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ENGL 2111 and 2112 World Literature: Outline

Example Outline

1. Introduction with thesis

Every paper  needs an introduction. You must tell the reader what you are going to talk about in the paper. The thesis statement is important as well.  You are trying to prove something in your writing.  In our example, we are trying to prove that the Nurse character in Romeo and Juliet is actually detrimental to Juliet and one of the causes of her premature death. 

 The introduction can be more than one paragraph and should look something like this:

Many critics believe the Nurse is a friend to Juliet. These critics feel Shakespeare created the Nurse so that Juliet would have one person to stand by her throughout the play. After reviewing both sides of the issue, the Nurse was, in fact, one of Juliet’s enemies who led to her eventual death.

2. Body paragraphs

The body of your paper is where you weave together all of your sources to prove/discuss your point. Use direct quotes from your sources to show the reader what others have written about your topic.

For example:

The nurse does not help Juliet in her time of need. Derick Marsh discusses the Nurse in his book, Passion Lends Them Power.  He believes...

In the body paragraphs, you will discuss evidence which proves your thesis or you may refute it with your research.

The Nurse seems to be concerned for Juliet’s best interests. This may be true at first, but as the play continues the reader learns her true intentions. 

3. Conclusion

Many critics believe the Nurse is a friend to Juliet. These critics feel Shakespeare created the Nurse so that Juliet would have one person to stand by her throughout the play.  Closer study reveals that the Nurse was one of Juliet's enemies who led to her eventual death.  (Restate the thesis).