Formal Sentence Outline
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The purpose of the Formal Sentence Outline is to help you organize, design, and outline your final Research Paper for this
course. Now that you have researched your topic and composed a review of literature that demonstrates your
understanding of the conversation surrounding your topic, you are ready to begin fleshing out your paper—one section at a
time. In the last three units of the course, you will write the remaining sections of your paper (introduction, body,
conclusion, and abstract), and this outline will guide you through that process.
In this 300-500-word, Formal Sentence Outline, you will organize and outline the project that you intend to write about for
your final Research Paper. If your Formal Sentence Outline is less than the word count, it is likely you have not fully
developed your outline or adhered to the assignment appropriately, and this lack of development can severely impact your
grade for this assignment. Your outline will include the elements listed below.
Your Formal Sentence Outline should also include a list of references in APA style and should adhere to APA convention
throughout for in-text citation and style.
Your grade is largely based on your inclusion of the following elements, as well as your development of the project. For a
model, you might want to refer back to pp. 465-467 of Strategies for Writing Successful Research Papers. Your outline
must contain the following elements.
1. Cover page and APA formatting:
You should include an APA-style cover page for your Formal Sentence Outline. See the example on page 16 of
The CSU APA Guide (6th edition). Your cover page should include the following: the title, your name, and the
name of your university (Columbia Southern University). The running head should include up to 50 characters from
the title of the paper, along with a sequential page number in the upper right-hand corner.
The entire outline should be double-spaced throughout, without additional spaces between sections.
The thesis statement should be provided at the beginning of the outline, and it should be labeled “Thesis,” followed
by a colon. The thesis statement should be an argumentative statement that embodies the argument of your paper.
Please see the directions for double-checking the argumentativeness of your thesis statement in the lecture for
When writing your outline, make certain that every topic and subtopic is written as a complete
sentence. Additionally, it is required to include in-text citations within your outline. For instance, one of your
subtopics may be a direct quote; therefore, you would place an in-text citation at the closing of the sentence just
as you would do if it were written in essay form. For example:
I. Hybrid vehicles are far inferior to our country’s available technology.
A. Electric cars are more energy efficient and do not have tailpipe pollutants.
1.Nissan CEO, Carlos Ghosn (2008), states, “I want a pure electric car. I don’t want
a range extender that still uses oil. That is unsustainable” (para. 2).
Furthermore, any in-text citation will also have a correlating reference entry listed on the reference page. For the
purpose of this outline, you will only reference the sources, which have in-text citations to match (in the
outline). In later drafts, you will include every source that you used in your essay on your reference
page. However, the outline only requires that you reference sources that were used solely in the outline.
EH 1020, English Composition II 10
3. Headings and subheadings:
You must include at least four headings in your outline, indicated by Roman numerals (I, II, III, IV). Each of these
headings must have at least two subheadings, indicated by capital letters (A, B, C). The best outlines will break
down these subheadings into topics, indicated with numerals (1, 2, 3).
A framework for an outline might look like the one below:
Thesis: Hydrogen cars might be the future’s best hope for an environment-friendly family vehicle, but the
unstable nature of the hydrogen that powers them is not worth the risk of personal injury.
I. There have been a number of alternative cars designed in the last decade, but none that are as
efficient as the hydrogen models. (Heading)
A. Efficiency for alternative car models means production costs do not exceed the financial strain
of consumers. (Subheading)
1. Hybrid cars are not as efficient as electric cars. (Topic)
2. Electric cars place undue energy demands on society. (Topic)
B. Subheading 1.2
II. Heading II
A. Subheading 2.1
B. Subheading 2.2
C. Subheading 2.3
III. Heading III
A. Subheading 3.1
B. Subheading 3.2
IV. Heading IV
A. Subheading 4.1
B. Subheading 4.2
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