I. FORMING AN OUTLINE Forming a workable paper, thesis, or dissertation outline is half the battle of writing. An outline is part of the roadmap that tells the reader where you will go with your story. It is also an important tool in your own reasoning process for establishing the foundation for your research and eventual written work. A bad outline will lead you down endless mazes and yield an unreadable final product. A good outline will ease and encourage you along the path to victory in your chosen project.