I always just made one up afterwards because I was to turn one in with the final paper.
Starting in college, I developed my own outlining technique that was much more effective.
So, to save time, many English teachers from the eighth grade all the way up to high school (and sometimes beyond) force students to write in the five-paragraph essay format.
That later part of the thesis is known as an essay map; it prevents hapless readers from getting lost along the way because – God forbid – we don’t want to be surprised by what we find in the third paragraph.
That is, if the paper is supposed to be 5 pages, don’t spend more than 2.5 hours on research (maximum).
Spending any more time than this puts you at a point of diminishing returns. If you find that you need more info after you start writing, you can always do more research.
The goal of your initial research session is to give you just enough material to start writing.
Get into the library or database, find your sources, take your notes, and then get to writing.“It’s impossible to figure out every detail of your argument before you sit down, look at your sources, and actually try to write.
Once you understand the assignment, you need to start researching. If you’re not careful, research can be one of the best ways to procrastinate.
“One more source” can easily turn into hours that you could have been writing.