Research Paper Sample Outline:
Paper Topic: What factors caused the United States to Enter World War I
Using the following example, write an outline for your research paper. You may use bullets as you sketch out your paper with sentence fragments or notes style.
▪ "It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world..."
o Quote by Washington set the precedent early on that the U.S. would avoid becoming involved in foreign affairs.
▪ 1914, beginning of WWI, U.S. declares its neutrality and President Wilson vows to keep the U.S. out of the war
▪ Isolationist policies of U.S.
▪ Underlying causes: expansionism, aggressive nationalism, system of rival alliances, idea that war brings out best in men and countries
▪ 1914, war ...view middle of the document...
o Asks American people to be neutral in thought as well as in action
o “The United States and law of nations alike require that no person within the territory and jurisdiction of the U.S. shall take part directly or indirectly in the said wars, but shall remain at peace with all the said belligerents.”
▪ Most Americans agree U.S. should stay out of war, but few are neutral in thought
o Majority favors Britain and its allies
o German and Irish-Americans side with Germany
Second Thesis Part:
▪ German aggression, Schlieffen Plan
▪ German atrocities committed in Belgium
o British Propaganda examples
o American Reaction
▪ Theodore Roosevelt, 1917 “Americans are proudly ready to fight to the last for the overthrow of the brutal German militarism, which threatens America no less than every other civilized nations”
▪ American public begins to feel a that there is a moral obligation to act
**Repeat for additional thesis parts**
▪ Restate thesis (using new language): Ultimately, the United States’ deviation from its policy of neutrality was warranted due to Germany’s brutal disregard for civilian casualties, infringement of international law, and disruption of America’s opportunity to trade freely.
▪ Summarize each thesis part: America had a moral obligation to enter the war in order to prevent additional German atrocities
▪ Germany was unjustly ignoring established international law respecting the rights of neutral nations
▪ German actions severely curtailed American commerce
▪ Statement of overall significance:
o Consider what your topic demonstrates, why it is important in its own right and in the broader picture, etc.
o These are some potential ideas for this specific topic
▪ America has since intervened in many foreign engagements in order to protect its economic interests
▪ It marked a shift in Am. foreign policy where Am. would no longer be an isolationist country.