Organizing evidence into an outline

Research Paper Outline

Students often complain that they don’t like doing outlines, that it’s “just not the way I think.” When I was just starting out teaching, I allowed a few to write papers without doing an outline to my specifications. Without exception, the papers contained well written sentences but were deeply disorganized. Students need to learn to think in outlines, a skill is vital to expository writing, so please trust me that what seems like me being difficult is critical to your success.



Donald R. Voll
Outline Research Paper

Thesis: For those who don’t mind hard work, a career in the culinary arts is a good choice

Supporting point 1: A career in culinary arts requires long hours.

Expert Testimony – “The hours are longer, pay is less and benefits are sometimes nonexistent” (Kapner, 1996).

Story – Even as apprentices, many trainees spend two to three years working long hours starting early in the morning. The Broadmoor Resort Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colorado offers a 6,000-hour apprenticeship program, where students are hired as full-time employees to assist them in paying tuition costs (Berta, “More chefs,” 2007).

Story – After receiving an associate’s degree from The New England Culinary Institute, Matthew Laux began working in a New York bistro. While there, he spent 72 hours each week preparing vegetables for someone else to cook (Asimov, 1998).


Supporting point 2: Working in culinary arts is high stress.

Expert testimony – “Studies have shown that if the temperature rises ten degrees above comfort level, productivity can drop by as much as 30%.” When kitchen temperatures are often over 100 degrees, exhaustion and other stressful side effects are sure to follow (Blend, 2014).

Expert testimony – Many students graduate culinary school, only to realize that the long hours, heavy workloads, and mundane tasks were not what they had in mind. One of the greatest problems that graduates face is the sudden need for time control. While in a learning environment, time constraints are not emphasized nearly as much as when in a five-star kitchen during a Saturday-night dinner rush (Berta, “Culinary programs,” 2005).

Story – Cook Street School of Fine Cooking, in Denver, CO, has designed a program to stress the reality of a high-pressure environment. Although it is still a training environment, time management is emphasized in order to mirror that of a full-line kitchen (Berta, “Culinary programs,” 2005).

Expert testimony – This type of training will help take some of the stress off new chefs and put them in a position to more readily handle restaurant life. Mark Tarbell, chef owner of Tarbell’s in Phoenix agrees that the reality of a kitchen is a high-stress-level, high-pressure environment with little room for error. Expectations like this are often hard to teach in a lab (as cited in Berta, “Culinary programs,” 2005).


Supporting point 3: The field of culinary arts pays acceptably well overall.

Expert testimony – Many times, recent culinary graduates find jobs within a low pay-scale, often earning $20,000 to $30,000 per year (Asimov, 1998).

Statistic – Although the median annual wage for a chef or head cook is only $41,000, some may earn up to $74,000. It is also estimated that these numbers will rise nearly one percent over the next year (Occupational Employment and Wages, 2014).


Supporting point four: The culinary arts field is expanding.

Expert testimony – Although statistics predict only a five-percent growth in employment of executive chefs from 2012-2022, many locations are experiencing great expansions (Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014).

Story – Chef Julian Serrano of Lago in Las Vegas has witnessed first-hand the immense possibility for growth throughout the culinary world. Lago is his third restaurant in the Las Vegas area. His success is the direct reflection of the time and energy he has put into understanding the guests in such a large tourist city. Lago is an Italian restaurant that Serrano opened with the idea that the food satisfies more than just hunger (Day, 2015)

Expert testimony – “When you share things, you automatically get close to people. This style of restaurant makes people happy,” Serrano says (as cited in Day, 2015).

Statistic – Nevada’s Gaming Control Board has reported a growth from $977 million in food revenue to $3.1 billion in just twenty years (Day, 2015).

Story – In 2007, Ruby Tuesday announced the opening of a new culinary arts center in Maryville, TN, aimed to expand the training of their employees. Restaurant executives expect the new facility to create opportunity for better training throughout the entire kitchen staff, from line cooks to restaurant managers (“Ruby Tuesday,” 2007).



Asimov, E. (1998, June 24). The first job: Out of the frying pan, into the fire. New York Times. p. F1. Retrieved from

Berta, D. (2007, October 22). More chefs begin culinary careers as apprentices. Nation’s Restaurant News, 41(42), 20. Retrieved from

Berta, D. (2005). Culinary programs work to bridge classroom-kitchen gap. Nation’s Restaurant News, 39(30), 6-6,26. Retrieved from

Blend, David. (2014, September 30). The 11 things that stress out chefs the most. Thrillist/ Food and Drink. Retrieved from

Day, Ashely. (2015, June 19). Vegas reinvented from gambling to culinary capital. USA Today. Retrieved from

Kapner, Suzanne. (1996, May 6). C-Cap program directs students into culinary careers. Nation’s Restaurant News, 30(18), 124. Retrieved from

Occupational Employment and Wages. (May 2014) Chefs and Head Cooks [Data File] Retrieved from

Occupational Outlook Handbook. (2014, January 8). Chefs and Head Cooks [Data File] Retrieved from

Robin, L. A. (1997). Beyond the menu: Culinary students must learn the business. Nation’s Restaurant News, 31(34), 62. Retrieved from

Ruby Tuesday opens culinary art center for training. (2007). Foodservice Equipment & Supplies, 60(5), 17. Retrieved from

Self check:

  1. Do my points and thesis make sense in “I will show that____________________.”?
  2. Does each piece of evidence logically support the point?
  3. Do all my supporting points logically support the thesis?
  4. Are all my supporting points separate? (They don’t overlap.)
  5. Are my thesis and supporting points singular? (In other words, they don’t contain “and,” “as well as” etc.)
  6. Do I have enough evidence?
  7. Do I have at least one story for each point?
  8. Do I have at least one statistic or expert testimony for each point?
  9. Do I have at least three or four pieces of evidence for each point?
  10. Is each point supported by at least three different sources beyond me?
  11. Are all my pieces of evidence labeled as a story, statistic, or expert testimony?
  12. Are the thesis and supporting points labeled?
  13. Is each piece of evidence summarized briefly like the example above?
  14. Is there enough information in each summary so that the instructor can, without speaking to me, be sure that each piece of evidence supports the point?
  15. Have I included a correct in-text citation at the end of each piece of evidence?
  16. Have I included APA formatted References page citations for each source at the end?