Backward thesis writing

Once you can see all of your main points laid out, you can see more fully if you answered every part of the prompt. As you read and take notes, allow the ideas to shape your own argument and also decide if that argument needs to be covered in your own essay.

This is where the toolbox idea comes in. Use your reverse outline to answer questions Does every paragraph relate back to your main idea? Wait, you are almost done!

Reverse thesis example

An example of a reverse outline For example: say you are writing a paper for an engineering class in which you are exploring the concept of how humans learn to trust technology through individual consumer choices, and your research involves analyzing several television commercials for Apple computers and products. And what most often happens is that this ends up reading as blocks of stuff. Is the progression of the ideas logical? Many writers find that new ideas or topics appear near the end of a reverse outline. Construct the outline by listing the main idea of each paragraph in your draft in a blank document. Often this is really the place you need to spend time editing, for you may have to rewrite the material in each paragraph somewhat. You will know it because it feels like an ah-ha moment and makes coherent sense out of all of the material you have presented. Do you do this? You will need to add it! For example: Maybe your first body paragraph talks about how to address the problem of homelessness, but then the second paragraph gives a background of homelessness in your area. Once you can see all of your main points laid out, you can see more fully if you answered every part of the prompt. This is where the toolbox idea comes in. You can make an appointment, request written feedback or send an email and a Writing Fellow will get back to you as soon as possible. However, not everyone does or can. Can I mimic this organization?

If you are finding more than one main idea, you will need to break the paragraph up into two or more paragraphs. You can use a partial draft to review the organization of the paragraphs you have written so far.

reorganized thesis definition

Otherwise, write a one-sentence summary to express the main point of the paragraph. Take this thesis and go back to your introduction. Number your list for ease of reference. Most students who use this method finally articulate their thesis at the end their essay, having reached what feels like a conclusion.

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Reverse Outlines: A Writer’s Technique for Examining Organization