Outline:

  1. Introduction
  2. Body
    1. Point 1—Rising Action (this) as they get older, students ask fewer questions
    2. Point 2—Climax (means that) students are fearful – they are less engaged in school and less prepared for life
    3. Point 3—Denouement (so then, I propose this) I want to encourage curiosity in students by giving them tools for asking more and better questions.
  3. Conclusion

Once you have a very basic outline, you can begin filling in more details:

  1. INTRODUCTION
    1. Attention-getter: Have you ever been on a date, or met up with an acquaintance, and they only talked about themselves? Afterward you realize how uninterested in you they seemed. Come to think of it, did they ask you anything about yourself?
    2. Central Idea: Question-asking is a skill set that should be developed and encouraged so that they are better prepared for today’s work world.
    3. Establish credibility and relate topic to audience: Studies show that people who ask more questions are more successful in breaking down barriers, and yes–they are even better liked.
    4. Preview the main points: However, today’s students ask fewer and fewer questions as they grow. This means that they are less engaged in school and less prepared for the challenges they face throughout their lives. I want to encourage curiosity in students by giving them tools for asking more and better questions.
    5. Transition: So, why do we stop asking questions?
  2. BODY
    1. Main Point: (A declarative sentence about the first main idea for your topic) as they get older, students ask fewer questions.
      1. Supporting point: we don’t think it needs to be taught
        1. Sub-supporting point: seen as innate skill, but we stop at age 5
        2. Sub-supporting point: information age / age of answers on screens
      2. Supporting point: we don’t know how to teach it
        1. Sub-supporting point: teachers lack the time “just getting through the lesson” mentality
        2. Sub-supporting point: monopolization of question-asking
      3. Supporting point: self-censoring questions based on cultural pressures like stereotypes-minorities and gender groups
        1. Sub-supporting point: students who perceive themselves the target of a well known stereotype (ie. girls aren’t good at math) are more inclined to play it safe rather than risk the possibility of confirming the stereotype (*college age study!*)
        2. Sub-supporting point: lower income students also are less encouraged to ask questions
        3. Transition: even kids who know how to ask questions aren’t asking in the classroom.
    2. Main Point: (A declarative sentence about the second main idea for your topic) Students are less engaged in school and less prepared for life
      1.  Supporting point: While our schools value those with the right answers, there is far more value in what you can do with knowledge through inquiring.
        1. Sub-supporting point: “One good question can give rise to several layers of answers, can inspire decades-long searches for solutions, can generate whole new fields of inquiry, and can prompt changes in entrenched thinking. Answers, on the other hand, often end the process.”
        2. Sub-supporting point: “Questions not only open up thinking–they also can direct and focus it.”
      2. Supporting point: question asking = success in “today’s” information-saturated world (pg. 25)
        1. Sub-supporting point: filtering information
        2. Sub-supporting point: keeping up with rapid change
      3. Supporting point: (If needed)
        1. Sub-supporting point:
        2. Sub-supporting point:
        3. Transition:
    3. Main Point: (A declarative sentence about the third idea about your topic, if needed) I want to encourage curiosity in students by giving them tools for asking more and better questions.
      1. Supporting point:  shifting the paradigm that those who know (teachers) are the ones who ask the questions
        1. Sub-supporting point: “maker movement” peer-to-peer building
        2. Sub-supporting point: spaces outside school (because schools are still not reforming): museums, libraries, etc.
        3. Sub-supporting point: “teachers must be willing to give up control to allow for more questioning”
      2. Supporting point: security within uncertainty is key
        1. Sub-supporting point: online offers this anonymity, but it loses the unpredictability of group collaboration.
        2. Sub-supporting point:
      3. Supporting point:
        1. Sub-supporting point:
        2. Sub-supporting point:
        3. Transition:
  3. CONCLUSION
    1. Summary of the main points
    2. Restatement of the central idea
    3. Closing lines that relate back to the introduction
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