95 theses essay - Universo Online
Critical Thinking Course: Corbett essay: Finding a Thesis
Some writers use outlines to help them formulate thesis statements. Otherswrite full drafts of their essays before finding and forming their thesisstatements.
Whatever method or methods you use, writing a good thesis statement does requirecareful thought and careful language. You should feel comfortable aboutrethinking and rewriting your thesis statements throughout the writing process.
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Outlines help the writer in the same way that thesis statements do--theyguide him or her through the content of the essay, setting up (at leasttemporarily) what will be included in the essay and what will not. A previewingthesis statement, like the three-point thesis statement above, is almost anoutline by itself. It states the essay idea (Television commercials arebetter crafted than most television programming . . .), and then itstates and orders the main developing ideas of the essay's body (...intheir video techniques, in their audio techniques, and in their use of language.).
Of course, outlines can be much more detailed than even previewing thesisstatements. In addition to identifying the essay idea, and the main supportingideas, and the order of the main supporting ideas, an outline might identify howthose main supporting ideas will themselves be developed. Part of aninformal outline on the television topic could look like this:
I. (Introduction) Commercials better crafted than programming
[many writers omit the introduction and conclusion from their outlines]
II. Better video techniques
A. Film versus videotape
B. More imaginative camera angles
C. More sophisticated editing
III. Better audio techniques
[and so on . . .]
Your outline could be more formal than this, and more detailed--each entry couldbe a complete sentence, and still more subordinate ideas or details could beadded (such as the naming of particular camera angles).
Your outline could be less formal--it could eliminate the numbers and letters,and just list key words to remind you of what you plan to say.
Regardless of the form it takes, the outline is just another tool for helpingyou examine and arrange what you want to say. As with the thesis statement, youshould feel comfortable about adding to, or subtracting from, or rearrangingyour outline at any stage in the writing process.