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Drafting and Outlining Guides

There's nothing more daunting than a blank page. Luckily, we've got some materials that will help you get organized! These materials will cover everything from coming up with your initial thesis statement to how to draft a killer conclusion.

  • Forming a Thesis (DOCX): What's a thesis, you ask? Think of it as a one-sentence summary of your paper topic. This document will guide you through refining a generic topic into a solid, defensible thesis.
  • How to Create an Outline (PDF): So, you've already drafted an airtight thesis and you're ready to start planning the rest of your paper. How do you organize all of your random thoughts and ideas into a coherent, easy-to-follow structure? You make an outline, of course!
  • How to Create a Reverse Outline (PDF): Trying to organize a paper once it's already written can be a huge hassle. How are you supposed to keep several pages of text organized in your head? It's just too daunting! Why not break up your paper into more manageable chunks? This Reverse Outline guide will aid you in finding the organizational flow that makes the most sense for your specific paper.
  • How to Draft a Paragraph (PIE Method) (PDF): Constructing a properly developed and cohesive paragraph is a difficult task. How do you organize your thoughts in a way that's easy for your audience to understand? How do you balance evidence and analysis in a constructive way? This guide will answer these questions and so many more.
  • Transitions (PDF): A paper without transitions is like a car without transmission, in that switching gears will tend to produce an uncomfortable lurch and stutter. Learn the best way to smoothly transition between paragraphs with this handy guide.
  • Conclusion (DOCX): It's four in the morning and you've just composed a masterful essay on the benefits of Brussels sprouts, but alas—you don't know how to tie together all of your ideas. The conclusion is often the hardest part of writing an essay, especially when you're fatigued from of writing the introduction and body paragraphs. But do not fear, citizen! The Writing Center has some useful tips for wrapping up your paper.
  • Proofreading (PDF): It's difficult to see the mistakes in your own writing, and it's usually best if you can find someone else to look over your work for you. But what about when you don't have time to find someone else to look over your paper? Here are a few tips for successful self-proofreading.
by Bushner, Anthony J last modified Feb 15, 2012 04:55 PM
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