Some comments I seem to insert over and over:

If you don't use the comments I insert in your draft, could you please let me know so I can save myself the time and effort? Thanks.

Here's my sample (quickly-drafted) outline:

Essay Instructions for 24 March 2010

You've brainstormed some topics, listed the pros and cons of each as an essay topic, drafted a thesis, and brainstormed some main points. (If you haven't done all those things, get caught up today.) Now, it's time to do the next few steps:

1. Create an outline

This is a sort of map of what you plan to do with your essay. It is definitely temporary. It'll change, and your final essay will end up looking different than the outline. That's okay. It will probably help if you use the blank tootsie roll shape on the back of your keyhole notes to sort of rough it out first. You can just leave the final paragraph out for now; we'll discuss that later.

Some of you may have done this before. A traditional outline uses Roman numerals. Ring a bell? Below are some nice resources for you to use. Don't stress too much about getting this right. We'll go over it tomorrow and you're not getting graded on how good your outline is; just do it!

Good beginning point:

Another good basic resource:

Nice PowerPoint presentation on outlining & essays in general:

This site is a little more detailed. It gets into specifics:

Do this in your Google.doc. Don't delete anything that's already there; just hit return a few times after your main points and put it there.

2. Research

Remember all we've discussed about choosing reliable, objective sources. Use EBSCO! Make sure to take notes and always know which source each piece of information came from. When in doubt, ask Mrs. Kaldenberg.

3. Draft your first paragraph

This is ONLY A DRAFT. Don't worry about achieving perfection now. Just get it down. Do all those things you noted in the top trapezoid of the tootsie roll.

If you've got a lot of research done, and you're feeling pretty confident, go ahead and start drafting your body.