How To Complete You Term Paper In Time: An Outline Example


When you need to write a term paper, it can seem like you never have enough time to get organized and figure out how to structure your paper. You have so many ideas, sources, and things to say that it can seem impossible to actually get any of them down on paper, never mind getting them to make sense to your teacher! You’ve probably seen, heard, or read that an outline can make all the difference when you need to write your term paper in time. But what is an outline, anyway, and why should you use one? Here are the reasons why an outline is important, as well as why it’s important.

It helps keep you organized. An outline will help you to stop from “getting ahead of yourself” when you write. When you write an outline, all your ideas are organized in a logical order, so you can write about one thing at a time without having to jump all over the place from topic to topic. Creating and sticking to an outline helps you keep your mind (and paper) free from clutter!

It helps you start writing. In an outline, you will be writing the main topic sentences and ideas of your paper in short, one-sentence descriptions. This is a great way to get over that writer’s block that can sometimes keep you behind on your paper-writing schedule. Sometimes you write one sentence, then have an idea for the next sentence, and before you know it you’ve almost got a full paragraph!

It helps you stay on track. When you’re getting excited about your paper, it can be easy to get carried away and start talking about complicated issues before fully explaining them. An outline will help you ensure that your paper is coherent and has an easy-to-follow structure.

There are many different ways to make an outline, and no one way is better than any other. However, the traditional outline uses roman numbers (I, II, III, etc.) and letters to break down the major parts of your paper. Here is an example of what an outline might look like. Each major point (your thesis statement and topic sentences) has a roman numeral, and each sub-point (evidence, facts, and analysis) has a letter.

  1. Your thesis statement would be the first numeral.
  2. Then comes the topic sentence, which is the first sentence of a paragraph.
    • Here you would put your first sub-point, meaning whatever data or evidence you will use to prove the topic sentence.
    • Here is where you could put your analysis of the data or evidence.

    • Here is where you would put your second sub-point (more evidence or data)
    • And your analysis of that second point.

  3. You would keep going until you have the correct number of paragraphs, or until you have exhausted your ideas and points.
    • You don’t have to use roman numerals and numbers; anything that keeps you organized and on-track will do!