The Preliminary Outline

First off, thank you guys so much for all of the positive support that you gave me on my intro paragraph. I have drawn up a [very] preliminary outline with topic sentences (that could use some work). Interestingly enough, some of these paragraphs could be made into entire papers. I’m sorry that I didn’t post this earlier– I’ve been so stressed out lately, after this research paper though, I think I’ll be okay. 

After school tomorrow, I’ll get back to all who commented and post my latest opinions on the Red Sox. Funny story today actually in English. We were in the computer lab, working on our essays for The Great Gatsby and let’s just say I got a bit distracted, so I went to the Red Sox homepage. Little did I know that the volume of the computer was on, and that the video would load right away. So my English class got a nice couple of words from Terry Francona. 
Feel free to tear this outline apart and give me constructive criticism as well. 

      I.     Intro

Thesis Statement: Although baseball provided
many new spaces and liberties to the players and spectators, it also reflected
the age-old tensions and traditions such as racism, the conflict between
workers and owners, the struggle between the individual and the collective
group, and the consequences of scandal and reform.

of Baseball…Topic Sentence: In 1607, a group of diverse colonists crossed the
Atlantic ocean to seek land, new opportunities, and establish a nation, and in
1845, a group of diverse men who called themselves the New York Knickerbockers
crossed the Hudson River seeking Elysian Fields, a place to play their game of
baseball, which not only created new opportunities, but established what would
become the national pastime as well.

Turned away from the British influences of town
ball, base, and cricket and established a specifically American game, just like
the people of the Revolution turned away from the British government and laws
and established a democracy

Democratic sport

1856: evolution of baseball (Henry Chadwick)

Baseball a common language like liberty was

Alexander Jay Wright moved the game westward,
just like Americans were moving west

1869 first pro team

National Association of Baseball Players

National League

American Baseball Association à Western League

  III.     Baseball
providing new spaces… Topic Sentence: Baseball inspired city pride, promoted
new industry, expanded west, and was not only played in stadiums, it was also
played in prison yards, parks, playgrounds, and farmer fields as wel.



Played everywhere

Industry à
newspapers and magazines

Expanding west


City Pride

Baseball as business

and restricting liberties…Topic Sentence Baseball provided liberties and opportunities for
white players and fans regardless of their socioeconomic classes, but
restricted those liberties and opportunities from African Americans just as
they were restricted from opportunities in society.

Players à


African Americans


mirrors the government and economy…Topic Sentence: The reason that baseball is America’s
national pastime is because it perfectly reflects the triumphs and struggles of
American history.

Monopolies and competition

Regulation from government



Scandals (rowdyball) and reform, syndicate


Cyclical economy

Contracts and contract clauses

Peace treaties

 Although there is a theory that baseball
compensates for what work lacks, baseball’s rules and ethics are actually
relevant to Harold L. Wilensky’s congruent hypothesis, which states that people
tend to replicate their work situation in their leisure time.

Work and congruence

 VII.     The ethics of baseball has reflected some of
America’s most important ethics such as individualism, the struggle for
identity, nationalism, and opportunity.


Identity struggle





 It’s a little vague, I know, but this is just the gist of what I’m talking about. Anything that comes to mind is appreciated. I’ll post my paper as it gets done– maybe even paragraph at a time. 




  1. Greg

    I’ve been out of the loop. You are writing a research paper on the history of baseball? I’m a little slow. LOL. Good luck with it, seems like you got a lot of good advice from a lot of great writers. I’ll let the real writers keep giving you the tips. Oh, and I see you’re reading the Great Gatsby. I remember I was supposed to read that in school. Notice “supposed” to. Haha.

    Red Sox Ramblings:

  2. juliasrants

    Elizabeth – (I am just thinking out loud as I am reading this.)

    1.are you looking at this at all from a “class” perspective? Rich vs poor and did the game cross this paper or reinforce it?

    2. In the thesis statement you talk about conflict (race, owner vs workers) but then you say it was a diverse group that started baseball. seems to be conflicting ideas.

    3. How far west were the first teams? (I don’t know were all the first teams where) Was it the same as westward expansion? Gut feeling is that the first organized games would have been in the more developed, established communities. (Again, do know – just asking)

    4. Something about VII that I’m having trouble getting my head around. Is baseball really about the individual? See more group work ethic; theory of working together for the common good. Maybe I just need to see more of what you’re going to put in this section

    I think this is going to be a great paper Elizabeth! Again – I was “thinking” out loud when I was reading! I can’t wait to read the whole paper!


  3. levelboss

    “’s rules and ethics are actually relevant to Harold L. Wilensky’s congruent hypothesis, which states that people tend to replicate their work situation in their leisure time.”

    wow, Elizabeth, are you sure you’re not in college already?

  4. greg1969

    Hey, Elizabeth. My name is Greg, and I am one of the newer “regulars” on Brownie Points. (Greg1969 is my ID there–in case you need to keep your “Gregs” straight on the blog! 🙂
    How soon do you need to complete your paper? Is it for a “civics” or “social studies” class? How long does it need to be?

    Are you going into the Negro Leagues at all in talking about baseball (since I noticed reference to African-Americans)? Are there ways that the Negro Leagues gave opportunities that were otherwise denied African-Americans, and how did integration of baseball help or hurt these opporunities?

    I don’t know how much you wish to touch on some of these issues, as entire books have been written on any one of these things. They may be things you want to consider while writing your paper. I wish you success with this paper and your career aspirations, and I hope we see you again on Brownie Points! I’ll check in from time to time. Take care.

  5. rockymountainway

    That’s a pretty extensive outline and I agree with Julia on most of what she said. You can always find debate on the origins of the game as there is evidence it was based on ideas of cricket and some say the old Abner debate. But there are complete books dedicated to many of the topics you choose, so I’d be careful to not go to far on other tagents that may stray from your thesis as it should encompass the majority of the ideas in the paper. Julia talked about organized games and the fraternity game of upper status were the first types of group games. I’m not sure how long this paper has to be but unless it’s college style 30 pager I’d be aware of the topics and staying on topic! Should be a good one : )

  6. junojen

    Okay – I will give my brief two cents as well.
    I remember you said this paper was supposed to be about baseball during the Gilded Age (1876 – 1900) or (1870 – 1890) depending on your source. It seems like you are covering a much wider time period in your outline.
    I personally would set the stage of this time period – what was happening in the US and why – and then tie in baseball with the same points.
    I think the biggest parallels to elaborate on are your topics about industrialism (Wilenksy’s quote is your set up) and race relations (not sure about this one).
    Hope I didn’t muddy the waters. Keep going!


    PS. I sure wish there was an internet when I was in high school! LOL!

  7. Brian Legentil

    I know what you’re going through – I’m in the midst of applying to 7 schools to transfer and it’s totally stressful, I’m getting wiped out. As for your paper, unless it has to be 20+ pages I think you have too much info, just your outline section for V could be 4 pages (unless you plan on just glossing over your bullet points). Since it’s an English paper, I think you can be less rigid with the bullet points and let the paper flow more naturally. Even though it’s a research paper, teachers still want it to be unique. Oh, and a little vague? that’s the least vague outline I’ve ever read!-Brian

  8. Elizabeth D.

    Everyone (lol): Thanks for all your help! I totally see all of your points, and I will expand on each little bullet point today.
    I especially want to address the idea of individualism because there was a struggle for unions and trying to get your own contract, and the same thing goes with how every individual had an opportunity. I’ll expand more later.
    Thanks again so much!!!

  9. rrrt

    Elizabeth – After rereading your opening paragraph in yesterday’s entry, I agree with some of the other commenters that some parts of the outline, especially sections V, VI, and VII, seem to be broader in scope than the initial time frame of the Gilded Age (some of them would make great papers on their own!). It might be better to tighten your focus on that period, allowing a more in-depth look, than trying to condense the whole history of baseball into your paper. Looking forward to the next installment!
    Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

  10. Elizabeth D.

    Caroline & Sue: I talked to my teacher today, and I’ll tell you the direction I’m going to go. I know this was a little sudden…

  11. Jane Heller

    I’m amazed at how involved this paper is, Elizabeth. You should see the sort of proposals writers have to do to get a nonfiction book published. Your outline will certainly prepare you for that, if you decide to go that route someday. Very impressive.

  12. Elizabeth D.

    Johnny: Thanks! I think that after this research paper is done, that everything will settle back down. I hope that your homework goes away too lol.

    Bob: I think I’m going to do that to develop the idea of unification (like everyone knew who that player was). Thanks!

    Vanessa: I’m not all study all the time (as I have this blog lol…), I do my homework when I need to and study when I need to. I’m hoping that this paper will bring my grade up and this is one of the few times I’ll get to write about baseball.

    Jane: Thanks so much!!


  13. Erin Kathleen

    Wow, Elizabeth, you’ve really done your homework 😉 If you can write this well on a high-school essay then you should be able to handle college just fine (if that is the path you’re taking). I’m an MBA student and the only papers I’ve had to write that were even close to being this long were mock business proposals (and those aren’t half as interesting). Good luck, and I hope you get an ‘A’.

  14. mlbtribefan

    This looks good! The only thing I would add are the ethics of hard work, perserverance. Mention this: of all the major sports, it truly is a blue-collar sport. Why? Its a day-in, day-out sport. Its a grind. Its still generally affordable for families. Take it if it works.


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