Write a topic outline – Be prepared to change portions of your outline as you read deeply later.
- Introduction: State your thesis; this is your problem, hypothesis, thesis, or purpose. If you haven't written a thesis statement, do so now. You can and may need to change it later, but at least you have a focus point for the moment. Write your statement as if you were answering your question: restate the question, then provide your answer to the question.
- Body: Organize your information and findings in a particular order. Although you will have an idea on what kinds of information you need, you may need to organize the order in which you present the information later after gathering all your information. Write just topics or simple phrases to describe your thoughts. Use Roman numerals followed by capital letters. Some examples are:
- Time (A. first this happened,·B. then this, C. last this…)
- Similarities or differences (A. Similarities, B. Differences)
- Possible solutions, or causes, or effects (A. solution one, B. solution two, C. solution three)
- Reasons why (It is this way because: A. reason, B. reason, and C. reason)
- Conclusion: Restate your problem, thesis, or purpose
Doing a Science Fair Project or Lab Report?
Click here for suggestions on organizing your information!