Thematic Outline

The purpose of this assignment is to identify themes related to Human Services Workers’ Role in Youth Sex Trafficking and organize those themes in a logical manner. The Outline will provide structure to the Research Paper as you work to compose it. When complete, each theme should become a subheading ordered to present each topic/theme to the reader in a logical order. Reviewing the Thematic Outline Worksheet Example should help clarify any questions you may have about the assignment.  I have attached the Thematic Outline Worksheet to this assignment.

The completed assignment should range in length from 3 to 6 pages.  You will gather your information from the articles that I have attached as well as from the annotated bibliography that I have attached as well.  You can change the themes in article one.  Do not use any other resources besides the two I have listed above.  It is very important that you follow my directions as this is what the instructor is wanting.  This outline will lead up to the literature review.


Helpful hint. 

. Pay special attention to steps 4-6 which you’ll be using to create your Thematic Outline. 

1. Select your      topic. Refer to the Topic Dropbox for guidance on the requirements for      this course.

2. Select your      sources. You are required to use peer reviewed sources from the online      library databases at our college. Web pages, books, etc., may be used to      supplement those sources if they are appropriate, but should not be relied      upon. I advise against using them unless they are absolutely essential,      and you cannot make your case without them. They are supplementary and      complementary for this assignment only. Generally, such supplemental      sources (web pages, books, etc., not from the online database) are not      that useful.

3. Select current      articles. New is better unless there is an older “classic” article that is      essential for your topic. Generally articles from the last four to five      years are best; you can go back a little further if you need to but they      should be no older than 10 years. 

4. For each article      go through and read, highlight, and markup the article. Look for themes.      You will be writing your paper thematically. 

5. Generate a list      of between 4 and 6 themes. This should be themes which are shared by one      or more of your sources. You can combine themes and edit them until your      short list of themes seems to accurately portray what the literature had      to say.

6. Make a list of      those themes. These are your subtopics!

7. Arrange the      themes in order. This is the order of your paper. Write a transition      sentence or paragraph between one theme to another. You now have the      structure of your paper, and it will be thematically and logically      ordered. HINT: Never write about one article, then another, and then      another. Use this system to write thematically. Your first theme, then the      next, etc.,

8. Write your      introduction and your conclusion.

9. Write your      abstract

10. Prepare your      References page

Research Paper Outline

Title page with running head


Body of paper

1. Theme a

2. Theme b

3. Theme c

4. Theme d


References page

Writing Tips

· Avoid first person.

· Avoid contractions like “it’s,” or “shouldn’t.” Use “it is” and “should not” instead.

· The star of the paper, and the focus, is on the information from your sources. Not your personal experience or opinion.

· Do not use articles or information you do not understand.

· Do not write about one article, then another, then another. Write the paper thematically, as outlined in your Thematic Outline. 

· Have others read your paper, and revise. Quality papers go through two or more revisions

· Paraphrase and use direct quotes. BOTH. Not just one. Also make sure that the author and date are used, and a page number for all direct quotes.

APA Style

What is a literature review?

A literature review is a scholarly paper, which reviews current knowledge, including substantive findings, and may include theoretical and methodological contributions on a particular topic—the topic you picked. Your paper is derived from the content of your sources. 

In a scholarly paper you do not use personal narrative. The paper is not written in first person, where you would discuss at length your own experiences regarding the topic at hand. This is not a paper about you. It is a paper where you demonstrate your ability to read professional peer reviewed research articles (six from the online databases) and synthesize the findings.

The entire purpose of the paper is to analyze and summarize the literature on your topic. Your entire paper is a literature review (as opposed to just one section of a research article). Here is an outstanding video on what a literature review is: the link provided below is to the video the teacher requires you to watch.

What It Is Not

Literature reviews are not research reports. Often students try to write this assignment using the research report format which most text books provide. You will not use headings/sections such as:

• Results

• Methods

Research reports are actual research projects doing original research, whereas literature reviews are a review of the scholarly literature on a given topic (which are usually research reports). Literature reviews are considered secondary sources as they do not report new or original experimental research.

This Editage Insights article opens in a new tab goes into detail about the exact differences 

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