Example Outline

The following guidelines apply to any paper, although the examples given here relate specifically to History 151, World History to 1500.

Generic Outline

I. Introduction

II. Body

III. Conclusion


For the question How and why do civilizations arise? Discuss using examples from at least three of the following regions: Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, India, a good outline would look like this:




Civs arose independent of ea other, share certain generic features, but ea environment and people produce unique characteristics as they reflect on their environment and find meaning in it.


It took me 10 minutes to invent it; however, in order for you to understand my ideas, it is more detailed than you need to be with yourself. Actually, a matrix would have worked well, to find where the comparisons work and don't work. If I had run out of time in writing it, I would have eliminated, or merged, the development paragraph into the environment one and gone straight for the environment-worldview connection. Notice also, how I narrowed worldview to religion for purposes of citing examples, particularly documents. Not all examples need to be used in all paragraphs equally, either; nor do you need to explain everything you know about every example society.

Altogether, what we are looking for is a balance between analytical statements and specific information. The first should control the second--that is, you do not need to include everything, but you should include what is relevant to your point and not anything irrelevant.