|Essay Outline Handout
Below is a suggested template for how you might outline your essay – this is an example of how I might structure my own essay for this assignment. You are not required to follow exactly this formula, but you’re welcome to draw upon it for inspiration:
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• Begin with a “hook” – some interesting way of introducing the topic to a broad audience.
Body Paragraph One (Discussion of Source #1)
• Topic Sentence: Something about how source #1 answers the inquiry question)
Body Paragraph Two (Discussion of Source #2)
• Topic Sentence: Something about how source #2 answers the inquiry question)
Body Paragraph Three (Synthesis of Both Sources)
• Topic Sentence: Something about what emerges (the thesis) from putting both sources in conversation.
• Begin with a return to your original thesis in new words. (This essay has argued X, the thesis).
Observe the following small details and guidelines. Any deviation from these guidelines will result in an automatic letter grade penalty to your essay.
1. Formatting: Remember that this essay should be 2+ pages long (two full pages minimum), written in double-spaced 12 point Times New Roman Font with one-inch margins. Include a header (with your name and date) and a title.
2. Works Cited: Be sure to include a Works Cited section at the end of your essay with correct MLA entries for each of your sources. Also, be sure to use the appropriate forms of in-text-citations: Tell your reader which source you’re drawing from, and if there are page numbers for your source, include them in parenthesis after sentences in which you include quotes or key information from the source.
3. Quotation: Only use a limited number of longer quotes – try to only use a longer quote when you want to draw attention to the author’s specific wording. NOTE that any time you quote a specific phrase or paraphrase a specific idea, you should cite the page number of the page where you found this idea. The page number should appear in parenthesis, and the period comes AFTER the page number like this (3). If you use a longer quote, you finish the quote and then give the page number in parentheses “like this” (3). Note that the period always comes after the page number if a page number is given.
If your source does not have pages, you do not need to include anything at the end of the sentence. Instead, just tell your reader clearly where the quote came from. For example:
According to Jane Smith’s article in Website Alpha, “severe weather patterns are growing more and more disastrous.”
4. Titles: The title of a larger website, like The Los Angeles Review of Books, should appear in italics. The title of an article or entry within a website, such as “Three Perspectives on Stephen King,” should appear in quotation marks. If you’ve conducted interviews, simply give the full name of the person you’ve interviewed (no italics or quotation marks are needed). For example:
According to an interview with Ron Gomez, a mechanic who works at Pit Stop Motors, engines are more fuel efficient now than they were ten years ago. Gomez notes blah blah blah.
5. Using Names: The first time you introduce the name of an author or someone you’ve interviewed, give that person’s whole name. After this, only refer to this person by his or her last name.
6. Attributive Tags and Possessive Apostrophes: Remember to use attributive tags (Carse says, he suggests, he goes on to argue, etc.) when writing your essay. Also, be sure to use appropriate apostrophes to show possession (Carse’s article argues X).
7. Structure: Your essay should have an introduction paragraph, at least two or three body paragraphs, and a conclusion paragraph. See the assignment sheet for details.
8. Sentence Clarity: Once you have written your essay, be sure to leave yourself time to go back over it very carefully and polish your sentences until they are perfect.
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