Debate Paper Outline

Debate Paper Outline

The outline for the Debate paper—the organization of the paper—is indeed fairly plain. Here’s what it would look like.

This is a template. It tells you the format, but does not tell you the content. That depends on your research. Don’t just copy this. Instead, pack in the information on your research question and your sources.

(By the way, I don’t care so much about whether you go after the rules for a formal outline. This template uses a mix of formal and informal styles. If you’re nosey about rules for formal outlines, see Developing an Outline at the Purdue University Online Writing Lab .)

  1. Introduction
    • State what the research question is.
    • Give an overview of what the different sources say about the question.
  2. Very first source
  3. Give a quick summary of the source (a sentence or a few at most)
  4. State how it answers the question
  5. If it does not response the question directly, explain what ideas or information it provides that contributes to an reaction.
  6. Critique the source:
  7. Evidence: Is it sufficient, relevant and representative?
  8. Reasoning: Are the assumptions valid? Do the conclusions add up?
  9. This should be very brief—you only have room for a duo of sentences on each point.

You don’t have to do it in this order. For example, you might begin with the summary, do the critique and then say how it relates to your question.

  • 2nd Source—same as the very first
  • (Proceed until you have Five – 7 sources.)

  • Conclusion
  • Sum up again how the different sources response the research question.
  • State your reaction to the research question.
  • This will be the thesis of your final research paper. Think of this part of the conclusion as a summary of your research paper, like the summaries of all your sources.
  • That’s it. A bunch of sources, each one summarized and critiqued, with an explanation of how it answers the research question (or, if it doesn’t exactly response it, how does it relate), and a brief statement of how you expect your final research paper to response the research question.

    Things to See Out For

  • The single most common mistake people make in this assignment is that they write a draft of their research paper, not focused on the sources but focused on their own thesis. Don’t do that. See Organization: Debate vs. Research for a comparison of the two papers.
  • In your outline, list as much of this material as you can, based on the reading you have done so far. For example, under one source you might write:
  • “Evidence—sufficient, relevant, maybe not all representative.”
  • “One major invalid assumption.”
  • “Argues that global heating is most significant effect.”
  • The more of this kind of detail you can get into your outline, the lighter it will be to write your paper.

  • After you have the outline and have drafted the basic content of each paragraph. work on making it more than just a list. Don’t begin every paragraph with “In my next source. ” Instead, use the opening of the paragraph tie each one back to the research question, or introduce the source’s concentrate, or demonstrate the contrast inbetween this source and the previous one—something to give it multitude while still focusing on the essential elements of the assignment.
  • Debate Paper Outline

    The outline for the Debate paper—the organization of the paper—is truly fairly ordinary. Here’s what it would look like.

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