Writing the Term Paper Outline – Video Guide

Video Description: Writing the Term Paper Outline

This screencast will help you prepare your outline for both your term paper and/or your presentation if you choose to do an oral presentation with either Prezi or PowerPoint. So, if you go to the wiki and you look for in the resource section how to write an outline, that is in the resource how to do stuff section. You will see that you’ve got a template here of how to prepare your outline. So, you should write your thesis statement clearly at the top of the page and just follow the sections here. So, the first section you have is an intro, where you state clearly what you will be doing in the paper. So, just tell in the introduction what the topic is and how you’re going to go about exposing this problem or discussing this situation. You need to have a hook, as in any paper, and that’s just an interesting way into the topic. And in your intro, you need to clearly state your thesis, and you need to state your three main points. And here on this template you see that you have a color-coordinated order. So, your first idea, here we call it BIG IDEA A, is written in A, your next argument or pointer idea is written in violet, and the third one is written in pink.

The point here is to show you that any topic can be divided into smaller parts and then again subdivided. So, your outline is going to look like this: you’ve got section I, then you’ve got section II, which is your body, and then finally you have section III, which is your conclusion. So, let’s go back up to we’ve just completed discussing our introduction at the end of Big Ideas C here, or your third idea, you should be able to write some sort of a transitional sentence that will move your reader from the introduction to your first important idea. So now we have the body of the paper. And the paper itself should have subdivisions. So, you don’t need to write «Body» but you should write for instance «give a subdivision topic for this First Idea». And here my idea is because my thesis is «Marijuana poses a potential threat to the mental health of adolescents». So, in my first section, or section A, I might have a subtitle that says simply «Positive correlation between marijuana use and mood disorders».  And then, so this is my first section, and now I need a topic sentence. This could be one, two and three paragraphs. And this could be the topic sentence of this section here, so this is actually what I suggest. So, in section A of the body, you have three paragraphs, and each paragraph develops a point. So, my first point is «Marijuana use has an impact on teenage moods and may be a catalyst for mood disorders» and I’m going to give my specific example: study by Dr. Gobbi, source.

So, my second point or second paragraph is going to be discussing «How marijuana alters the serotonin levels in the teenage brain” and my third paragraph will talk about its irreversible effects.  So, subtitle here, first paragraph with an example, second paragraph with an example, third paragraph with an example.

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The points are really your arguments and the examples are the support for your argument. You need to have at the end of this section some sort of a concluding mini paragraph that might have only say a concluding sentence and some kind of a transition to the next section. And so, you do the same throughout the rest of the paper. You have your subtitle: «Evidence of rewiring in this still immature adolescent brain», that might be a possible subtitle for the second section, section B. And again, you have paragraph 1 2 & 3. So, so far how many paragraphs do we have? Well, we have three in second section, three in the first section, we have three in the last section.  And then your conclusion might be two paragraphs, and your introduction probably would be another two paragraphs. So, this is easily a three to four-page paper. Now you don’t have to make each one of these points a paragraph. If your last section is not as important as your other ones you could make these points – point one, two and three in Section C, you could make these all points within one paragraph. It’s for you to decide how you want to write this paper. And your conclusion here is also very important.

So I have included a link at the bottom of this page for more help on actually putting the paper together and doing the citations this is a good link and I encourage you to use this outline as a template for this paper now and it’s a perfectly fine template to use for any term paper that you might have to write in CEGEP.