Research Help

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The Writing Process


An outline is a formal system used to organize your paper into a logical structure and flow. An outline will help you keep track of your information and resources you will use in your paper.

Here's how to create an outline: 

  • Identify the research topic. Try to sum up the point of your paper in one sentence or phrase. This will help your paper stay focused on the main point.
  • Identify the main categories. What main points will you cover? Try to include all your main points in the introduction and then the rest of paper can be spent developing those points.
  • Create the first category. What is the first point you want to cover? You may want to start with a definition of your terms, or a general background on a theory. 
  • Create subcategories. Create points under your main point to provide support for it. 

Outlines usually follow a fixed format, using Roman and Arabic numerals along with capital and small letters of the alphabet. See the links below for more information and examples. 

Plagiarism Policy at Fontbonne


Plagiarism is defined in the Fontbonne Student Handbook as “using another writer’s ideas or expressions without adequate acknowledgment.” The handbook also states that “there is no more important value than academic honesty, which requires that words and ideas scholars present as their own are truly their own.” In accordance with the policies of the Department of English and Communication, any plagiarized writing will fail. Some instructors may have stronger penalties, including failing the course.

Our hope is that no Fontbonne student would ever consider turning in a plagiarized essay. On the rare occasions when a student commits plagiarism, it strikes at the heart of the educational process. It interferes with the instructor’s efforts, undermines the quality of the college environment, and places other students at a disadvantage. It violates the trust that unites the college community. Plagiarism is an offense that all of the faculty, staff, and students at Fontbonne should take very seriously.

In Fontbonne University courses, a student has committed plagiarism if any of the following conditions apply:

  • all or any part of the work (including factual material, phrases, or sentences) was copied from another source without acknowledgement;
  • all or any part of the work was written by someone else;
  • the author has paraphrased material without acknowledgment;
  • the author has had significant outside help with planning or editing the essay, to the point where it is of a different quality from the work that he or she would have accomplished without the help.
Other forms of cheating, such as turning in an essay written for another course without the instructor’s consent, will also result in failure. See the entire University Policy at left.

Plagiarism 2.0: Information Ethics in the Digital Age

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Need More Writing Help?

Visit the Kinkel Center!

Located on the third floor of Ryan Hall, the Kinkel Center for Academic Resources offers academic support for all Fontbonne students.

Assistance for all courses is available at no cost.

Computerized tutorials provide self-paced instruction in a wide variety of subjects, including anatomy, sign language, and resume writing. Visit their website or call (314) 889-4571 to learn more, schedule tutoring, or make arrangements for a test proctor.

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