Documented Essay Outline

Once you have determined a method of organization for your paper, prepare an outline that logically sequences your main points and supporting arguments.


Step one Type your thesis statement at the top of your essay along with your name and period. The three distinct aspects of the topic that will be turned into separate body paragraphs and numbered and underlined for your convenience.

*Sample documented essay thesis statement on the topic of overmedication of children for behavioral issues: Modern society demands that our physical and emotional ills be solved immediately using pharmaceuticals rather than other means. Balancing those chemical treatments that prescribe pills and patches with other avenues, such as 1) holistic medicine, 2) family counseling, and 3) peer support groups, would be a better way to treat children and ensure their success in school and in life.

Step Two Organize your body paragraphs based on the main points presented in your thesis.

*Sample of an outline for a Problem/Solution format documented essay using the above thesis:

Ø Introduction
o Statement of the problem (overmedication of school children for behavior issues)
o Thesis statement with at least three distinct points (to prove with evidence and analysis in the body paragraphs)
Ø Body Paragraphs 1 a, b, etc.
o Holistic medicine-what it is and how it can help children
Ø Body, Paragraph 2a, b, etc.
o Family Counseling-what it involves and how it can help children
Ø Body, Paragraphs 3a, b, etc.
o Peer Support Groups-what they are, how to form one or join one, and how they can help

Please notice, there is no set number of paragraphs in your documented essay. That is why I have labeled the body paragraphs as possibly have several paragraphs (a, b, etc.)
Step three Type your conclusion

Ø Conclusion
o Summarize your findings and rephrase your thesis statement. Add an additional quote from your research that wraps up your position on your topic.