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Outlining Made Simple!

Outlining is one of the most difficult stages of the writing process. Often diving into writing a paper is more appealing than organizing and outlining the elements that will be written about. However, outlining need not be so tough a task to tackle. In the attached solution, I demonstrate how to create a THESIS STATEMENT and how to use that guiding statement to create a detailed outline in just a few simple steps!

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#1) The first step in outlining is creating a THESIS STATEMENT. This statement is comprised of two parts: SUBJECT and ATTITUDE. In other words, THESIS STATEMENTS must identify a topic being discussed ("SUBJECT") and comment on that topic ("ATTITUDE").

An example THESIS STATEMENT for our use here could be:
Everyone should own a dog.

This is a very simple THESIS STATEMENT, but it fulfills the two requirements in that it identifies the topic and it comments on the topic. Therefore, the SUBJECT is "own a dog" and the ATTITUDE is "everyone should."

#2) The second step in outlining is turning the THESIS STATEMENT into a "How?" or "Why?" question.

In the case of our example, we would need to turn the THESIS STATEMENT, "Everyone should own a dog." into either a "How?" or "Why?" question. For this example, it is obvious that "Why?" is the most logical question word to use. Therefore, our question would read: "Why should everyone own a dog?"

#3) The third step in outlining is to answer the question created from the THESIS STATEMENT. These ...