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An Easy Guide to Writing an Annotated Essay Structure

Table of Contents

Essays can be long and complicated. That’s because they can go on and, sometimes seem impossible to write.

The following guide helps make them manageable. It will show you when to break down each essay section and which parts can stand on their own as a stand-alone paragraph. It will also help you determine how much of the essay to share as freely as possible and which parts of the article you need to edit.

annotated essay structure

Creating an Annotated Essay Structure

Before starting your research assignment, your teacher could request you to write an annotated outline. An outline will help you organize your paper’s main ideas and ensure it is supported by research .

Asides the fact that you have to save a lot of time by creating an annotated outline, you can also save time by writing the paper in its entirety. 

1. Start With an Introduction.

The introduction section of your outline should include a thesis statement.

2.The Main Body of Your Paper Should Contain Headings.

While you may make them more or less specific, the main point is to make sure they are related to your thesis statement since they must support it. Your heading should reflect different aspects of your topic. 

3. Make Sure Your Outline Is Straight to the Point.

Only try to make the sections you need because the outline must be concise. Annotated systems usually are at most 2-2. Double spaces appear on five pages. 

4. Include Two or More Supporting Paragraph Headings Under Every Section.

You should write another paragraph if you don’t have at least two paragraph headings in each section. 

5. Subsequent Paragraphs Should Contain Topic Sentences.

You must begin your paragraph with a topic sentence that describes what the section will be about and reflects the arguments that you make in it. When you start a paragraph about rising sea levels near California, you can write a simple sentence like this: Global warming is responsible for rising sea levels near California. 

6. It Is Essential to Provide at Least Two Supporting Examples in Every Paragraph so That Readers Can Understand Why Your Points Are Valid.

It would help if you also mentioned how each paragraph relates to your thesis statement. You may also provide paraphrases and direct references to support your arguments.

7. Provide Data From Interviews and Opinions From Reliable Experts.

Briefly explain the connection between the topic sentence and the evidence from each paragraph in the outline.

8. Let Your Closing Sentence Allow You to Make the Transition From One to the Next

Your content will flow logically from one section to another . As a result, Write a conclusion. You need to rephrase your thesis statement, wrap up the entire paper, summarize the key points, and express some meaningful ideas that will reinforce the thesis and leave your readers with something to think about. 

Your writing should follow the following pattern: Introduction – argument – data (statistics) – your analysis. By doing so, you can always argue with evidence while keeping things clear. Keep your readers focused by following the same structure. 

An Easy Guide to Writing an Annotated Essay Structure

Abir Ghenaiet

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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Education: Annotated essay

In Education, you often find that an essay is used as a key assessment tool. The main purpose of an Education essay is to further develop your knowledge of relevant theories and practice related to the teaching profession.

You may be asked to:

  • synthesise different sources of literature relevant to your research question/topic
  • identify, analyse and reflect on an important issue or debate in teaching and learning practice
  • present a critical argument drawing on class materials and your own research
  • identify and examine key ideas and themes about teaching and learning
  • apply relevant theories to your teacher-student interactions and/or teaching placement/practice.

We want to share with you an example of an assignment done by a first-year Education student and commented on by the lecturer. The assignment is an essay based on observations made during the student's professional experience placement.

The topic of the essay: Researching Teaching

Students were asked to observe teacher-student interactions during their placement and interview the teacher involved. For the essay, they had to choose one interaction to analyse and relate to the ideas discussed in their classes and readings.

The lecturer’s expectations were set out in the marking rubric for this assignment with six criteria as below:

  • Clear and specific description of the context of the interaction
  • Clear and specific description of the interaction
  • Critical analysis of the interaction
  • Selection and critical use of relevant ideas from the lectures and readings
  • Professional presentation in the written assignment, including clarity of expression, coherence, fluency and adherence to a set of academic writing conventions
  • Referencing and citing

Now read the essay. How well do you think it meets these expectations?

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  • How to write a literary analysis essay | A step-by-step guide

How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay | A Step-by-Step Guide

Published on January 30, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on August 14, 2023.

Literary analysis means closely studying a text, interpreting its meanings, and exploring why the author made certain choices. It can be applied to novels, short stories, plays, poems, or any other form of literary writing.

A literary analysis essay is not a rhetorical analysis , nor is it just a summary of the plot or a book review. Instead, it is a type of argumentative essay where you need to analyze elements such as the language, perspective, and structure of the text, and explain how the author uses literary devices to create effects and convey ideas.

Before beginning a literary analysis essay, it’s essential to carefully read the text and c ome up with a thesis statement to keep your essay focused. As you write, follow the standard structure of an academic essay :

  • An introduction that tells the reader what your essay will focus on.
  • A main body, divided into paragraphs , that builds an argument using evidence from the text.
  • A conclusion that clearly states the main point that you have shown with your analysis.

Table of contents

Step 1: reading the text and identifying literary devices, step 2: coming up with a thesis, step 3: writing a title and introduction, step 4: writing the body of the essay, step 5: writing a conclusion, other interesting articles.

The first step is to carefully read the text(s) and take initial notes. As you read, pay attention to the things that are most intriguing, surprising, or even confusing in the writing—these are things you can dig into in your analysis.

Your goal in literary analysis is not simply to explain the events described in the text, but to analyze the writing itself and discuss how the text works on a deeper level. Primarily, you’re looking out for literary devices —textual elements that writers use to convey meaning and create effects. If you’re comparing and contrasting multiple texts, you can also look for connections between different texts.

To get started with your analysis, there are several key areas that you can focus on. As you analyze each aspect of the text, try to think about how they all relate to each other. You can use highlights or notes to keep track of important passages and quotes.

Language choices

Consider what style of language the author uses. Are the sentences short and simple or more complex and poetic?

What word choices stand out as interesting or unusual? Are words used figuratively to mean something other than their literal definition? Figurative language includes things like metaphor (e.g. “her eyes were oceans”) and simile (e.g. “her eyes were like oceans”).

Also keep an eye out for imagery in the text—recurring images that create a certain atmosphere or symbolize something important. Remember that language is used in literary texts to say more than it means on the surface.

Narrative voice

Ask yourself:

  • Who is telling the story?
  • How are they telling it?

Is it a first-person narrator (“I”) who is personally involved in the story, or a third-person narrator who tells us about the characters from a distance?

Consider the narrator’s perspective . Is the narrator omniscient (where they know everything about all the characters and events), or do they only have partial knowledge? Are they an unreliable narrator who we are not supposed to take at face value? Authors often hint that their narrator might be giving us a distorted or dishonest version of events.

The tone of the text is also worth considering. Is the story intended to be comic, tragic, or something else? Are usually serious topics treated as funny, or vice versa ? Is the story realistic or fantastical (or somewhere in between)?

Consider how the text is structured, and how the structure relates to the story being told.

  • Novels are often divided into chapters and parts.
  • Poems are divided into lines, stanzas, and sometime cantos.
  • Plays are divided into scenes and acts.

Think about why the author chose to divide the different parts of the text in the way they did.

There are also less formal structural elements to take into account. Does the story unfold in chronological order, or does it jump back and forth in time? Does it begin in medias res —in the middle of the action? Does the plot advance towards a clearly defined climax?

With poetry, consider how the rhyme and meter shape your understanding of the text and your impression of the tone. Try reading the poem aloud to get a sense of this.

In a play, you might consider how relationships between characters are built up through different scenes, and how the setting relates to the action. Watch out for  dramatic irony , where the audience knows some detail that the characters don’t, creating a double meaning in their words, thoughts, or actions.

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Your thesis in a literary analysis essay is the point you want to make about the text. It’s the core argument that gives your essay direction and prevents it from just being a collection of random observations about a text.

If you’re given a prompt for your essay, your thesis must answer or relate to the prompt. For example:

Essay question example

Is Franz Kafka’s “Before the Law” a religious parable?

Your thesis statement should be an answer to this question—not a simple yes or no, but a statement of why this is or isn’t the case:

Thesis statement example

Franz Kafka’s “Before the Law” is not a religious parable, but a story about bureaucratic alienation.

Sometimes you’ll be given freedom to choose your own topic; in this case, you’ll have to come up with an original thesis. Consider what stood out to you in the text; ask yourself questions about the elements that interested you, and consider how you might answer them.

Your thesis should be something arguable—that is, something that you think is true about the text, but which is not a simple matter of fact. It must be complex enough to develop through evidence and arguments across the course of your essay.

Say you’re analyzing the novel Frankenstein . You could start by asking yourself:

Your initial answer might be a surface-level description:

The character Frankenstein is portrayed negatively in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein .

However, this statement is too simple to be an interesting thesis. After reading the text and analyzing its narrative voice and structure, you can develop the answer into a more nuanced and arguable thesis statement:

Mary Shelley uses shifting narrative perspectives to portray Frankenstein in an increasingly negative light as the novel goes on. While he initially appears to be a naive but sympathetic idealist, after the creature’s narrative Frankenstein begins to resemble—even in his own telling—the thoughtlessly cruel figure the creature represents him as.

Remember that you can revise your thesis statement throughout the writing process , so it doesn’t need to be perfectly formulated at this stage. The aim is to keep you focused as you analyze the text.

Finding textual evidence

To support your thesis statement, your essay will build an argument using textual evidence —specific parts of the text that demonstrate your point. This evidence is quoted and analyzed throughout your essay to explain your argument to the reader.

It can be useful to comb through the text in search of relevant quotations before you start writing. You might not end up using everything you find, and you may have to return to the text for more evidence as you write, but collecting textual evidence from the beginning will help you to structure your arguments and assess whether they’re convincing.

To start your literary analysis paper, you’ll need two things: a good title, and an introduction.

Your title should clearly indicate what your analysis will focus on. It usually contains the name of the author and text(s) you’re analyzing. Keep it as concise and engaging as possible.

A common approach to the title is to use a relevant quote from the text, followed by a colon and then the rest of your title.

If you struggle to come up with a good title at first, don’t worry—this will be easier once you’ve begun writing the essay and have a better sense of your arguments.

“Fearful symmetry” : The violence of creation in William Blake’s “The Tyger”

The introduction

The essay introduction provides a quick overview of where your argument is going. It should include your thesis statement and a summary of the essay’s structure.

A typical structure for an introduction is to begin with a general statement about the text and author, using this to lead into your thesis statement. You might refer to a commonly held idea about the text and show how your thesis will contradict it, or zoom in on a particular device you intend to focus on.

Then you can end with a brief indication of what’s coming up in the main body of the essay. This is called signposting. It will be more elaborate in longer essays, but in a short five-paragraph essay structure, it shouldn’t be more than one sentence.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is often read as a crude cautionary tale about the dangers of scientific advancement unrestrained by ethical considerations. In this reading, protagonist Victor Frankenstein is a stable representation of the callous ambition of modern science throughout the novel. This essay, however, argues that far from providing a stable image of the character, Shelley uses shifting narrative perspectives to portray Frankenstein in an increasingly negative light as the novel goes on. While he initially appears to be a naive but sympathetic idealist, after the creature’s narrative Frankenstein begins to resemble—even in his own telling—the thoughtlessly cruel figure the creature represents him as. This essay begins by exploring the positive portrayal of Frankenstein in the first volume, then moves on to the creature’s perception of him, and finally discusses the third volume’s narrative shift toward viewing Frankenstein as the creature views him.

Some students prefer to write the introduction later in the process, and it’s not a bad idea. After all, you’ll have a clearer idea of the overall shape of your arguments once you’ve begun writing them!

If you do write the introduction first, you should still return to it later to make sure it lines up with what you ended up writing, and edit as necessary.

The body of your essay is everything between the introduction and conclusion. It contains your arguments and the textual evidence that supports them.

Paragraph structure

A typical structure for a high school literary analysis essay consists of five paragraphs : the three paragraphs of the body, plus the introduction and conclusion.

Each paragraph in the main body should focus on one topic. In the five-paragraph model, try to divide your argument into three main areas of analysis, all linked to your thesis. Don’t try to include everything you can think of to say about the text—only analysis that drives your argument.

In longer essays, the same principle applies on a broader scale. For example, you might have two or three sections in your main body, each with multiple paragraphs. Within these sections, you still want to begin new paragraphs at logical moments—a turn in the argument or the introduction of a new idea.

Robert’s first encounter with Gil-Martin suggests something of his sinister power. Robert feels “a sort of invisible power that drew me towards him.” He identifies the moment of their meeting as “the beginning of a series of adventures which has puzzled myself, and will puzzle the world when I am no more in it” (p. 89). Gil-Martin’s “invisible power” seems to be at work even at this distance from the moment described; before continuing the story, Robert feels compelled to anticipate at length what readers will make of his narrative after his approaching death. With this interjection, Hogg emphasizes the fatal influence Gil-Martin exercises from his first appearance.

Topic sentences

To keep your points focused, it’s important to use a topic sentence at the beginning of each paragraph.

A good topic sentence allows a reader to see at a glance what the paragraph is about. It can introduce a new line of argument and connect or contrast it with the previous paragraph. Transition words like “however” or “moreover” are useful for creating smooth transitions:

… The story’s focus, therefore, is not upon the divine revelation that may be waiting beyond the door, but upon the mundane process of aging undergone by the man as he waits.

Nevertheless, the “radiance” that appears to stream from the door is typically treated as religious symbolism.

This topic sentence signals that the paragraph will address the question of religious symbolism, while the linking word “nevertheless” points out a contrast with the previous paragraph’s conclusion.

Using textual evidence

A key part of literary analysis is backing up your arguments with relevant evidence from the text. This involves introducing quotes from the text and explaining their significance to your point.

It’s important to contextualize quotes and explain why you’re using them; they should be properly introduced and analyzed, not treated as self-explanatory:

It isn’t always necessary to use a quote. Quoting is useful when you’re discussing the author’s language, but sometimes you’ll have to refer to plot points or structural elements that can’t be captured in a short quote.

In these cases, it’s more appropriate to paraphrase or summarize parts of the text—that is, to describe the relevant part in your own words:

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The conclusion of your analysis shouldn’t introduce any new quotations or arguments. Instead, it’s about wrapping up the essay. Here, you summarize your key points and try to emphasize their significance to the reader.

A good way to approach this is to briefly summarize your key arguments, and then stress the conclusion they’ve led you to, highlighting the new perspective your thesis provides on the text as a whole:

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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By tracing the depiction of Frankenstein through the novel’s three volumes, I have demonstrated how the narrative structure shifts our perception of the character. While the Frankenstein of the first volume is depicted as having innocent intentions, the second and third volumes—first in the creature’s accusatory voice, and then in his own voice—increasingly undermine him, causing him to appear alternately ridiculous and vindictive. Far from the one-dimensional villain he is often taken to be, the character of Frankenstein is compelling because of the dynamic narrative frame in which he is placed. In this frame, Frankenstein’s narrative self-presentation responds to the images of him we see from others’ perspectives. This conclusion sheds new light on the novel, foregrounding Shelley’s unique layering of narrative perspectives and its importance for the depiction of character.

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Caulfield, J. (2023, August 14). How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay | A Step-by-Step Guide. Scribbr. Retrieved November 3, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/academic-essay/literary-analysis/

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Home » Writers-House Blog » Step-By-Step Guide to Writing an Annotated Outline

Step-By-Step Guide to Writing an Annotated Outline

Before you start to write your research assignment, your teacher may ask you to write an annotated outline. This outline will help you organize the main ideas of your paper and make sure that your thesis is supported by the research. If you have an annotated outline, you can also save a lot of time when it comes to writing the paper itself. Check out this guide from Writers House team of experienced writers to create a good annotated outline for your paper.

The Key Elements

1. Start with an introduction. The first section of your outline should be titled “Introduction,” and it must include the following elements:

  • a hook that grabs attention and opens your paper;
  • a quick preview of your main points;
  • a thesis statement.

2. The main body of your paper should have section headings. You may make them more or less specific, the main thing is to make sure that they are directly related to your thesis statement because they must support it.

  • Your headings should reflect different aspects of the topic. For example, if you’re writing about climate change in California, your headings may focus on the following things: the geological profile of California, its climate systems, recent climate changes, the consequences of climate change for the local economy, and consequences of global warming for wildlife and biology.
  • Make sure that your outline gets straight to the point. Don’t try to make more sections than you actually need because the outline must be concise. Usually, annotated outlines don’t exceed 2-2.5 pages with double spaces.

3. Write two or more supporting paragraph headings under every section. We recommend that you write at least two paragraph headings in each section.

4. Write topic sentences for all paragraphs. Every paragraph must begin with a topic sentence that explains what this paragraph will be about and reflects the arguments that you make in this paragraph. For example, when writing about the rise in sea level near California, you can start such a paragraph with a topic sentence that looks like this: “The rise in sea level near California is caused by global warming.”

5. Every paragraph must have at least two supporting examples so that your readers can understand why your points are valid. You should also explain how each paragraph connects back to the thesis statement. Support your points with paraphrases and direct quotes from your sources.

  • Provide data from surveys and opinions from reputable experts. In the outline, briefly explain the connection between the topic sentence and evidence from each paragraph.
  • Include a closing sentence that will allow you to make a transition from to the next another. This way, your content will logically flow from one section to another.

6. Write a conclusion section. It must rephrase your thesis statement, wrap up the entire paper, summarizing its key points, and express some meaningful ideas that will reinforce the thesis and leave your readers with something to think about.

An Annotated Outline Without Citations

1. Read your research materials and determine the main sections of your paper. Keep in mind the structure of an annotated outline and highlight the main headings of your paper. Your goal is to break down each heading into at least two paragraph headings.

  • Note any details from your research that can be used as supporting evidence for your paragraphs. We recommend that you do it before writing the annotated outline itself to save time.

2. Develop your thesis statement before putting your research data into the outline. Make sure that your thesis is concise and clear. This statement is the basis for the entire annotated outline so make sure that it summarizes all the main points.

  • For instance, if you’re writing a paper about the impact of climate change on California, your thesis statement may look like this: “Global warming imposes a significant threat to California’s economy and can be a reason why the local wildlife and biology will face extinction in the next several decades.”
  • The thesis statement will help you understand what section headings can back up your main claims, suggesting subtopics for your paragraphs.

3. Place your research data and thesis statement into the annotated outline. Once your thesis is ready and you have in place the necessary research data, you can finalize the structure of the outline. Here’s what the structure will look like:

INTRODUCTION

  • A hook that grabs attention;
  • A brief summary of the main points;
  • The thesis statement.

SECTION HEADING

  • The summary of the paragraph;
  • A closing sentence.

(Obviously, you can have more section headings with more than two paragraphs)

  • The rephrased thesis statement;
  • The summary of the main points;
  • The closing sentence.

An Annotated Outline with Citations

1. Read your research materials and determine the main sections of your annotated outline. Think about the structure of an annotated outline and highlight the main section headings. Break these section headings into at least two paragraph headings before writing the outline itself because this way, you will save a lot of time.

2. Choose the main references for each section. We recommend that you figure out what your references list will look like in advance. Select primary references that helped you formulate the main ideas of your paper. Highlight a couple of references  for each section of the paper.

  • You may use APA, MLA, or another citation format. Use references as supporting evidence for each section of your outline.
  • You can include additional information for each reference. Just write short sentences that summarize the main ideas of your references and explain how they relate to your thesis statement.

3. Write the final draft of your thesis statement. Before including details from your research materials, read your thesis statement and make sure that it’s concise and clear. The thesis statement must serve as the basis for your annotated outline. Make sure that it summarizes the main ideas of your paper.

4. Include your references, research data, and the thesis statement in the annotated outline. Once your thesis statement and research notes are ready, you can complete the structure of the outline. It will look the same as described in the previous section of this guide.

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ENGL 099: Introductory Composition

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The two sample essays below highlight the formatting features of MLA and APA style from start to finish. 

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  • How to Write an Annotation

One of the greatest challenges students face is adjusting to college reading expectations.  Unlike high school, students in college are expected to read more “academic” type of materials in less time and usually recall the information as soon as the next class.

The problem is many students spend hours reading and have no idea what they just read.  Their eyes are moving across the page, but their mind is somewhere else. The end result is wasted time, energy, and frustration…and having to read the text again.

Although students are taught  how to read  at an early age, many are not taught  how to actively engage  with written text or other media. Annotation is a tool to help you learn how to actively engage with a text or other media.

View the following video about how to annotate a text.

Annotating a text or other media (e.g. a video, image, etc.) is as much about you as it is the text you are annotating. What are YOUR responses to the author’s writing, claims and ideas? What are YOU thinking as you consider the work? Ask questions, challenge, think!

When we annotate an author’s work, our minds should encounter the mind of the author, openly and freely. If you met the author at a party, what would you like to tell to them; what would you like to ask them? What do you think they would say in response to your comments? You can be critical of the text, but you do not have to be. If you are annotating properly, you often begin to get ideas that have little or even nothing to do with the topic you are annotating. That’s fine: it’s all about generating insights and ideas of your own. Any good insight is worth keeping because it may make for a good essay or research paper later on.

The Secret is in the Pen

One of the ways proficient readers read is with a pen in hand. They know their purpose is to keep their attention on the material by:

  • Predicting  what the material will be about
  • Questioning  the material to further understanding
  • Determining  what’s important
  • Identifying  key vocabulary
  • Summarizing  the material in their own words, and
  • Monitoring  their comprehension (understanding) during and after engaging with the material

The same applies for mindfully viewing a film, video, image or other media.

Annotating a Text

Review the video, “How to Annotate a Text.”  Pay attention to both how to make annotations and what types of thoughts and ideas may be part of your annotations as you actively read a written text.

Example Assignment Format: Annotating a Written Text

For the annotation of reading assignments in this class, you will cite and comment on a minimum of FIVE (5) phrases, sentences or passages from notes you take on the selected readings.

Here is an example format for an assignment to annotate a written text:

Example Assignment Format: Annotating Media

In addition to annotating written text, at times you will have assignments to annotate media (e.g., videos, images or other media). For the annotation of media assignments in this class, you will cite and comment on a minimum of THREE (3) statements, facts, examples, research or any combination of those from the notes you take about selected media.

Here is an example format for an assignment to annotate media:

  • Provided by : Lumen Learning. Located at : http://www.lumenlearning.com/ . License : CC BY: Attribution
  • Authored by : Paul Powell . Provided by : Central Community College. Project : Kaleidoscope Open Course Initiative. License : CC BY: Attribution
  • Authored by : Elisabeth Ellington and Ronda Dorsey Neugebauer . Provided by : Chadron State College. Project : Kaleidoscope Open Course Initiative. License : CC BY: Attribution
  • Annotating a Text. Authored by : HaynesEnglish. Located at : http://youtu.be/pf9CTJj9dCM . License : All Rights Reserved . License Terms : Standard YouTube license
  • How to Annotate a Text. Authored by : Kthiebau90. Located at : http://youtu.be/IzrWOj0gWHU . License : All Rights Reserved . License Terms : Standard YouTube License
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How to Write an Annotated Outline

Last Updated: August 17, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Stephanie Wong Ken, MFA . Stephanie Wong Ken is a writer based in Canada. Stephanie's writing has appeared in Joyland, Catapult, Pithead Chapel, Cosmonaut's Avenue, and other publications. She holds an MFA in Fiction and Creative Writing from Portland State University. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 149,796 times.

Before you begin writing your research paper, you may be advised by your teacher to create an annotated outline. An annotated outline can help you organize the main points of your paper and ensure your research supports your thesis. Creating an annotated outline can save you valuable time when you sit down to write your paper.

Understanding the Key Elements of an Annotated Outline

Step 1 Begin with Introduction section.

  • An attention grabbing hook to open your paper
  • A preview of the main points of the paper
  • Your thesis statement

Step 2 Use section headings for the body of your paper.

  • For example, you may be writing a research paper about climate change on Mt.Hood in Portland, Oregon. Your thesis may focus on how the climate systems on Mt.Hood have been affected by climate change, specifically global warming and the effects of these changes. You may then create section headings like: The Geological Profile of Mt.Hood, The Climate Systems on Mt.Hood, The Recent Climate Changes on Mt.Hood via Global Warming, The Effect of Climate Change on the Local Economy, and The Effect of Climate Change on the Biology and Wildlife.
  • Do not go overboard on section headings, as the annotated outline should be concise and to the point. Most annotated outlines are no longer than two to two and a half pages long, with double spaces between each section.

Step 3 Include at least two supporting paragraph headings under each section heading.

  • For example, under one section heading, The Geological Profile of Mt.Hood, you may include two paragraph headings: The Glaciers of Mt.Hood and The Forests of Mt.Hood.

Step 4 Create a topic sentence for each paragraph.

  • For example, under one paragraph heading, The Glaciers of Mt.Hood, you may have this paragraph topic sentence: “The disappearing glaciers on Mt.Hood are clear examples of the effect of global warming on Oregon's highest mountain.”

Step 5 Note at least two supporting points in each paragraph.

  • For example, under the paragraph heading, The Glaciers of Mt.Hood, you may use one supporting example from a recent geological survey of the largest glacier on the mountain, Eliot Glacier, showing how the glacier is receding. You may then also use a recent geological survey of Palmer snowfields, which was downgraded from a glacier to a snowfield due to significant receding of the glacier.
  • Your content summary can be one to two lines that explain how the supporting evidence connects back to your thesis. For example: “The drastic receding of Palmer Glacier and the continued receding of Eliot Glacier both show how the rises in the Earth's temperature have caused substantial glacial melting and the loss of at least one key glacial body on the mountain.”
  • You should then include a closing sentence that transitions from one paragraph to the next paragraph. This will help you ensure your paper flows well and moves effectively from paragraph to paragraph and section to section.

Step 6 End with a Conclusion section.

  • A rephrasing of your thesis statement
  • Concluding details
  • A final line or clincher which reinforces your thesis

Creating an Annotated Outline without Citations

Step 1 Read over your research and identify the main sections of your paper.

  • You should also note any research that may be useful as supporting evidence for your paragraph headings. Identifying this before you dive into the annotated outline will save you time, as you will not need to flip through your research as you put the outline together.

Step 2 Finalize your thesis statement.

  • For example, your thesis statement for a paper on how the climate systems on Mt.Hood have been affected by climate change, specifically global warming and the effects of these changes may be: “Due to global warming, the local economy and the biology and wildlife of Mt.Hood are under threat and face possible extinction in the next fifty years.”
  • From this thesis, you may then create section headings that will back up your thesis, or your paper's claim. For example: The Geological Profile of Mt.Hood, The Climate Systems on Mt.Hood, The Recent Climate Changes on Mt.Hood via Global Warming, The Effect of Climate Change on the Local Economy, and The Effect of Climate Change on the Biology and Wildlife.

Step 3 Place your research and your thesis into an annotated outline.

  • Attention grabber/ “hook”: “Oregon's highest peak, Mt. Hood is known for its pristine snow and icy blue glaciers. But the most well known volcano in the state is at risk of becoming barren and dry in the next fifty years due to global warming.”
  • Preview of main points: “This paper will look at how global warming is negatively affecting the biology and wildlife on Mt.Hood, as well as the local economy that thrives on ski resorts and winter sports.”
  • Thesis statement: “Due to global warming, the local economy and the biology and wildlife of Mt.Hood are under threat and face possible extinction in the next fifty years.”
  • Evidence/supporting point 1: Past receding of Palmer Glacier and downgrade to snow field, relevant quotations from sources.
  • Evidence/supporting point 2: Current receding of Eliot Glacier, relevant quotations from sources.
  • Content summary: “The drastic receding of Palmer Glacier and the continued receding of Eliot Glacier both show how the rises in the Earth's temperature have caused substantial glacial melting and the loss of at least one key glacial body on the mountain.”
  • Closing sentence: “However, the glaciers of Mt.Hood are not the only threatened climate area on the mountain, as the biology and wildlife in the forests of Mt.Hood are also being drastically affected by rising temperatures.”
  • Evidence/supporting point 1
  • Evidence/supporting point 2
  • Content summary
  • Closing sentence
  • Rephrasing of thesis statement
  • Concluding details on topic
  • Final sentence/clincher

Creating an Annotated Outline with Citations

Step 1 Review your research and identify the main sections of your paper.

  • You will then need to use MLA style or APA style to create a citation for each reference. You will use these references in your annotated outline as supporting evidence for each section. [8] X Research source
  • You can also include additional information for each reference. This can be one to two complete sentences that sum up the main ideas in the reference and how they relate to a main idea in your paper.

Step 3 Do a final draft of your thesis statement.

  • Evidence/supporting point 1: Past receding of Palmer Glacier and downgrade to snow field, relevant quotations from reference.
  • Reference: Pacific Northwest Regional Assessment Group, 1999, Impacts of Variability and Change: Pacific Northwest , JISAO Climate Impacts Group / NOAA. The PNW Regional Assessment Group looks at the history of Palmer Glacier and how its mass has shrunk over the past twenty years. This reference also explores how global warming contributed to the shrinkage of Palmer Glacier.
  • Evidence/supporting point 2: Current receding of Eliot Glacier, relevant quotations from reference.
  • Reference: National Assessment Synthesis Team / US Global Change Research Program, 2000, Climate Change Impacts on the United States: Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change , Cambridge University Press. This reference discusses how climate change is affecting the climate of the United States, including the affect on glaciers in the United States.

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Write an Outline

  • ↑ https://www.student.unsw.edu.au/annotated-bibliography
  • ↑ https://penandthepad.com/write-annotated-outline-bibliography-5531471.html
  • ↑ https://www.capella.edu/interactivemedia/onlinewritingcenter/downloads/handoutDevAnnotatedOutline.pdf
  • ↑ https://advice.writing.utoronto.ca/types-of-writing/annotated-bibliography/
  • ↑ http://chrismiller.cedarville.org/content/ruthout.pdf
  • ↑ https://pitt.libguides.com/citationhelp
  • ↑ https://writing.wisc.edu/handbook/process/thesis/

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