What is a thesis statement outline?

This is the first of three lessons about thesis statement Outlines. To complete this course, read each lesson carefully and then unlock and complete our materials to check your understanding.   

– Introduce the two types of outline in academic writing

– Explore the purpose of thesis statement outlines

– Provide informative and persuasive outline examples to help guide the reader

Lesson 1

When writing to an academic standard, a student will most likely be asked by their tutor or advisor to create and submit two types of outline to successfully complete an essay. The first type of academic outline (which may also be described as a plan) is a listed or bullet-pointed structure for outlining the entire research paper. While this type of outline is able to provide the key topics of an essay as a whole, the focus of this short course is instead on thesis-statement outlines which more narrowly highlight only body-paragraph main ideas to the reader.


What is the purpose of a thesis-statement outline?

If you’ve already completed our short course on thesis statements, then you’ll know that a successful thesis statement may be broken into a number of elements, such as the outline or stance. Otherwise known as a roadmap, an outline is placed at the end of an introductory paragraph and functions to inform the reader of (1) the essay’s key arguments (main ideas), and (2) the order in which those arguments appear in the body section. To help guide you in recognising outlines, we’ve included two example thesis statements below with these features in bold: 

Outlines 1.1 Thesis Statement A
Outlines 1.2 Thesis Statement B

In thesis statement (a), which is written for an example informative essay, the bolded outline provides the reader with three clear main ideas that will be included in the body section of that piece of research. These three main ideas are presented more clearly for students in the table below:

Outlines 1.3 Example A Main Ideas

Example thesis statement (b), on the other hand, is instead taken from a persuasive essay. As such, this outline requires both counter arguments and arguments to represent the body section’s four main ideas, as can be seen below: 

Outlines 1.4 Example B Arguments and Counter Arguments

Now that you understand the basic concepts of a thesis statement outline, Lesson 2 on this topic explores why outlines are so important in academic introductions. How and why good writers should precisely connect an outline to their body-section topic sentences is also discussed.

1 of 3 Lessons Completed


Once you’ve completed all three lessons about outlines, you might also wish to download our beginner, intermediate and advanced worksheets to test your progress or print for your students. These professional PDF worksheets can be easily accessed for only a few Academic Marks.

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Gain unlimited access to our outlines beginner worksheet, with activities and answer keys designed to check a basic understanding of this topic’s lessons.

To check a confident understanding of this topic’s lessons, click on the button below to download our outlines intermediate worksheet with activities and answer keys.

Our outlines advanced worksheet with activities and answer keys has been created to check a sophisticated understanding of this topic’s lessons. 

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