Term Paper Outlines Examples

Your term paper outline is your reliable compass throughout the writing process. Here, you arrange all the points that you are going to discuss in your term paper. Mostly you do it for yourself.

It will always help you stay focused and stick to the main points in your paper. However, a tutor, teacher, or professor may ask you to submit your working-term paper outline before you start writing. He or she will check the ways that you are going to develop your thesis and can suggest some improvement areas.

You may revise and restructure this version of your outline once you come across new material or find new ideas to be included in your term paper.

Don't make haste writing your paper. Think carefully about your topic and main points as well as evaluate the material you have found. Subdivide all the relevant material into groups and then name each group. These names will serve as headings and subheadings in your outline.

We would like to remind you that every term paper, regardless of the subject, has the following sections:

  • Introduction or purpose of the paper. This opening part suggests acquainting the reader with the problem and stating the thesis.
  • Body: It is usually divided into various headings and sub-headings connected with different aspects of the topic. For example:
    • Heading 1: History of the Problem. You may include past attempts at solutions.
    • Heading 2: Extent of the Problem. Who is affected? What impact has it had?
    • Heading 3: Effects of the Problem.
    • Heading 4: Possible Future Solutions.
  • Conclusion: Sums up the points made in the term paper and gives a strong answer to the thesis.

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Term Paper

Sample Outline #2

Title: The FederalistPapers’ Influence on the Ratification of the Constitution

Thesis: The Federalist Papers influenced the ratification of the Constitution by making some of their most important arguments, including the importance of being in a Union by having a Constitution, answering to the objections made by the Anti-federalists about separation of powers, and defending opposing arguments made against the characteristics of the executive and judicial branch as provided in the Constitution.

            I.     Introduction

a.      Describe The Federalist Papers are and when they started

b.     Thesis:The Federalist influenced the ratification of the Constitution by making some of their most important arguments, including the importance of being in a Union by having a Constitution, answering to the objections made by the Anti-federalists about separation of powers, and defending opposing arguments made against the characteristics of the executive and judicial branch as provided in the Constitution.

          II.     Background

a.      State when The Federalist was printed and published.

b.     Discuss the intentions and purposes of The Federalist.

        III.     Argument for the benefit of a

a.      A would guard against external dangers

b.     A would guard against internal dangers

A.    The “extended sphere” argument about how it will control factions. (Federalist 10)

       IV.     Argument of the problem with complete separation of powers

a.      Anti-federalists wanted a complete separation of the judicial, executive, and legislative branches

b.     The Federalist said the maxim of complete separation of powers is misunderstood. (Montesquieu)

c.      The branches need some limited power of the other branches to protect themselves from encroachment of the other branches (Federalist 51)

A.    The branches need to have the interests of maintaining their powers, and not letting the other branches take that away.

         V.     Argument for a single executive, and against a plural executive

a.      Anti-federalists didn’t want a single executive, too much like a monarch

b.     The Federalist need the executive to be “energetic” and a plural executive would make this impossible (Federalist 70)

A.    It would take too long for the people in the executive position to make decision in an emergency, because they might disagree.

B.    In a plural executive, it is hard to tell who is responsible for a wrongdoing because they can all blame each other, so a single executive would lead to more responsible behavior

       VI.     Argument in favor of judicial review and terms of good behavior for judges

a.      Anti-federalists didn’t like judicial review and the term of good behavior

b.     The Federalist argued that judicial review was necessary to protect the judicial branch from the Legislature.

c.      A term of good behavior was necessary to get qualified people for the positions; it would also give them time to develop knowledge.

     VII.     Conclusion

a.      Thesis

b.     The dates of the ratification of the Constitution by the States

c.      The Federalist’s influence beyond the ratification

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