Comm 102 Spring Semester 2009
Stories and Philosophy
Details and Instructions for Research Paper

The deadline for this task is 13th July. The deadline is the beginning of class so don't miss class in order to complete this task.


Write an outline for your research paper.
  • This is the third stage of your research paper for which you will be awarded marks. You will be graded out of 10%.
  • You will be awarded this 10% for whatever you submit on the deadline above. You may not submit two outlines so make sure you do your best, first time round.
  • You are expected to complete the task - i.e. plan enough to achieve the specified number of pages 6-10 pages
  • If you do an outline it must show sufficient planning for at least 15 body paragraphs. If you have problems generating enough ideas you must come and see your teacher before the above deadline.
  • Include specific references to your sources in your outline. This involves indicating the name of the author, year of publication and page number. These sources should be about your theory as well as your story.  In doing your outline develop your own efficient way of referring to specific texts. You will find that if you do this in your outline it will make your life a lot easier when it comes to writing the first draft of your research paper. Also, your teacher needs to see how you are using your sources. If you do not indicate this in your outline, you may find that when you submit your first draft, your teacher may instruct you to omit whole chunks of your essay for use of inappropriate sources or inappropriate use of sources.
Note that organising your essay around your story is not a good idea. You should aim to use your philosophical theory as the basis for organising your essay. At this stage you should be able to break your topic down into sub-topics and use these subtopics as the basis for the organisation of your essay. Your outline/first draft should contain information about both your story and your theory. In fact most paragraphs in your essay should contain information about both your story and your theory. If you only provide information about your story, then you have serious problems with content.  Avoid long passages of story telling.  Make sure that you have information about your theory throughout your outline and not just in the introduction.  
  • If you have difficulty writing the task description, come and see your teacher.
  • The outline or first draft should be typed - this is for your benefit as any changes, especially with organisation and structure can easily be made by cutting and pasting. It will save you time in the long run.
  • When submitting your outline/first draft, make sure you include any preparatory work you have done - your preliminary research, your proposal, notes, reference page, sources etc.  If you were organised for your proposal, then this simply means adding your outline/first draft to your already existing folder.
  • When submitting your sources, you must indicate clearly on each source (by underlining/highlighting) which specific ideas/language you have used in the writing of your essay.
  • Make sure all of your work is in a folder.
  • There should be a title page clearly separating each part of the research project. It should be very clear to your teacher what each section is.
  • Make sure you include a 'reference page', presented in APA format. Remember that you may need to update this from your proposal. For an example click here . For further information about APA formatting click here.
  • Your outline should be detailed. It should include:
  1. a clear indication of what your chosen topic is
  2. a task description
  3.  a thesis statement, 
  4. a summary of your theory
  5. a summary of your story
  6. a specification of what the topic is for each paragraph, 
  7. a topic sentence for each paragraph, 
  8. details of supporting points for each paragraph,
  9. a record of what sources are being used at each particular point
  10. an indication of the reason for the organisation of the ideas in each paragraph, 
  11. a concluding sentence for each paragraph, 
  12. an explanation of how paragraphs are linked.
For a detailed form in Microsoft Word Format that you can fill in as your outline Click Here

For an example of a paragraph in outline format please click here

You must remember to submit your outline to

Copyright - © 2009 David O'Regan - All rights reserved.