architectural essay outline and Abstract

The first step in writing a successful academic paper is producing an outline to guide your work. As a first step in writing Paper 2, this outline assignment requires you to select a paper topic, produce a working title and abstract, outline the paper contents, and create a list the anticipated sources for the final paper. Completing the assignment and subsequent feedback will help to ensure the final paper aligns with the Paper 1 assignment and has a clear focus.

Before going further, review the assignment for Paper 2. You cannot complete this paper outline assignment without a full understanding of the contents of the Paper 1 assignment.

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For Paper 2, produce an outline with the following 4 components:

1. Working Title
Draft a working title for your paper, which should include the name of the selected work of architecture.

2. Abstract
Write a 250- to 350-word abstract, including a brief introduction, an identification of your chosen topic, and a thesis statement. Underline your thesis statement to emphasize it within the abstract.

3. Paragraph Outline
Produce an outline that highlights the topic / content of each paragraph. The outline should have at least 5 paragraphs, but will likely have more due to the required length of the paper. The paper must include an introduction paragraph and a concluding paragraph. Write one or two sentences for each paragraph that summarizes the focus.

4. Anticipated Sources
Produce a list of the sources you plan to utilize in writing the paper. These sources should be provided in a bibliography format using Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition. A minimum of 6 scholarly sources is required. The course textbook and lectures can be used as sources for the paper, but they do not count toward the minimum number of required sources.

Additional Guidance for Producing the Outline

Thesis Statement
A strong thesis statement is key to the writing of a successful academic paper. Typically placed at the end of the first paragraph, the thesis statement should be specific and highlight what you will cover in the body of the paper.

For example:

Frank Lloyd Wright was the best architect who ever lived in America and changed residential architecture forever with his passion and dedication. (WEAK THESIS)

A staunch proponent of neo-vernacular architecture in the early 20th century, Architect Frank Lloyd Wright impacted the residential American landscape through his critical writings, built works, and pedagogic apprenticeship program. (STRONG THESIS)

The second example is stronger than the first because it communicates:

a specific scope or focus for the paper (Wright is the focus)
takes a position (Wright impacted the residential American landscape)
outlines three examples / sources to prove the position (critical writings, built works, and pedagogic apprenticeship program)
Uses keywords and terms from the discipline that bring additional clarity, focus, and specificity

Paragraph Outline
Using the thesis statement as a guide, the paragraph outline should communicate how the content of the paper will be organized. The introduction paragraph should include the thesis statement. Each body paragraph should have a clear idea, which points back to the thesis statement, and includes evidence to support your idea. Be as specific as possible, with focus and clarity.

To plan for the content and organization of each body paragraph, it’s helpful to review a typical outline for each body paragraph, sentence by sentence.

Body Paragraph Topic Sentence: Expresses the main idea of a paragraph
Supporting Sentence: Sub-points that further explain and/or develop the main idea; Aim for 1 – 3 supporting sentences per paragraph.
Detailing Sentences: Concrete examples, research, case studies, etc. that prove your supports; Aim for 1 -3 detailing sentences for every supporting sentence.
Concluding Sentence: Brings paragraph to closure; also often transitions to the next paragraph.

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