quote to further support the topic sentence. Do not end the paragraph

with a quote.

J.

K. The final sentence of the paragraph should be your emphasis on your claim and your transition to the next paragraph.

 

V. Confirmation (3rd subtopic)

A. Topic Sentence-Re-introduce the third subtopic stated in your thesis and add your argumentative claim.

B. Add information to further clarify the significance of this claim

C. Introduce and state a quote from the story as evidence of your claim.

D. Discuss the quote in 1 or 2 sentences.

E. Introduce an additional quote from secondary source #3 (journal article or library resource) to support this claim.

F. Discuss the quote in 1 or 2 sentences.

G. Introduce another quote from a secondary source to develop your interpretation.

H. Discuss a particular word choice in the quote to zoom in on its significance.

I. Close the discussion with 1-3 sentences explaining your interpretation of the

significance of these three quotes and how they provide evidence to support your

topic sentence. J. K. The final sentence of the paragraph should be your emphasis on your claim and your transition to the next paragraph.

 

 

VI. Confirmation (4th subtopic)

A. Follow the pattern in the previous body paragraphs to develop the 4th subtopic.

B.

C.

D.

E. F.

G.

H.

I.

J.

K.

 

 

VII. Concession —Address the strengths of another interpretation of this story

A. Topic Sentence: Acknowledge a counterargument to your argumentative thesis that presents a strong alternative interpretation. State the author and title of this secondary source and its greatest strength. You will discuss the source in both the concession and the refutation paragraphs.

B. In 1-3 sentences, discuss the strengths of this alternative view to your thesis.

C.

D.

E. Introduce a quote from an alternative interpretation of the story (secondary source #5).

F. Explain a significant aspect of this quote.

G. Transition to your refutation of this alternative interpretation.

 

VIII. Refutation—Reject the interpretation of the article that you acknowledged in

your concession by revealing its flaws.

A. Topic Sentence: State the major reason the concession to a counterargument is not as powerful as the thesis that you have asserted.

B. Emphasize why your thesis is more accurate than this alternative.

C. Explain any flaws or oversights in the other interpretation.

D. Introduce and state a quote from the secondary source #5.

E. Analyze the weakness in this quote.

F. Continue to analyze the quote.

G. Reaffirm the strengths of your thesis.

 

IX. Conclusion: Do not introduce new evidence or quotes in the conclusion.

 

A. State the thesis in a new way with a bolder and more definitive purpose.

B. Add a memorable comment to direct the reader’s attention more fully on your

interpretive message. Do not introduce new evidence or quotes in the conclusion C. Close with a significant final message to the reader about the value of the literary work.

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