Essay Writing

Revised Thesis & MLA Outline

For this step in your research process, you will be writing an MLA-formatted outline for your paper.

  1. Revise your thesis statement
  • After learning more about your topic, your thesis may need some adjustments
  • Make sure you have enough evidence to support your thesis (if not, you’ll need to continue with your research)
  1. Determine your main ideas
  • These will ultimately turn into topic sentences for your MEAT paragraphs
  • Each should be a claim (ARGUMENT) that advances your overall thesis
  • The number of main ideas you have will vary – you need a minimum of 4
  • This is the time to really think through your organization. First, establish there is an issue. Then explain it in more detail. Finally, present your findings on what is being done about the issue already and what more we could do.
  1. Determine what evidence you will use to support your main ideas
  • This evidence comes from your RESEARCH that you have conducted
  • Write in general terms; leave the specifics and numbers for the paper itself
  • Must have at least three sub-points for each of your main ideas.
  1. Determine what Analysis you will use to support your main ideas
  • Consider how you will tie your evidence to your main ideas
  1. Consider any transitions that might be needed

Organize all of the above information into an MLA-formatted outline. You must have a minimum of four main ideas and three sub-points under each of those main ideas. You may wish to break it down even further and be more specific. Follow the rule that if you decide to get more specific, you should have at least two sub-points under that heading. Your Outline must be double spaced. Follow the formatting on the example.

The order for labeling your headings is: Capital Roman Numerals, Capital Letters, Numeric Numbers, Lowercase Letters

  1. Main Idea Statement (1 of 4)
    1. Sub-point
    2. Sub-point
    3. Sub-point
      1. Detailed things
        1. Even more detailed things
        2. Even more detailed things
      2. Detailed things