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How to Write a Research Paper Outline: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide

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❶Outlines are useful as they help the writer think about a topic in more detail, revealing areas that may require more research.

3. Creating a Thesis Statement & Outline

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Generally, your Introduction should orient your readers to the major points the rest of the paper will be covering, and how. The body of your paper is where you will be presenting all your arguments to support your thesis statement. Start with a strong argument, followed by a stronger one, and end with the strongest argument as your final point.

The conclusion is where you form a summary of all your arguments so you can arrive at your final position. Explain and reiterate why you've ended up with the said conclusion. As mentioned earlier, here are some sample outlines for research papers:. Shakespeare Adapted from AResearchGuide. Check out our quiz-page with tests about:. Research Paper Outline Examples.

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You can use it freely with some kind of link , and we're also okay with people reprinting in publications like books, blogs, newsletters, course-material, papers, wikipedia and presentations with clear attribution. Learn how to construct, style and format an Academic paper and take your skills to the next level.

Don't have time for it all now? Can it provoke a meaningful discussion that might change the world? How can I build a research paper on this argument? As soon as you have answers for these questions, you are almost ready to create a good outline for a successful research paper. Of course, most of the time only your professor will read a research paper you have created.

However, you need to understand readers of your paper. Will the professor support your argument or will he have a counterargument? When defining your audience, you will comprehend what type of language is better to use: The overall style and tone of your research paper depend on the audience it is aimed at. There is no research paper without proper and thorough research. You will have to investigate a lot of resources in order to find effective evidence to support your argument.

Firstly, you will have to find general information to support your thesis statement, then you will have to dig deeper. You will have to be aware of any counter arguments and evidence supporting them. This way you will master the topic and comprehend the pitfalls of your thesis statement better. References are the evidence of each of your arguments and the research you have conducted. You should prioritize them according to the importance and relevance to your thesis statement.

Writing a good research paper outline When you are finished with pre-writing activities, created a good research paper topic, you are more than ready to make an effective research paper outline. Essay Editors that may help. There are three main points that make an impressive Introduction: Depending on the overall volume of your research paper, a hook can be from one to five sentences long.

This the part that persuades readers to read the paper. A hook should be interesting and provoking — you need your readers to want to read your research paper. In your pre-writing activities, you had to define the audience for yourself — you had to understand who would be interested in reading your paper. Here, however, you need to explain to your reader why she or he is your target audience.

The Introduction and the whole text, for that matter, should be relatable. Here you state your argument. You make a clear point about what you are going to discuss and why is it important. Your thesis statement should be clear and simple but never dull. You want the readers to read your paper especially after the research you have conducted and materials you have gone through.

Body The Body is the main part of the research paper outline you are writing. Stuck on Your Research Paper Outline? You might use full sentences to make it easier to write a final paper, to make a good study guide, or to fulfill the requirements of an assignment. Group your ideas together. Review your brainstorming, placing related ideas in the same group. You can always eliminate ideas you realize are unnecessary. These groups will become main points, so narrow your groups down until you have your desired number of main points.

For an essay or speech, that often means 3, but a creative piece may have more. Sort your index cards, if you used them to brainstorm. Put cards with related ideas together. For example, you can put them in stacks, or you can line your cards out in rows to make them easier to read. Put each group in order from broad ideas to specific details. Broad ideas are more likely to be your main points, while details are the bits of information you will use to support those ideas.

Depending on the purpose of your outline, you may have many subpoints and supporting details. However, aim to have at least subpoints and supporting details for each main idea. Your subpoints might be that Victor Frankenstein is restored by nature and that his scientific efforts create a monster.

As supporting details, you might include quotes from the book. If you're writing a story or presenting a historical argument, a chronological order makes sense. For an essay or speech, pick the subtopic with the most supporting materials, and lead with this argument. From there, order your major subtopics so each one naturally flows into the next.

Outline your introduction as the first main point for a speech or essay. You can use either phrases or full sentences, depending on which you chose to use. Some people prefer to write out their introduction, which is also okay. Here are the points you need in your introduction: The outline headings are your main points. These ideas should be drawn directly from your thesis or controlling idea. Frankenstein champions emotion over reason Full sentence outline: In Frankenstein , Mary Shelley champions the use of emotion over reason.

Write at least 2 subpoints for each main idea. These are the ideas that further explain your main point. In an essay, they might be your reasons for making your argument. In a creative work, they might be parts of your plot point. For example, a novel may have many subpoints. Similarly, a study guide will likely have several subpoints, as well. Add at least 2 supporting details for each subpoint. They might include direct quotes, statistics, facts, or examples.

For a creative work, you might include essential details you must include in that scene, such as an internal conflict in your main character. Similar to subpoints, you may have more supporting details, depending on your purpose. A novel or study guide will likely have more supporting details. Include more layers of your outline, if necessary. Most basic outlines will include 3 layers, but you may need more.

If this is the case, you can continue creating sublevels using the formatting structure you chose, either alphanumeric or decimal.

For example, you might need more layers to provide more details. In the Frankenstein example above, you might include a 4th layer to write out your commentary about the quotes you used to support your point. Your subpoints might include the following: Write a concluding statement. Your outline should relate back to your thesis or main idea, address the purpose you set out to achieve and reflect your audience. Revise your outline if ideas are missing or not fleshed out. In some cases, you may need to add more information, such as additional supporting details.

The revision process allows you to do that. You might also want to rewrite sentences or phrases to make your ideas clearer. Check for typos, grammatical errors, and formatting flaws. This will ensure you get full credit for your work. While you edit your outline, refer back to your assignment sheet or rubric to make sure you've completely fulfilled the assignment.

If not, go back and correct the areas that are lacking. Add layers if necessary. If you need to add additional sub-layers, use lowercase Roman numerals i, ii, iii, iv, etc. In most cases, three or four layers will be enough. Try to combine points first before you add a fifth.

You might also include additional layers for a long creative work or a detailed study guide. It's best to start with a strong thesis statement that includes your reasons. Then, dedicate each body paragraph to one of your claims, as well as the evidence that supports it.

Make sure you break down your evidence in your body paragraphs. Not Helpful 0 Helpful 2. Yes, having an outline will help you familiarize yourself with the process of something. It is your guide for your experiment, whatever kind is it. Having an outline is like planning. Not Helpful 17 Helpful How do I write an outline quickly when I am under time pressure during exams? Begin with reading the exam question quickly but thoroughly.

As you read, jot down the major points that occur to you immediately.

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The following outline is for a page paper discussing the link between educational attainment and health. Review the other sections of this page for more detailed information about each component of this outline!

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The Basic Outline of a Paper The following outline shows a basic format for most academic papers. No matter what length the paper needs to be, it should still follow the format of having an introduction, body, and conclusion.

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Research Paper Outline Examples Once you've decided what topic you will be writing about, the next thing you should pay attention to is the scope of your paper or what you will be including in your discussion. Sample Essay Outlines Why Write an Outline? An outline will help you organize your main ideas and determine the order in which you are going to write about them. Writing an outline is a very effective way to think through how you will organize and present the information in your essay.

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The research paper outline is essential for any article or term paper. The outline may make a great difference on how your work is interpreted. This article is a part of the guide. A research paper outline is a generalized, organized overview of a research topic. Outlines are useful as they help the writer think about a topic in more detail, revealing areas that may require more research.