As you work on the outline and organizing your take on the argument, here are some tips to make the most of what you’ve done. Your outline needs to have a topic sentence that makes a claim for each paragraph! This is really important to help you make sure you are making an argument and not just repeating facts from your sources. Your topic sentences should all be you making a claim, not just “so and so’s research found x.” Those bits come in as the bulleted supporting examples from the sources.
Look back at the use statements you wrote in your annotated bib. Use those use statement plans to start listing out the things you need to do in your paper. I think it’s useful to copy and paste them into a list that can develop into a preliminary outline. (Outline due 24 hours before your conference time). Then start shifting them around into an order of how you need to make the points. It’s really useful if you make a little note (using last name of source, probably) of which source you had planned to do which role. This helps you group sources according to the ways you will use them. Remember that you can use a source multiple times.
If the structure plan handout (see above) helps, that’s great. But it’s not magic–or required, so don’t force your argument to fit any one of those structures. Use your brain to decide what is the best structure for what you want to say. There are sample student outlines, too.
Then use your summaries to help remind you of the important points in that article. The better your summaries, the more helpful they will be to you here. You might also have notes on the article (paper or digital) to look back at. If you get into color coding, you might designate different colors for different main sections/points of your preliminary outline and start using those to mark helpful portions of the sources in more detail. Besides topic sentences, your outline should have short summary nuggets you plan to use to support that claim. Include the author’s name by the evidence chunk so I’ll know which article in your bib that comes from.
Your outline should function to help me suggest to you places where the order doesn’t fit and where you don’t seem to have enough synthesis across texts or support for the claims in your topic sentences.
Include any questions you have for me about your planned structure in the same file as your outline.