What level of knowledge will audience have about the broad subject and/or the subtopic? How often do you think your research question pops into their own minds?

Outline of the Researched Essay

Need an outline for the essay that was previously written. I have the guideline below for further detail.

Please follow the guidelines below in order to form an outline for your researched essay.

Subject Context

1. What is the broad subject heading under which you are writing? (Example: An essay on cloning would fall under the broad subject heading of Biology or Molecular Biology)

2. What is the topic you wish to address underneath that heading? (Example: genetics)

3. What is your research question, otherwise known as your focus? (Example: I will focus on the efficacy of cloning as it applies to germ-line manipulation, or designer children. Should germ-line research continue?)


1. According to the answers above, who will your audience be for this essay? Where might you publish this essay if given the opportunity?

2. What level of knowledge will audience have about the broad subject and/or the subtopic? How often do you think your research question pops into their own minds?

3. How broadly can you, or must you, cover the subject according to this audience? In other words, how much, or how little, information do you need to provide to get them up to speed?

4. How sophisticated will these readers be?


1. Why is your subject worth writing about? How might readers benefit from reading it?

2. Why are you writing? (To inform? To call to action? To change current thought?)


What first got you thinking about this topic or, when you chose this topic, what was the first thing that popped into your mind? Was it a story? A particular problem or controversy? How will you draw your reader in to your essay?

Claim/Working Thesis

1. Considering all of the above information, how might you answer your research question? In other words, what are you going to argue in this essay? What is the guiding claim? (Remember that this portion of the outline will change as you write and continue to research your subject.)

2. Break apart the pieces of your claim: What are the major terms that you are going to be required to discuss in your essay?


Considering the pieces of your claim, to the best of your ability, list your main points that are going to work to prove that claim. What do you have to prove first? Will your reader need a great deal of background information, or can you start in a focused fashion?

1. Work to write those main points in the form of topic sentences. Remember that each paragraph can only make one main point.

2. For each topic sentence, briefly identify the logic that you will use to prove it, including supporting material.


Now, think about how you want your reader to leave your essay. You can remind them of your main points, but this can also be a bit repetitive. Try giving them something to consider in light of your argument, such as a larger, related issue or additional controversy or problem.

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