Before starting your outline, you may want to take a minute and reflect on what you have learned from researching your subject and what conclusions you have reached. Think for a minute about what you expect the paper to communicate. What do you want it to say? Then get to work on your outline with all of your notes and cards close at hand.
Remember that you will study your subject and build a paper around your study, but a good paper will draw a main conclusion from the research presented. Write a brief sentence or two that you think will be your main conclusion drawn from all of this research. It could change as you get into your research further, but be aware that you will need to reach some sort of conclusion or try to prove something worthwhile.
By the way, a thesis means basically an argument you intend to make to prove the case for a certain position or an over-riding conclusion you expect to draw from your presentation of the gathered information. You might approach the development of your thesis by asking yourself questions and thinking about them. For instance, you might think about what impact Eisenhower's involvement in the D-Day Invasion has had on the world, or what do you want the world to know about Eisenhower's involvement or contribution to the D-Day Invasion. Or maybe you want to change the whole topic and make it more along the lines of how Eisenhower's involvement in the D-Day Invasion helped prepare him for his role as President of the United States. Think about your topic from different angles; what you want to say, what is of particular interest, how much can you actually cover about this? You will need to turn off the TV and/or your cell phone for periods of time.
You may get to the end of the first week and decide your topic is no good, that it just is not going to work. That's fine. You've made that discovery in time. Now get busy and go to topic number two or three that you discarded earlier and see if either one of them will fly and/or whether in looking at them again you can see a whole new topic emerge which may be just what you are looking for. If you need to run over a couple of days to get your new topic figured out, don't panic. Make the adjustment in the second week to put in some more hours and see if you can't be back on schedule by the end of the third week. See. You can do this.
Last Updated: 08/20/2013