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

This article is a part of the guide:

❶Before you write a thesis statement, you should collect, organize and analyze materials and your ideas. Each major heading should be divided into two or more parts.

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Research Outline Template
Writing a good research paper outline
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Do not state something you have no ways of proving! Each statement you give has to be backed up with the proof. Do not forget about valid references and proper citation according to the required paper format. You can mention counterarguments to your ideas and provide evidence why they are not correct. Opposing facts prove your deep knowledge on the topic and that you have really conducted a thorough research.

This will show your commitment to the challenging tasks and create quite an impressive academic reputation. Do not forget about the style and the tone of your research paper, which you have stated in the introduction.

The paper should be consistent from the beginning to the very end. The manner, pattern, and techniques should be the same throughout the paper. However, remember to be creative and use various language techniques to make your paper interesting to read.

Take into consideration that there is a high chance that your professor knows everything about the subject. Nonetheless, your paper needs to be addressed to the reader unfamiliar with the topic and the thesis statement of your choice. This again will show your deep knowledge on the matter. Be sure to explain everything clearly without sounding too dull in the process.

The conclusive part of the research paper has to summarize the arguments so the readers digest the main idea and remember it for a long time. Remember that the main purpose of the research paper is to show your abilities to work by yourself and demonstrate the range of your knowledge on various topics. Creating a good outline is essential in a further composing of your research paper. Make sure to take notes when conducting a research, do not be afraid to ask for assistance and read additional resources.

The Best Articles from Edusson The Edusson email digest is a weekly summary of the most popular and inspiring essay-related content. We curate the best so you can stay continually informed. By clicking "Subscribe" you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We'll occasionally send you promo and account related emails. I'm already have account in Edusson. Essay Editing Service Essay Revision. Before writing an research paper outline: Select an appropriate topic.

Selecting a topic is a crucial factor for a successful research paper. Whether you select a topic yourself or not, it should work to your strengths and not weaknesses. An appropriate topic should be interesting to you and appeal to or provoke readers. After selecting a topic, take some time to figure out what kind of argument you want to support.

You need to understand why it is important to you and why it might be important to others. Ask yourself — what is the aim of my thesis statement? 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. The more formal method is to use a sentence format, which, according to the Purdue University Writing Lab, is often used for essays. When using the alphanumeric outline format, the introduction will start with a Roman numeral one: Next, capital letters A,B,C and so on are written below the thesis.

These letters are subheadings that provide more detail about the ideas presented in the thesis. For a research paper, several paragraphs are most likely required to thoroughly discuss the topic and help prove the thesis. Using the alphanumeric format mentioned above requires that a Roman numeral be used for the general title of the first body paragraph. Capital letters are required for the subheadings under the title. Then Arabic numerals are used for subheadings revealing more detailed information on the topic.

Subheadings under this are illustrated by lower case letters. The following section illustrates how a body paragraph may look. Note that in this example, each level of the outline should be indented. The Roman numeral "II" would be on the left margin, and "A" and "B" would both be indented one tab, for example. Overview of the Works of Classical Composers A. For topics that require even more subheadings, the Arabic numerals are placed in parentheses and the subheading under these require the lower case letters be placed in parentheses.

If more subheadings are needed, than you may want to consider combining some of your topics so that there are not too many subheadings. The following illustrates the subheadings don't forget the indentions of each level:.

The conclusion to the research paper follows the same alphanumeric format. The topics outlined in this section does not extensively cite new research or expert opinion, but rather sums up the main ideas discussed in the paper to further prove the point the paper sought to make. It also ends with a statement or quote that gives the reader information for further consideration. Regardless of the section, there are certain qualities that each part of the research paper outline should have.

These include parallelism, equal relevance and multiple headings. Parallelism means that if a title starts with a verb, all the other titles in the outline should start with a verb. Thus, in an outline about buying a car, the first title or topic of the body paragraph might be:.

Note that the topics of A and B are of equal relevance. One is not more specific than the other. More detailed information should be described in the subheadings to each of the A and B headings. Also, outlines should have multiple headings. Note again the example above. Under Look for New Cars Online there are two general subheadings.

There should always be at least two subheadings for each topic. Besides the alphanumeric outline, a research paper outline may use decimal points.

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Below are examples of research paper outlines. Creating an outline is the first thing you should do before starting on your research paper.

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Tutorial to the research paper outline. It helps you through the steps of writing a research paper. Good writing is essential for any article or term paper.

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How To: Outlining a Research Paper research paper related to air quality. I am providing it here to offer you some guidance on preparing a good outline. It is possible that some of the details will not apply to your paper – for instance, your. The research problem is the focal point from which the rest of the outline flows. Try to sum up the point of your paper in one sentence or phrase. It also can be key to deciding what the title of your paper should be.

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Aug 23,  · How to Write an Outline for a Research Paper. Writing an outline for a research paper can seem like a time consuming task, and you may not understand the value of it if you have never written one before. Outlines can help you structure 77%(62). Learn about APA and MLA Outline Format, Research Paper Outline sample, download free Outline Template.