Outlining Concept Paper

In your outline, list the main topics into which you have divided the information about your concept. Use this outline to guide your drafting, but do not feel tied to it. As you draft, you may find a better way to sequence the action and integrate these features.

An essay explaining a concept is made up of four basic parts:

-an attempt to engage readers' interest
-the thesis statement, announcing the concept, its focus, and its topics
-an orientation to the concept, which may include a description or
definition of the concept
-information about the concept

Here is a possible outline for an essay explaining a concept:

I. Introduction (attempt to gain readers' interest in the concept)
II. Thesis statement
III. Definition of the concept
IV. Topic 1 with explanation/illustration/anecdote
V. Topic 2 with explanation/illustration/anecdote
VI. Topic 3, etc.
VII. Conclusion

An attempt to gain readers' interest could take as little as two or three sentences or as many as four or five paragraphs. The thesis statement and definition are usually quite brief--sometimes only a few sentences. A topic illustration may occupy one or several paragraphs, and there can be few or many topics, depending on how the information has been divided up. A conclusion might summarize the infomation presented, give advice about how to use or apply the information, or speculate about the future of the concept.

--Axelrod and Cooper. The St. Martin's Guide to Writing. Ninth edition.
Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2010. 169-170.

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