Debate Paper Outline
The outline for the Debate paper—the organization of the paper—is really quite simple. 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, fill in the information on your research question and your sources. (By the way, I don’t care so much about whether you follow the rules for a formal outline. This template uses a mix of formal and informal styles. If you’re curious about rules for formal outlines, seeDeveloping an Outline at the Purdue University Online Writing Lab.) I.
State what the research question is.
Give an overview of what the different sources say about the question. II.
Give a quick summary of the source (a sentence or a few at most) o
State how it answers the question
If it does not answer the question directly, explain what ideas or information it provides that contributes to an answer. o
Critique the source:
Evidence: Is it sufficient, relevant and representative?
Reasoning: Are the assumptions valid? Do the conclusions add up? This should be very brief—you only have room for a couple of sentences on each point. You don’t have to do it in this order. For example, you might start with the summary, do the critique and then say how it relates to your question. III.
Second Source—same as the first
(Continue until you have 5 - 7 sources.)
Sum up again how the different sources answer the research question. o
State your answer 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 answer it, how does it relate), and a brief statement of how you expect your...
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