Module 02 Humanities Project – Thesis and Outline – Excelsior Writers |
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For this piece of the Humanities Project, you will submit your topic choice along with your thesis and outline as a single 1-2 page Word document. This outline will be a guide of how your paper will flow.

Please study the following example to see how to write an introduction and thesis statement and then develop a tentative outline out of that thesis.

Begin with a couple of introductory statements that introduce the topic and main idea to the audience:

The world of literature has produced some phenomenal talents throughout history. Both Langston Hughes and James Baldwin have made major contributions to their particular genres.

Then transition into your thesis statement as in the following sentences:

Both Hughes and Baldwin made great strides by lending their voices to a certain movement. Both were prolific writers with some of the same purposes, but with different outcomes.

These preliminary sentences introduce and briefly describe your subjects (the people you will be writing about). Together, they lay the foundation for some of the main points that you will make in your paper. Now you go to your thesis statement:

In exploring some of the similarities and differences in the lives of Hughes and Baldwin, it can be argued that both of these writers’ voices resonated over others during their respective generations. Although some of their life experiences may be similar, the work of these writers affected the literary world in a distinct manner.

Your entire introduction and thesis statement should be at least one full paragraph (5-8 lines), with your thesis statement being the last sentence in the paragraph.

You continue now with the Body of the Outline:

First Section – with details from the background of the subjects – to support the thesis. Discusses how the beginning (birth place, education, etc.) of their lives were similar or different in any way.

Second Section – with details from the background of the subjects – to support the thesis. Discusses some of the influences of other writers that can be seen in the works of the subjects.

Third Section – with details from the background of the subjects – to support the thesis. Discusses in detail some of the works of the writers that speak to who the writers are as individuals.

Conclusion – Wraps everything up by referring back to thesis and supporting examples. Be sure to mention both subjects again to reiterate the thesis. Clinch with a closing statement and leave the reader with something to think about.

For more details on writing a thesis and outline, see the Study Guide for Thesis and Outline in the Course Materials folder.

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