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An Essay Outline: What Readers (and Writers) Want to Know Outlines are helpful because they provide the skeletons of arguments in bulleted form, helping both readers and writers quickly see how the argument is developed, what isn’t working, what’s needed, and how elements might be more logically organized, for example.Once a solid outline is in place, writers and readers can rapidly see the whole arc of an argument and follow along through a bulleted format rather than committing to writing or reading a whole paper in paragraph form. You’ll see this bulleted format in the example, below, which relates to homelessness, rather than to our topic, US immigration.OutlineYour main claim for Essay Four that is focused, arguable and related to US immigration. Underneath the main claim, list 8-10 bulleted subclaims that logically support the main claim. Underneath each subclaim, provide two pieces of evidence that support each subclaim with accurate MLA in-text citations.Provide a counterargument from an actual source and your rebuttal.IntroductionWrite an introductory paragraph that includes an effective opener, context for the debate, the definition of key terms (only if needed), necessary information to logically lead readers from the effective essay opener to the main claim, and your main claim. Works Cited ListOn the last page of the document, include a Works Cited list with the outsidesources you are working with so far.

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Day Month Year
Outline Example: Addressing Homelessness in San Diego Through Education
Main Claim
Although I agree that factors like mental illness, housing availability, and housing costs pose
significant challenges to those facing homelessness, I argue that to create lasting change, our
primary efforts should focus on creating comprehensive educational programs for those who
experience and are vulnerable to homelessness.
Subclaim, Counterargument/Rebuttal, and Conclusion Outline
o SC1: Local politicians recognize the necessity for solutions to the homelessness problem in
San Diego.
▪ Evidence 1: The city of San Diego provides dormitory-style tents (Wilkens, par. 14).
▪ Evidence 2: Leaders willing to commit resources to address homelessness (Jennewein,
par. 4).
▪ This evidence demonstrates the political will to address homelessness in San Diego.
o SC2: The majority of residents in the San Diego region agree that addressing the local
homelessness problem is a priority.
▪ Evidence 1: Most San Diegans favor of programs for the homeless (“SurveyUSA,” table
▪ Evidence 2: Area leaders see the issue as urgent (Garrick, par. 9).
▪ This evidence demonstrates that residents, including area leaders see addressing
homelessness as a priority.
o SC3: Despite this broad agreement, inaccurate narratives about those who are homeless
make it difficult to understand and solve the problem.
▪ Evidence 1: The majority of homeless people do not abuse substances, but abuse is both
a cause and effect of homelessness (“Substance Abuse,” par. 4).
▪ Evidence 2: The majority of homeless are not mentally ill (Holland, par. 7).
▪ This evidence demonstrates common false narratives that the homeless are substance
abusers and mentally ill, although these problems exist in this population.
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o SC4: We must address gaps in structures and systems that allow homelessness to persist.
▪ Evidence 1: Minoritized and foster youth are especially vulnerable to dropping out of
high school, diminishing their earning potential and increasing the likelihood of
homelessness (Dukes, par. 3).
▪ Evidence 2: There’s a scarcity of housing in San Diego (Garrick, par. 4-5).
▪ Evidence 3: Services for those with disabilities are lacking (Holland, par. 12).
▪ This evidence demonstrates that the issue is systemic, and we need to address systems to
solve the problem, rather than blaming those that experience homelessness.
o SC5: Targeted education programs can provide those experiencing homelessness gain jobready credentials.
▪ Evidence 1: San Diego Continuing Education offers programs (“Adult Classes,” par. 5).
▪ Evidence 2: Working on this one.
▪ This evidence demonstrates that education can play a powerful role in addressing
o SC6: Education programs, funded by governmental agencies and philanthropic corporations,
can help those who are homeless gain access to stable housing.
▪ Evidence 1: Businesses can follow the examples of Amazon, Starbucks and Vulcan to
support local areas in addressing homelessness (Putnam, par. 6).
▪ Evidence 2: Tacoma Community College offers a successful housing assistance program
(“THA,” par. 1).
▪ This evidence demonstrates that schools can partner with businesses and innovate to help
students find housing.
o SC7: Education programs can help students who are homeless access healthcare.
▪ Evidence 1: Schools can become sites for mobile health services, linking education and
health care.
▪ Evidence 2: Schools can respond by offering additional mental health services.
▪ This evidence demonstrates that healthcare is needed and can be provided by schools.
o Counterargument: The San Diego Union Tribune’s editorial board has recently insisted that
ending homelessness would mean “‘ending mental illness,’” suggesting not only that
homelessness is primarily due to mental illness, but that the problem is impossible to solve
(qtd. in Halverstadt, par. 9).
o Rebuttal: I argue, instead, that mental illness is just one of a complex set of problems that
can be addressed, in part, through coordinated and targeted educational programs. Not only
can schools provide “wrap around” services for students experiencing or vulnerable to
homelessness, they can further the political will of San Diegans through advocacy, networks,
and influence. As liaison for the National Center for Homeless Education argues, “[T]he
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education system can play a pivotal role in preventing experiences of homelessness,
providing critical school-based supports” (Dukes, par. 5).
o Conclusion:
▪ As a next step, GCCCD students should advocate that our colleges assess and address the
needs of students who experience or are vulnerable to homelessness. In part, through
student and faculty government, we need to be involved in making this happen.
INTRODUCTION DRAFT: San Diego today, more than 8,000 people are homeless which
includes people living out of doors, sleeping in cars, or otherwise “lack[ing] a fixed, regular, and
adequate nighttime residence” (Wilkens, par. 3; “2017 Homelessness Assessment” 2). In 2017,
San Diego’s homeless population ranked fourth in the nation, and although this number has
dropped six percent in the last year, this drop is likely due to the recent exclusion of RV residents
from the homeless count, rather than to new policies or programs supporting the homeless
(“2017 Assessment,” 17; Wilkins, par. 3). Homelessness in San Diego persists despite new
survey results showing that most San Diegans across political lines favor developing programs
for the homeless, even at the cost of tax increases (“SurveyUSA,” table 15). In part, the
persistence of homelessness in San Diego is due to disagreement about the primary causes of
homelessness which, if understood, could lead to effective solutions. The San Diego Union
Tribune’s editorial board insists that homelessness results from mental illness despite evidence to
the contrary, while area leaders cite housing costs and neighborhood opposition to facilities for
the homeless” as significant causes (ctd. in Halverstadt, par. 9; ctd. in Garrick, par. 5). Although
I agree that factors like mental illness, housing availability, and housing costs pose significant
challenges to those facing homelessness, I argue that to create lasting change, our primary efforts
should focus on creating comprehensive educational programs for those who experience and are
vulnerable to homelessness.
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Entries are listed in alphabetical
order, not numbered.
Works Cited
 Title; Starts on its own page.
“2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress.” US Dept. of Housing and
Lines under Urban Development, Office of Community Planning and Development, Dec. 2017,
the first are
indented ½” Accessed 8
Oct. 2018.
“Adult Classes Begin at San Diego Rescue Mission: Downtown, San Diego Residents Without
Shelter and Diploma.” San Diego Continuing Education News Room.
Accessed 8 Oct. 2018.
Dukes, Christina. “Strengthening Partnerships Between Education and Homelessness Services.”
United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, 3 May 2018, Accessed 26 Sept. 2018.
Garrick, David. “Forum Focuses on Solutions, Causes of San Diego’s Homelessness Crisis.” San
Diego Union Tribune, 20 Mar. 2017, Accessed 26 Sept. 2018.
Halverstadt, Lisa. “Three Myths About San Diego’s Homeless Population.” Voice of San Diego,
13 June 2016, Accessed 26 Sept. 2018.
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Holland, Gale. “Mental Illness and Homelessness are Connected. But Not How You Might
Think.” Los Angeles Times, 7 Aug. 2017, Accessed 26 Sept. 2018.
Jennewien, Chris. “Housing and Homelessness Are Focus on County Supervisor Debate.” Times
of San Diego, 18 Sept. 2018, Accessed 26 Sept. 2018.
“Mental Illness and Homelessness.” National Coalition of the Homeless, June 2017, Accessed 20 Oct. 2108.
Putnam, Mark. “It’s Time to Change the Narrative on Homelessness.” Impact: The Voice of
Philanthropy, 7 Aug. 2017, Seattle Foundation,
Accessed 20 Oct. 2108.
“Substance Abuse and Homelessness.” National Coalition of the Homeless, June 2017, Accessed 20 Oct. 2108.
“SurveyUSA News Poll #24027.” Sponsors: KGTV-TV San Diego and the San Diego Union
Tribune. Accessed 20 Oct. 2108.
“THA – Tacoma Community College Housing Assistance Program: A Summary.” Tacoma
Housing Authority, Accessed 20 Oct. 2108.
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Wilkens, John. “San Diegans Think Homelessness is Getting Worse, Would Support Spending
More Tax Dollars to Help, New Poll Shows.” San Diego Union Tribune, 26 May 2018, Accessed 26 Sept. 2018.
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