Proposition / Support outlines are designed to help students create a proposition from a factual statement. Given the how commonplace it is for history essays to utilize position papers to demonstrate a point of view, something to help students get a grasp on this process is important to historical literacy.
First, we begin by distinguishing between facts and opinions, specifically that only the former can be proven, and does not change regardless of the passage of time or change in the viewer. Students are then provided with examples of historical facts, and divided into groups to create a position statement that utilizes the fact as supporting evidence. For example, the fact “The Civil War was won by the North” can lead to the proposition “Because the Civil War was won by the North, it lead to the domination of the South during the subsequent period of Reconstruction.” Lastly, the students will take their new proposition and find more supporting arguments for it through the use of an established outline seen below.
Logic and Reasoning:
Not every aspect of this outline can be met, as some information may be lacking depending on a student’s proposition. However, particularly if the teacher has control over the minimum amount of information students are made privy to, minimum requirements can also be made.