First, read your partners THESIS STATEMENT ONLY. Then, BEFORE you read the outline, do these two things:
- Write out the thesis in your own words.
- List the points you would need to see proved in order to prove this thesis.
Now, read your classmates outline through twice and answer the following questions.
- Does the outline cover all the points you listed in step 2, above (the points you would need to see proved)? If not, which ones are missing?
- Compare your outline to your classmates. Which one has more information? Does either one need more information or less information?
- Point to at least one place in your classmates outline where you did not understand the point, or needed more information, or where something felt like it did not belong in the paper.
- Which outline, yours or your classmates, has more levels representedthat is, main points, secondary points, third-level points, and so on? Does either one need to show more or fewer levels?
- Does your outline have a similar organization to that of your classmates (for example, from problem to solution, cause to effect or vice versa, general to specific or vice versa, etc.)? If they seem to follow a very different organization, try rearranging yours to make it similar to your classmates. Which version of yours do you like better? After doing this can you suggest any changes in your classmates outline?
- Does either your paper or your classmates include a counter-argumentthat is, a section that presents an opposing view and then tries to answer or rebut it? If either does not, would it help? Can you think of a possible counter-argument? If you cannot, this is a sign that the thesis may not be arguable. See What is a Thesis for more on creating an arguable thesis.