The student should consider their major and the College and Department they are in, for example, The College of Education, The School of Counseling for guidance on the focus of their topic initially. The thesis statement may be developed once the topic and the student’s particular bias on the topic is established. The student can then review the website of the Department and identify key words. Usually there is an Introduction or Welcome to the Department on the website, describing the goals of the Department in guiding each student to their degree. It may speak to the applicability of the degree, for example, discuss where the student may find employment upon graduation. The Welcome may also give the student an idea of how the Department is organized. It may have a list of concentrations, describe the focus of the Department and provide a list of courses with descriptions.

Key Words, Key Thoughts, Key Concepts

From this information the student can determine the focus of the degree. The student can identify where his or her interests lie and select key words that would be significant to him or her. The student can scan the Introduction or Welcome with an eye for key words that could suggest a topic about which he or she would be interested in writing. The website should then present different concentrations as options from which the student can choose to study. The student may then follow his or her own predilections and choose the path they would like to follow. The student should be able to develop a thesis statement after reviewing this material and determining his or her bias regarding the available information on the subject he or she has chosen.


There are several logical steps one must take to construct an outline. These steps may consist of something like the following:

  • Select a Topic
  • Gather Information
  • State the Thesis
  • Create an Outline
  • Gather notes
  • Write the First Draft
  • Revise the Outline
  • Revise the Draft
  • Revise the Outline

The student should keep as a guideline they’re own interest and bias. It is always easiest to write about his or her own experiences, ideas, lifestyles, or interests. If the student can do this, he or she can generate enthusiasm for the subject and develop a thesis statement after a careful survey of the Welcome page on the website. The student can then follow their interest areas to key thoughts, key concepts, and key words, as they develop their thoughts about the thesis statement. As the student reviews the website, he or she should be eliciting key concepts from the material presented. Each key concept can be a trigger to develop a research topic.

Thesis Statement

This method can be used whenever the student is doing a reference review. It ties directly in with the outline the student constructs for the development of the theory around the thesis statement.


The resources the student finds independently and from studying the syllabus can lead to further discoveries as far as leading to topics and ensuing thesis statements for research papers. The outline can be developed around the thesis statement once it is developed.

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