In this step you will plan the organization of your research paper. You
will decide what points you will deal with to prove your hypothesis.
Even though the ISP's preliminary outline goes one level
beyond the statement of organization for an essay, it performs
essentially the same
function; it sets up the Subthesis' arguable points, which, if true,
help prove the research project's
In order to set up a good outline for a research project, you should,
therefore, think in two separate steps:
First, what arguable points
will help prove your ISP's
These will become the sub-theses and will be written out as the Roman
numerals of your
Second, what arguable points
will help prove the sub-theses?
will become the topic sentences and will be written out as the capital
letters of your
A. You can compare the outline of a research paper to the outline
essay with ONE BIG STEP ADDED:
1. After you write the thesis of an
essay, you have to think of
statements of organization (2-4 major points of support written in the
form of 2-4
arguable topic sentences). You then provide facts to support and
2. After you write the hypothesis of a
research paper, you have
think of 2-4 major points to support it, which you will write in the
arguable SUBTHESIS STATEMENTS. Your next step is to take each
sub-thesis statement and think of several major points of support
written in the form of
arguable topic sentences. Thus, your research paper will consist of two
or more "supporting essays" that will prove your hypothesis. The
part of this paper consists of finding facts that will support and
B. Study your hypothesis to see the natural divisions, and use
hunches to develop your outline.
If you have problems...
Read an article to get ideas for organizing your topic. However, be
careful about applying someone else's organization to your subject.
Because you have
narrowed down your hypothesis, its development will differ from the one
article you read.