Step-By-Step Development of a Research Paper
"Langston Hughes and the Invention of the Blues Poem"

Step 5: Write a Final Outline

When Luke reexamined his outline, he decided to flesh it out with more entries. He knew that each major section (the headings with Roman numerals) on the outline required more than one entry, and that the entries should be parallel. He chose to write a topic outline, rather than a sentence outline. Here is Luke's final outline:

Langston Hughes and the Invention of the Blues Poem
  1. Introduction and Thesis Statement
  2. Hughes in Harlem
    1. Define the "blues"
    2. Blues in full swing: Handy, Smith, Rainey
    3. Shuffle Along (1921)
    4. Cotton Club and Savoy Ballroom
    5. Alain Locke's The New Negro
  3. Influences on Hughes
    1. Whitman, Sandburg, Lindsay
    2. Paul Laurence Dunbar: a special case
    3. W. E. B. DuBois and James Weldon Johnson
  4. The Blues Poem
    1. "The Weary Blues": syncopated rhythm, dialect, blues stanza
    2. "Homesick Blues": slant rhyme and theme
    3. "Po' Boy Blues": despair of the blues
    4. "Out of Work": blues stanza, rhetorical question, syncopation
  5. Conclusion