An outline breaks down the parts of your thesis in a clear, hierarchical manner. To start with, just make up a rough outline: several pages containing chapter headings, sub-headings, some figure titles (to indicate which results go where) and perhaps some other notes and comments.
Once you have a list of chapters and, under each chapter heading, a reasonably complete list of things to be reported or explained, you have struck a great blow against writer’s block. When you sit down to type, your aim is no longer a thesis—a daunting goal—but something simpler. Your new aim is just to write a paragraph or section about one of your subheadings.
A suggested list of chapters appears below. This is preliminary; you can change the chapter list as the thesis develops.
- Literature Review
The basic format for an outline uses an alternating series of numbers and letters, indented accordingly, to indicate levels of importance.