How to write a thesis outline: useful help for beginners


A thesis is an incredibly important piece of writing. It is your chance to prove to the review committee that you are truly prepared to conduct research in your field without the supervision of your advisor. It is an opportunity to change some aspect of your field for the better. When you are setting out to write a thesis it is best to start with an outline.

The outline is an important component to your organization. The outline can be styled or formatted however you prefer but it should contain the same information:

  1. A thesis statement
  2. An introduction summary
  3. A breakdown of the body paragraphs you will include with the supporting evidence (all in bullets or some form of numbered list)
  4. A conclusion
  5. References

You can create notes or footnotes for your reference section if that works best for you.

The purpose of the outline is to give your paper direction and to keep you on that direction. With a good outline you can ensure that your paper does not get lost in the woods (and that your reader doesn’t either. The outline ensures that each paragraph of your body makes a single statement and includes appropriate supporting evidence for that statement. A good outline ensures you have every aspect of your particular style or format covered. For example: if you are supposed to include an abstract then you can note that in your outline so that it does not get missed.

As far as topics are concerned you can write a paper on health sciences or biological sciences and utilize any of the following topic examples:

  • Does modern media advertising contribute to childhood obesity?
  • Should high school sports teams ban energy drinks?
  • Are prescription drugs the new “street drug” for younger kids and if so, what measures can be taken against it?
  • Are pandemics a serious threat or media hype?
  • Is there too much hype regarding public health or are food additives and mold really public health threats?

  • If you are writing a paper on computer science or technology you might consider writing on the following topics:

  • What impact has technology had on spelling and grammar over the last two decades?
  • What impact has technology had on children’s social skills?
  • Should employers monitor the online activity of their employees during work hours?
  • Is there currently a mathematical equation for proportion and beauty? If not, should there be?

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