Organizing The Term Paper

For this step of the Term Paper, you have to organize your notes into a body paragraph outline. This outline will serve as a “skeleton” for your final paper and will help you organize your term paper and the arguments and examples you will use throughout your term paper.

All term papers will be organized in three-part form (introduction-body-conclusion), but the body paragraphs themselves should be organized in the following way:

  • The Alternate Block Format

In your body paragraphs, you will use your research notes to construct well-detailed arguments that address both sides of your topic, and hopefully, convince the reader that your claim is true based on the presentation of your reasons and evidence.

Remember that in order to persuade the reader in your body paragraphs, you must use all of the persuasive methods we have discussed in class. They are:

  1. Using facts
  2. Using examples
  3. Referring to an authority
  4. Answering the opposition
  5. Predicting the consequence

Your term paper should be organized by argument. You should have 4-5 main arguments in favor of your position and your body paragraphs should be broken and up and organized accordingly, with one argument discussed in each body paragraph or series of paragraphs.

Your Body Paragraph Outline will help you to organize the body of your term paper. The outline is fairly basic and not very detailed; you will add the detail in later. The outline is meant to serve as an organizer of your points and the main pieces of evidence that you will use to defend those points.

The following pages will show you The Alternate Block Format you should use to organize your term paper and will give a sample Body Paragraph Outline.

Introduction:

  1. Attention grabber or “hook” – look back at our past methods of introduction
  2. Describe the controversy and give some background information about the topic
  3. Thesis statement that contains your argument

Body One: Con Point 1; Pro Point 1

  1. Con point of view identified and stated descriptively
  2. Pro point of view identified. Answers Con Point 1
  3. ELABORATION in a clear, logical tone

Body Two: Con Point 2; Pro Point 2

  1. Con point of view identified and stated descriptively
  2. Pro point of view identified. Answers Con Point 2
  3. ELABORATION in a clear, logical tone

Body Three: Con Point 3; Pro Point 3

  1. Con point of view identified and stated descriptively
  2. Pro point of view identified. Answers Con Point 3
  3. ELABORATION in a clear, logical tone

Conclusion:

  1. Restates the argument/summarize the thesis statement
  2. Calls for action, solution, or refers to the future (**predicts the consequence)