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Why and How to Create a Useful Outline
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This resource describes why outlines are useful, what types of outlines exist, suggestions for developing effective outlines, and how outlines can be used as an invention strategy for writing.
Why create an outline? There are many reasons, but in general, it may be helpful to create an outline when you want to show the hierarchical relationship or logical ordering of information. For research papers, an outline may help you keep track of large amounts of information. For creative writing, an outline may help organize the various plot threads and help keep track of character traits. Many people find that organizing an oral report or presentation in outline form helps them speak more effectively in front of a crowd. Below are the primary reasons for creating an outline.
- Aids in the process of writing
- Helps you organize your ideas
- Presents your material in a logical form
- Shows the relationships among ideas in your writing
- Constructs an ordered overview of your writing
- Defines boundaries and groups
How do I create an outline?
- Determine the purpose of your paper.
- Determine the audience you are writing for.
- Develop the thesis of your paper.
- Brainstorm : List all the ideas that you want to include in your paper.
- Organize : Group related ideas together.
- Order : Arrange material in subsections from general to specific or from abstract to concrete.
- Label : Create main and sub headings.
Remember: creating an outline before writing your paper will make organizing your thoughts a lot easier. Whether you follow the suggested guidelines is up to you, but making any kind of outline (even just some jotting down some main ideas) will be beneficial to your writing process.
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Getting started with your research paper outline
The outline is the skeleton of your research paper. Simply start by writing down your thesis and the main ideas you wish to present. This will likely change as your research progresses; therefore, do not worry about being too specific in the early stages of writing your outline.
- Levels of organization for a research paper outline
A research paper outline typically contains between two and four layers of organization. The first two layers are the most generalized. Each layer thereafter will contain the research you complete and presents more and more detailed information.
The levels are typically represented by a combination of Roman numerals, Arabic numerals, uppercase letters, lowercase letters but may include other symbols. Refer to the guidelines provided by your institution, as formatting is not universal and differs between universities, fields, and subjects. If you are writing the outline for yourself, you may choose any combination you prefer.
First level of organization
This is the most generalized level of information. Begin by numbering the introduction, each idea you will present, and the conclusion. The main ideas contain the bulk of your research paper 's information. Depending on your research, it may be chapters of a book for a literature review , a series of dates for a historical research paper, or the methods and results of a scientific paper.
II. Main idea
III. Main idea
IV. Main idea
Second level of organization
The second level consists of topics which support the introduction, main ideas, and the conclusion. Each main idea should have at least two supporting topics listed in the outline.
If your main idea does not have enough support, you should consider presenting another main idea in its place. This is where you should stop outlining if this is your first draft. Continue your research before adding to the next levels of organization.
- A. Background information
- B. Hypothesis or thesis
- A. Supporting topic
- B. Supporting topic
Third level of organization
The third level of organization contains supporting information for the topics previously listed. By now, you should have completed enough research to add support for your ideas.
The Introduction and Main Ideas may contain information you discovered about the author, timeframe, or contents of a book for a literature review; the historical events leading up to the research topic for a historical research paper, or an explanation of the problem a scientific research paper intends to address.
- 1. Relevant history
- 2. Relevant history
- 1. The hypothesis or thesis clearly stated
- 1. A brief description of supporting information
- 2. A brief description of supporting information
Fourth level of organization
The fourth level of organization contains the most detailed information such as quotes, references, observations, or specific data needed to support the main idea. It is not typical to have further levels of organization because the information contained here is the most specific.
- a) Quotes or references to another piece of literature
- b) Quotes or references to another piece of literature
- Tips for writing a research paper outline
Tip: The key to creating a useful outline is to be consistent in your headings, organization, and levels of specificity.
- Be Consistent : ensure every heading has a similar tone. State the topic or write short sentences for each heading but avoid doing both.
- Organize Information : Higher levels of organization are more generally stated and each supporting level becomes more specific. The introduction and conclusion will never be lower than the first level of organization.
- Build Support : Each main idea should have two or more supporting topics. If your research does not have enough information to support the main idea you are presenting, you should, in general, complete additional research or revise the outline.
- Research paper outline template
By now, you should know the basic requirements to create an outline for your paper. With a content framework in place, you can now start writing your paper . To help you start right away, you can use one of our templates and adjust it to suit your needs.
- My research paper outline is complete: what are the next steps?
After completing your outline, you should:
- Title your research paper . This is an iterative process and may change when you delve deeper into the topic.
- Begin writing your research paper draft . Continue researching to further build your outline and provide more information to support your hypothesis or thesis.
- Format your draft appropriately . MLA 8 and APA 7 formats have differences between their bibliography page, in-text citations, line spacing, and title.
- Finalize your citations and bibliography . Use a reference manager like Paperpile to organize and cite your research.
- Write the abstract, if required . An abstract will briefly state the information contained within the paper, results of the research, and the conclusion.
- Frequently Asked Questions about a research paper outline
An outline is used to organize written ideas about a topic into a logical order. Outlines help us organize major topics, subtopics, and supporting details. Researchers benefit greatly from outlines while writing by addressing which topic to cover in what order.
The most basic outline format consists of: an introduction, a minimum of three topic paragraphs, and a conclusion.
You should make an outline before starting to write your research paper. This will help you organize the main ideas and arguments you want to present in your topic.
- Consistency: ensure every heading has a similar tone. State the topic or write short sentences for each heading but avoid doing both.
- Organization : Higher levels of organization are more generally stated and each supporting level becomes more specific. The introduction and conclusion will never be lower than the first level of organization.
- Support : Each main idea should have two or more supporting topics. If your research does not have enough information to support the main idea you are presenting, you should, in general, complete additional research or revise the outline.
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How to Write a Research Paper Outline
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Table of Contents
Getting started with your research paper can sometimes feel a little overwhelming. But, if you start with an outline, the rest of the paper almost completes itself. Even so, an outline can be difficult to wrap your head around as well. In this article, we’ll go over the fundamentals of a research paper outline, explaining exactly what it is, and how you can write it, step-by-step.
When it comes down to it, your research outline is like the frame of a house for your research paper. It is the framework on which everything else is built upon. The foundation of this framework is the thesis and main ideas of your research project. And, just like a house, there are multiple layers to complete the project. The same is true with your research paper. We start with general ideas and building a framework, and then we add information and detail as the outline comes into shape.
The key to understanding how to write an effective research paper is by comprehending what these different layers are, and in what order you should address them. For example, you wouldn’t put your kitchen counters in a house, without first completing the interior walls and base cabinetry of the home. So, you build carefully and deliberately, step-by-step, in a way that makes it easy for your ideas to take shape.
Let’s take a look at those layers and stages.
Step-by-Step Research Paper Outline
Most research papers have several layers to their construction. In this section, we’ll cover the most basic construction principles. For additional information, talk with colleagues in your field to review their outlines and how they may have built a research paper that you find useful.
You’ll likely notice that each layer grows from general to more specific topics. Additionally, each layer is usually shown via Roman numerals, along with Arabic numbers, upper and lowercase letters. Some institutions actually look for a specific outline format, and formatting can also depend on your specific field and topic. Of course, if you’re just using an outline for your own purposes, you can use whatever format that works best for you.
First Level of Organization
This is the most basic core of your research paper; your introduction, each of your main ideas and your conclusion. The main ideas are where, of course, the majority of your information is going to be presented. If you think of your research paper like a book, your main ideas would be like chapters. Your main ideas may also read like specific dates for a historical literature review, or even specific methods and results for a scientific-based research paper.
I. Introduction/summary of the research
II. First main idea or date
III. Second main idea or date
IV. Third main idea or date
At this level, we dig into the topics that support each of the ideas in the first level. For each main idea, you’ll want at least two to three details. If you can’t put that much detail into any of your main ideas, you might want to consider merging it with another main idea. Once you have the second level of your outline done, typically you’ll want to stop working on your outline, especially if this is just your first draft.
Continue with your research so that you can add details to the next layers and levels of your outline. Keep in mind, that depending on where your research leads you, your main ideas may even change, which is yet another reason why you won’t want to dig too deeply into your outline until your actual research is completed.
A. Background info
B. Hypothesis (or thesis)
A. First supporting idea or topic
B. Second supporting idea or topic
C. Third supporting idea or topic
V. Conclusion (don’t worry about this, at this stage of your outline)
Third and Fourth Level
With the third and fourth levels, you’ll add supporting data and information that’s related to your previously outlined topics. This is where your research “fills in the blanks.” For example, you might add to your introduction, or revise your main ideas, based on the research you’ve conducted. The fourth level is only used when further details are needed to describe the research or topic. For example, historical quotes, references, and the most specific data and information.
1. Reference One
2. Reference Two
1. Quote One
2. Quote Two
III. Conclusion (based on the culmination of your research project)
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How Can You Create a Well Planned Research Paper Outline
You are staring at the blank document, meaning to start writing your research paper . After months of experiments and procuring results, your PI asked you to write the paper to publish it in a reputed journal. You spoke to your peers and a few seniors and received a few tips on writing a research paper, but you still can’t plan on how to begin!
Writing a research paper is a very common issue among researchers and is often looked upon as a time consuming hurdle. Researchers usually look up to this task as an impending threat, avoiding and procrastinating until they cannot delay it anymore. Seeking advice from internet and seniors they manage to write a paper which goes in for quite a few revisions. Making researchers lose their sense of understanding with respect to their research work and findings. In this article, we would like to discuss how to create a structured research paper outline which will assist a researcher in writing their research paper effectively!
Publication is an important component of research studies in a university for academic promotion and in obtaining funding to support research. However, the primary reason is to provide the data and hypotheses to scientific community to advance the understanding in a specific domain. A scientific paper is a formal record of a research process. It documents research protocols, methods, results, conclusion, and discussion from a research hypothesis .
Table of Contents
What Is a Research Paper Outline?
A research paper outline is a basic format for writing an academic research paper. It follows the IMRAD format (Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion). However, this format varies depending on the type of research manuscript. A research paper outline consists of following sections to simplify the paper for readers. These sections help researchers build an effective paper outline.
1. Title Page
The title page provides important information which helps the editors, reviewers, and readers identify the manuscript and the authors at a glance. It also provides an overview of the field of research the research paper belongs to. The title should strike a balance between precise and detailed. Other generic details include author’s given name, affiliation, keywords that will provide indexing, details of the corresponding author etc. are added to the title page.
Abstract is the most important section of the manuscript and will help the researcher create a detailed research paper outline . To be more precise, an abstract is like an advertisement to the researcher’s work and it influences the editor in deciding whether to submit the manuscript to reviewers or not. Writing an abstract is a challenging task. Researchers can write an exemplary abstract by selecting the content carefully and being concise.
An introduction is a background statement that provides the context and approach of the research. It describes the problem statement with the assistance of the literature study and elaborates the requirement to update the knowledge gap. It sets the research hypothesis and informs the readers about the big research question.
This section is usually named as “Materials and Methods”, “Experiments” or “Patients and Methods” depending upon the type of journal. This purpose provides complete information on methods used for the research. Researchers should mention clear description of materials and their use in the research work. If the methods used in research are already published, give a brief account and refer to the original publication. However, if the method used is modified from the original method, then researcher should mention the modifications done to the original protocol and validate its accuracy, precision, and repeatability.
It is best to report results as tables and figures wherever possible. Also, avoid duplication of text and ensure that the text summarizes the findings. Report the results with appropriate descriptive statistics. Furthermore, report any unexpected events that could affect the research results, and mention complete account of observations and explanations for missing data (if any).
The discussion should set the research in context, strengthen its importance and support the research hypothesis. Summarize the main results of the study in one or two paragraphs and show how they logically fit in an overall scheme of studies. Compare the results with other investigations in the field of research and explain the differences.
Acknowledgements identify and thank the contributors to the study, who are not under the criteria of co-authors. It also includes the recognition of funding agency and universities that award scholarships or fellowships to researchers.
8. Declaration of Competing Interests
Finally, declaring the competing interests is essential to abide by ethical norms of unique research publishing. Competing interests arise when the author has more than one role that may lead to a situation where there is a conflict of interest.
Steps to Write a Research Paper Outline
- Write down all important ideas that occur to you concerning the research paper .
- Answer questions such as – what is the topic of my paper? Why is the topic important? How to formulate the hypothesis? What are the major findings?
- Add context and structure. Group all your ideas into sections – Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion/Conclusion.
- Add relevant questions to each section. It is important to note down the questions. This will help you align your thoughts.
- Expand the ideas based on the questions created in the paper outline.
- After creating a detailed outline, discuss it with your mentors and peers.
- Get enough feedback and decide on the journal you will submit to.
- The process of real writing begins.
Benefits of Creating a Research Paper Outline
As discussed, the research paper subheadings create an outline of what different aspects of research needs elaboration. This provides subtopics on which the researchers brainstorm and reach a conclusion to write. A research paper outline organizes the researcher’s thoughts and gives a clear picture of how to formulate the research protocols and results. It not only helps the researcher to understand the flow of information but also provides relation between the ideas.
A research paper outline helps researcher achieve a smooth transition between topics and ensures that no research point is forgotten. Furthermore, it allows the reader to easily navigate through the research paper and provides a better understanding of the research. The paper outline allows the readers to find relevant information and quotes from different part of the paper.
Research Paper Outline Template
A research paper outline template can help you understand the concept of creating a well planned research paper before beginning to write and walk through your journey of research publishing.
1. Research Title
A. Background i. Support with evidence ii. Support with existing literature studies
B. Thesis Statement i. Link literature with hypothesis ii. Support with evidence iii. Explain the knowledge gap and how this research will help build the gap 4. Body
A. Methods i. Mention materials and protocols used in research ii. Support with evidence
B. Results i. Support with tables and figures ii. Mention appropriate descriptive statistics
C. Discussion i. Support the research with context ii. Support the research hypothesis iii. Compare the results with other investigations in field of research
D. Conclusion i. Support the discussion and research investigation ii. Support with literature studies
E. Acknowledgements i. Identify and thank the contributors ii. Include the funding agency, if any
F. Declaration of Competing Interests
Download the Research Paper Outline Template!
Have you tried writing a research paper outline ? How did it work for you? Did it help you achieve your research paper writing goal? Do let us know about your experience in the comments below.
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How to Write an Essay Outline | Guidelines & Examples
Published on August 14, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.
An essay outline is a way of planning the structure of your essay before you start writing. It involves writing quick summary sentences or phrases for every point you will cover in each paragraph , giving you a picture of how your argument will unfold.
Table of contents
Organizing your material, presentation of the outline, examples of essay outlines, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about essay outlines.
At the stage where you’re writing an essay outline, your ideas are probably still not fully formed. You should know your topic and have already done some preliminary research to find relevant sources , but now you need to shape your ideas into a structured argument.
Look over any information, quotes and ideas you’ve noted down from your research and consider the central point you want to make in the essay—this will be the basis of your thesis statement . Once you have an idea of your overall argument, you can begin to organize your material in a way that serves that argument.
Try to arrange your material into categories related to different aspects of your argument. If you’re writing about a literary text, you might group your ideas into themes; in a history essay, it might be several key trends or turning points from the period you’re discussing.
Three main themes or subjects is a common structure for essays. Depending on the length of the essay, you could split the themes into three body paragraphs, or three longer sections with several paragraphs covering each theme.
As you create the outline, look critically at your categories and points: Are any of them irrelevant or redundant? Make sure every topic you cover is clearly related to your thesis statement.
Order of information
When you have your material organized into several categories, consider what order they should appear in.
Your essay will always begin and end with an introduction and conclusion , but the organization of the body is up to you.
Consider these questions to order your material:
- Is there an obvious starting point for your argument?
- Is there one subject that provides an easy transition into another?
- Do some points need to be set up by discussing other points first?
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Within each paragraph, you’ll discuss a single idea related to your overall topic or argument, using several points of evidence or analysis to do so.
In your outline, you present these points as a few short numbered sentences or phrases.They can be split into sub-points when more detail is needed.
The template below shows how you might structure an outline for a five-paragraph essay.
- Thesis statement
- First piece of evidence
- Second piece of evidence
- Importance of topic
- Strong closing statement
You can choose whether to write your outline in full sentences or short phrases. Be consistent in your choice; don’t randomly write some points as full sentences and others as short phrases.
Examples of outlines for different types of essays are presented below: an argumentative, expository, and literary analysis essay.
Argumentative essay outline
This outline is for a short argumentative essay evaluating the internet’s impact on education. It uses short phrases to summarize each point.
Its body is split into three paragraphs, each presenting arguments about a different aspect of the internet’s effects on education.
- Importance of the internet
- Concerns about internet use
- Thesis statement: Internet use a net positive
- Data exploring this effect
- Analysis indicating it is overstated
- Students’ reading levels over time
- Why this data is questionable
- Video media
- Interactive media
- Speed and simplicity of online research
- Questions about reliability (transitioning into next topic)
- Evidence indicating its ubiquity
- Claims that it discourages engagement with academic writing
- Evidence that Wikipedia warns students not to cite it
- Argument that it introduces students to citation
- Summary of key points
- Value of digital education for students
- Need for optimism to embrace advantages of the internet
Expository essay outline
This is the outline for an expository essay describing how the invention of the printing press affected life and politics in Europe.
The paragraphs are still summarized in short phrases here, but individual points are described with full sentences.
- Claim that the printing press marks the end of the Middle Ages.
- Provide background on the low levels of literacy before the printing press.
- Present the thesis statement: The invention of the printing press increased circulation of information in Europe, paving the way for the Reformation.
- Discuss the very high levels of illiteracy in medieval Europe.
- Describe how literacy and thus knowledge and education were mainly the domain of religious and political elites.
- Indicate how this discouraged political and religious change.
- Describe the invention of the printing press in 1440 by Johannes Gutenberg.
- Show the implications of the new technology for book production.
- Describe the rapid spread of the technology and the printing of the Gutenberg Bible.
- Link to the Reformation.
- Discuss the trend for translating the Bible into vernacular languages during the years following the printing press’s invention.
- Describe Luther’s own translation of the Bible during the Reformation.
- Sketch out the large-scale effects the Reformation would have on religion and politics.
- Summarize the history described.
- Stress the significance of the printing press to the events of this period.
Literary analysis essay outline
The literary analysis essay outlined below discusses the role of theater in Jane Austen’s novel Mansfield Park .
The body of the essay is divided into three different themes, each of which is explored through examples from the book.
- Describe the theatricality of Austen’s works
- Outline the role theater plays in Mansfield Park
- Introduce the research question : How does Austen use theater to express the characters’ morality in Mansfield Park ?
- Discuss Austen’s depiction of the performance at the end of the first volume
- Discuss how Sir Bertram reacts to the acting scheme
- Introduce Austen’s use of stage direction–like details during dialogue
- Explore how these are deployed to show the characters’ self-absorption
- Discuss Austen’s description of Maria and Julia’s relationship as polite but affectionless
- Compare Mrs. Norris’s self-conceit as charitable despite her idleness
- Summarize the three themes: The acting scheme, stage directions, and the performance of morals
- Answer the research question
- Indicate areas for further study
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You will sometimes be asked to hand in an essay outline before you start writing your essay . Your supervisor wants to see that you have a clear idea of your structure so that writing will go smoothly.
Even when you do not have to hand it in, writing an essay outline is an important part of the writing process . It’s a good idea to write one (as informally as you like) to clarify your structure for yourself whenever you are working on an essay.
If you have to hand in your essay outline , you may be given specific guidelines stating whether you have to use full sentences. If you’re not sure, ask your supervisor.
When writing an essay outline for yourself, the choice is yours. Some students find it helpful to write out their ideas in full sentences, while others prefer to summarize them in short phrases.
You should try to follow your outline as you write your essay . However, if your ideas change or it becomes clear that your structure could be better, it’s okay to depart from your essay outline . Just make sure you know why you’re doing so.
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Caulfield, J. (2023, July 23). How to Write an Essay Outline | Guidelines & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved August 30, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/academic-essay/essay-outline/
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Other students also liked, how to create a structured research paper outline | example, a step-by-step guide to the writing process, how to write an argumentative essay | examples & tips.
Do the letters (A, B, C, etc.) in the outlines above, especially of the body, have a one-to-one correspondance with a paragraph each within the essay?
Jack Caulfield (Scribbr Team)
In the examples here, the letters are used to show parts within a single paragraph, with Roman numerals (I, II, etc.) used to show paragraphs. For a longer essay, you could certainly use Roman numerals for sections and letters for paragraphs—whatever suits your argument and structure best.
How can I use footnote and document my essay writing Without bibliography?
You should always check with your teacher or university whether you're required to use a specific citation style in your essay. If you're allowed to choose your own style, Chicago notes and bibliography style is one you could use where citations appear in footnotes and the bibliography is optional. You can find more information about this style here .
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How to write an outline: a step-by-step guide.
If you want to write a great paper or essay, the first step is preparing a detailed outline. An outline is an excellent method of planning your research paper before starting to write it down.
However, it is never easy for most students, making some of them simply jump into writing their papers without a clear plan. This is one of the biggest mistakes that students make, but we are here to help you avoid it and prepare top-notch assignments.
This post is a step-by-step guideline on how to do an outline for your paper. We will also provide a sample research paper outline template and expert tips to help you make the paper structure outstanding.
What Is An Outline?
An outline for a research paper presents the actual picture of the primary ideas about a selected topic or subject. It entails preparing quick summary phrases or sentences on the points that are going to be covered in your paper. With the right paper outline, it becomes pretty easy to prepare your paper, ensuring the ideas flow seamlessly from the beginning to the end.
Note that a high quality outline does not just work for research papers, but for all types of writings. So, whether you are working on a speech, novel, book review, essay, or essay, starting it with an outline will be the best idea.
Importance Of Using A Proper Outline Format Gor Your Papers
Getting an answer to the question “what is an outline in writing?” is only the beginning. What is more important is determining why it is necessary. In some schools, the outline is likely to be part of the main requirements from your university lecturer. This way, the teacher will be able to assess whether you are on the right track and recommend changes.
Even if your school teachers do not require students to prepare paper outlines, it is still very important when preparing assignments.
As we have indicated, preparing a research outline can help you to stick to the main points. Take the example of an essay with a topic like “how to address global warming, which can have so many points. In such a case, the outline helps you to narrow down on the core points and prepare high-quality papers.
How To Write A Paper Outline
To write a great outline, you need to comprehensively read about the topic under consideration, pick the main ideas, and arrange them from start to end. Because we have already looked at the definition of outline in writing, let’s dig deeper into the main steps of crafting it.
The process of preparing a research paper outline can be broken down into four stages: Planning the outline, structuring it, organizing the main ideas, and finalizing.
- Pick the Right Topic for Your Paper or Essay The first step in planning your outline is narrowing down your subject or topic. A research paper outline helps to organize ideas about a specific topic. Therefore, you need to pick the right topic for the paper by identifying an area of interest. Also, the topic should be broad enough so that you get ample materials to write about. If your teacher was specific about the topic, make sure to follow his/her recommendations.
- Determine the Purpose of the Essay and Identify the Targeted Audience As we pointed out already, the purpose of preparing an outline can be for personal use, such as writing an essay, or as a separate assignment. If it is an assignment, the outline should be as detailed as possible because it will be read by your class teacher. However, an outline that will only be used for the paper under consideration can be prepared in a manner that works best for you. For example, you can prepare it in shorthand and expand on the points when preparing the research paper.
- Assemble All the Materials that Will Be Required Before you can start preparing the outline, make sure to have all the materials that will be involved. These include quotes, statistics, paraphrased ideas, and personal experiences. It will be an excellent idea to brainstorm the ideas to ensure that everything that will be required in the paper is included. However, this does not lock out the need to enrich or add more supporting ideas along the way to improve the paper.
Most outlines use alphanumeric format, with each part being labeled with numbers or letters. So, you can opt to use Roman numerals, Arabic numerals, or capitalized letters, among others. The idea is to remain consistent with the numbering so that it is easy to know the main ideas and the supporting points.
Still on the structure of the outline format, you need to make the decision on the type of sentences to use. The most preferred options are short and full sentences:
- Short sentences: These are recommended when you want to quickly organize the main points for an essay, and the outline is not a separate assignment for marking by your teachers.
- Full sentences: This provides more details about the paper you are planning to work on. It requires you to have more information about each idea and works excellently when the outline is part of the class assignment.
The primary goal of an outline research paper format is to organize the core ideas so that it is easy to write for the student and understandable for the reader. In this stage, you need to cluster the main points together. For example, what ideas should go into the introduction, body, and conclusion? Here is a demonstration of how to arrange them:
Once you have selected the main ideas, go into further detail by capturing the supporting details. If you are writing an essay, such as “The Causes of Global Warming,” one of the main ideas might be “the release of greenhouse gasses (GHG) by industries.” Under this point, supporting information might be statistics about industrial emissions, scientific confirmations about industrial GHG, concerns raised by different parties, related quotes, and efforts adopted to stop the problem.
- Put Together Your Outline Now that you have the main ideas and supporting points, it is time to stitch them together. Remember that the main ideas should also include the information for the introduction and conclusion of the paper. If you are using the outline to prepare a research paper or essay, make it flexible. This means new details about the topic you are working on should be easy to incorporate along the way.
What Does An Outline Look Like?
Below is a good research paper outline example to help you craft a better one for your research paper.
The Topic of Your Essay or Paper Introduction of the Paper The hook statement The background of the paper The thesis statement of the paper The first main idea of the essay Supporting information one. Supporting information two. Supporting information three. Supporting information four. The second main idea of the essay Supporting information one. Supporting information two. Supporting information three. Supporting information four. The third main idea of the essay Supporting information one. Supporting information two. Supporting information three. Supporting information four. Conclusion of the Paper Thesis restate and summary of the main points to be used in the paper.
Special Tips For Writing A Great Outline For Your Paper
Here are additional tips on how to write an outline for your research paper that can be a great term papers help when you need it.
- Research your topic comprehensively to identify the best ideas for your paper.
- Keep your eyes focused on the final paper that will be prepared using the outline.
- Keep your mind open with the intention of enriching the outline and the paper if new information about the topic is found.
- Reading through other research paper outlines can be very helpful in ensuring your format is more detailed.
- Put a lot of focus on the flow of the main and supporting information from the beginning to the end.
- No matter the topic under consideration, always follow your lecturer’s recommendations.
- Make sure to edit the research paper outline before submitting it to your class teacher for marking.
Seek Expert Assistance When Writing Paper Outline
In this post, we have demonstrated how to write an outline, which should precede writing your paper or essay. So, do you find it easy to prepare now? If it is still challenging, know that you are not alone. A lot of students find it pretty complicated to prepare the outlines and their papers. Poor research skills, lack of ample time, and complex topics are some of the main challenges that make preparing good outlines and assignments hard nuts to crack.
The best way out is to work with our paper writing service. We have skilled writers that you can count on to prepare top-notch outlines and offer all the help you will need. They have handled similar tasks before and will easily clear your work on time to guarantee you the best grade. Even if you have multiple engagements and are wondering how to handle the assignments at hand, the expert writers are waiting online to help.
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How To Write A Research Paper
Research Paper Outline
A Comprehensive Guide to Creating a Research Paper Outline
13 min read
Published on: May 7, 2021
Last updated on: Jul 21, 2023
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Making a research paper outline is an essential step for writing a research paper . By creating an outline, you can simplify the writing process and ensure that your paper is well-organized and easy to follow.
This blog provides an easy-to-follow guide on how to craft an effective research paper outline. You’ll also get some useful tips and example outlines to help you learn faster.
So let’s dive in!
What is a Research Paper Outline?
A research paper outline is a plan or blueprint that helps you organize your research paper before you start writing.
In other words, it is the structure of your research that provides a clear and organized roadmap for your paper. It contains several sections, with each section having sub-sections or topics for each paragraph. The outline also contains relevant evidence for each section.
Creating a research paper outline is essential for several reasons. It helps youâ¦
- Organize your ideas logically,
- Make sure you include all important points,
- Ensure that all points are related,
- Identify any gaps or issues early on.
Structure of Research Paper Outline
Your research paper outline needs to have the following sections:
- Title of your research
- Thesis Statement / Main Hypothesis
- Main Sections
- Research Methodology
- Main Findings / Main Arguments
- Supporting Analysis / Discussion
Letâs explore this structure and how you can incorporate it into your outline.
Title of the Research
Having a clear title for your research is necessary for the outline. The title reveals the main variables involved in your research and indicates the focus of your study.
Hypothesis & Research Questions
Your hypothesis is the central claim of your research paper. It should be a concise statement that summarizes the main argument of your research. It should be specific and focused, providing a clear direction for your paper.
Another important part of the outline is your research questions . You should mention the main questions that your research aims to answer in your outline.
Other Major Sections
The main sections of a research paper outline typically include the following:
In this section, you mention all the existing literature you have studied for your research. It could include articles, books, and other scholarly sources that you reviewed during your research.
Conducting a literature review is another essential aspect of research. Learn how to write a literature review with our guide.
The research methodology section outlines the methods and techniques you will use for your research.
It should provide a clear description of the research design, data collection methods, and data analysis techniques you will use.
Research Body - Arguments & Related Evidence
Your arguments and discussion forms the main parts of your body paragraphs. In the outline, you can divide the research body into several parts - each part having a specific topic or argument that supports your main hypothesis.
Here is an example of how a research paper outline following the above structure looks like:
Now that you know what you have to include in a research paper outline, letâs see how you can write an efficient one in simple steps.
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Steps for Writing Research Paper Outline
Crafting a research paper outline doesn't have to be difficult. By breaking it down into manageable steps, you can create a helpful that will guide your research till itâs finished.
Here's how to create a research paper outline step-by-step:
Step 1: Identify Your Hypothesis & Research Questions
Before you get started on your outline, you need to have a clear understanding of your hypothesis and research questions.
You can choose any hypothesis related to your field of research. Just make sure that it is specific, focused, clear, and concise. Similarly, you need to have research questions in mind which will guide your overall research.
Step 2: Choose a Methodology & Gather Relevant Information
Once you have identified your hypothesis, the next step is to choose your research methodology and the type of research you want to do.
This includes choosing whether you want to use a qualitative, quantitative or mixed-methods approach. Moreover, you need to decide whether to conduct primary or secondary research.
Want to learn more about ways of conducting research? Read our guide about types of research methodologies.
You also need to gather relevant sources and information. This means reading and reviewing established research to gather evidence and data that will be useful for your paper. Note down your sources and any information in there that you find useful and relevant.
Step 3: Make a List of Your Main and Sub-Points - H3
The next step is to make a list of points and sub-points that you want to make in your research paper.
This is the brainstorming stage. The research framework you established and the literature you read previously will help you come up with relevant ideas. Jot down any relevant sections, sub-sections, or topics that you think you need to cover in your research.
Step 4: Organize Your Points, Sub-Points, & Evidence
Now that you have your evidence, topics, and points, you need to arrange them in a logical manner.
You can start by organizing your main points into sections, and then breaking down those sections into sub-points. This will help you create a hierarchy of information that flows logically throughout your paper.
Once you have your main points and sub-points organized, you can start adding in the evidence you gathered during Step 2. This can include quotes from research articles, statistics, or other relevant data that supports your main points and sub-points.
Step 5: Review and Revise the Outline -H3
The final step in creating your research paper outline is to review and revise it. This is an important step because it ensures that your outline is clear, concise, and logical.
Take a step back and review your outline with fresh eyes. Does it make sense? Are there any gaps in the information? Do you have enough evidence to support your main points and sub-points?
Make any necessary revisions to your outline until you feel confident that it accurately represents the flow and content of your research paper.
Hereâs a short video about writing research paper outline that you can watch for additional help:
Research Paper Outline Format- H2
The outline provides a structure for your paper - but it can be formatted in different ways. You could use any format for your outline as long as it is clear, easy, and useful for you.
Here are some popular ways of formatting your outline:
Alphanumeric Point-by-Point Outline - H3
The most common type of outline used in academic writing is an alphanumeric one. It organizes various sections, parts, and points of your outline using alphabets and Roman or Arabic numerals.
Each part of the outline is described using headings, sub-headings, and short notes.
Here is an example of a point-by-point research paper outline:
A full-sentence outline uses complete sentences to define the sections and points in the outline instead of headings.
This type of outline is more detailed. It is helpful when you need to present a detailed overview of the topics and arguments in your research outline.
Here is a basic research paper outline in full-sentence format.
The decimal outline is similar to the alphanumeric point-by-point outline. It just uses a different system to enumerate the outline.
It uses numbers and decimals to denote main sections, sub-sections, and other points. This outline is easier to understand for most people, as it uses clear, understandable numbers for each part.
Here is an example:
Research Paper Outline Example
We have gathered some examples that will help you understand research outlines better. Check these out.
APA Research Paper Outline Template
MLA Research Paper Outline Template
Research Paper Outline Sample
College Research Paper Outline PDF
Tips for Writing a Better Research Paper Outline
You are now ready to get started on writing your research paper outline. But before you do, here are three tips that will help you make an even better and more effective outline for your paper.
Keep it Consistent and Parallel
Make sure that your headings and subheadings are consistent throughout your outline. Use the same level of detail for each section and avoid mixing different types of headings.
Moreover, ensure that the structure of your outline is parallel. Each section should have a similar structure, with headings and subheadings that follow the same format. This will help to create a sense of balance and clarity in your outline.
Maintain Coherence: Coordination and Subordination
Ensure that your ideas flow logically from one section to the next. Ensure that each section builds upon the previous one.
You can do this by making each section of your outline coordinate with the overall topic of your research paper. Each section should relate to the central theme of your paper, and each subtopic should support the main argument.
In other words, each subtopic should be subordinate to the main topic of your paper. Each subtopic should be more specific than the main topic, while the supporting evidence should be even more specific.
Divide it into Sections
Ensure that your outline divides your research paper into distinct sections. Each section should have its own theme and be supported by specific evidence.
With these tips, your outline will become even clearer and better. It would come in handy when you start writing your actual research paper, making the process a lot easier.
To Wrap Up ,
Creating a research paper outline is an important step in producing a high-quality academic paper. A well-structured outline helps to organize your ideas, arguments, and research findings in a logical and coherent manner, making it easier for you to write your paper.
With our essay writer , you can develop an outline that will help enhance the quality of your paper.
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We are a professional research paper writing service that provides top-notch research paper outlines and other writing services. Our experienced writers can develop a customized outline that meets your specific requirements and guidelines.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How long should a research paper outline be.
A typical research paper outline is about one to two pages in length. However, there is no fixed length for a research paper outline, as it depends on the scope and complexity of the research topic.
Can I modify my research paper outline once I start writing my paper?
Yes, you can modify your research paper outline as you write your paper. It is common to revise your outline as you uncover new information or change your research focus. However, make sure that your outline remains coherent and well-structured.
Should I include citations in my research paper outline?
Yes. When you include evidence in your outline that you gathered through research, you should cite its reference. You can add a separate page for the “References” or “Works Cited” section below the outline.
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How to Make an Outline for Research Paper: Detailed Guide
Are you struggling to write a paper outlines? Don't worry - we're here to help. In this blog post, we'll give you a step-by-step guide to creating an outline for your essay. We'll also provide some tips and examples to help you start writing. So what are you waiting for? Let's get started!
However, if you have no time or desire to work on a paper, our online essay writers can create the best outline for a research paper. Find out more about our research paper help .
Goals and Benefits of a Research Paper Outline
When beginning any academic paper, it is important to have a clear understanding of what the finished product should look like. The same is true when starting to plan and write an outline for an essay. This guide will detail what an outline for an essay is, how to create one, and tips on how make it useful in the scientific paper.
What is an outline and why does it matter? A research paper outline is a plan written by the author to avoid stucking in the middle of the process. Call it an action plan. This part reveals the primary ideas of the study. Once you are done with the list of research paper topics to explore, it is necessary to dedicate some time to the outline development before you begin writing.
What is the difference between learning how to write a paper outline and how to make a table of contents for research papers? Well, an outline is not that detailed, and there is no need to put numbers of pages next to each section. An outline allows the amalgamation and review of the study. A writer will not repeat their words; he will stick to the logical flow with the help of an outline. Also be sure to learn how to cite a research paper .
The assignment's prompt may not say to write an outline. However, if a project is more than 1000 words in length , a professor utilizes a research paper outline by default. For example, a 5-paragraph essay requires an outline. It will not be possible to develop a 10,000-word coursework or dissertation without having a plan. An outline structure depends on the type of academic assignment and its format.
A paper outline also has a goal – to help keep the writer on track while writing and ensure that all key points are included. To achieve this goal, the following elements are typically included in an essay outline: thesis, main ideas, and supporting evidence/details in the body paragraph. The thesis statement is usually placed at the end of the introductory paragraph and provides a brief overview of what will be discussed in the essay body paragraphs. Each topic sentence corresponds with a main point that supports the thesis statement and introduces the evidence/details and supporting topics that will be used to further explain this point.
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How to Format a Paper Outline
There are various ways to format an essay outline, but one common method is listing Roman numerals for each main point followed by capital letters for sub-points and Arabic numerals and lowercase letters for sub-sub-points (e.g., I. A. 1.). No matter which format you choose, there are a few essential tips to keep in mind when writing your outline:
- Be sure to include all required elements (e.g., thesis, topic sentences, etc.).
- Keep your language concise yet clear – avoid using too much jargon or technical language that could lose your reader’s attention.
Make sure everything flows smoothly from one point to the next – logical order and transitions will help ensure your argument makes sense overall.
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MLA Research Paper Outline
MLA is the easiest and most frequently met research paper format, so we should start explaining how to write an outline for a research paper on this example. The Modern Language Association proposed this guide a long time ago. It is used to cite works by the students and professionals from the following fields:
- Comparative literary analysis
- Cultural studies
- History & Anthropology
- English Composition
- Foreign language & literature
- Literary criticism
Use MLA outline when working on the papers from these fields. Start with the primary headings (“Intro” and “Method”) using the upper-case Roman numerals. If the paper is long, with many different subsections, the student should use letters and numbers for the various levels of subheadings.
In a draft of a paper outline, arrange the things in the proper order. Do not go into details until starting the final version of the research paper outline. This part defines how the writer will come up with other integral parts (example: Literature Review).
Here are some tips on how to write a great MLA research paper outline:
- Start with a catchy introduction Your introduction should make your readers want to read more. Try to start with something interesting or provocative, such as a quote or an anecdote.
- Make sure your main argument is clear and concise Your main idea should be the main point of your essay. It should be arguable, and it should be clear what evidence you will use to support it. Be sure to include your thesis in your outline so that you don't forget it when you're writing your final paper.
- Organize your ideas clearly Each section of your paper outline should have a clear purpose, and each point should support your main idea. Make sure that each section flows logically into the next one. If you get stuck, try using a mind map or other brainstorming tool to organize your ideas before you start writing your outline. The main idea should be kept through the whole text.
- Use specific examples and evidence to support your points Specific examples and evidence will make your essay more convincing. Be sure to make an additional research and include detailed information so that your reader can understand what you're trying to say. But don't include so much detail that your essay becomes bogged down in minutiae. Complete additional research to add the relevant information.
- Make sure everything ties together logically When you're finished writing your outline, check to make sure that everything ties together logically. All the ideas should flow smoothly into the next one, and the overall structure of your essay should make sense. If something doesn't seem quite right, go back and revise your outline until it feels right
Need more info? Check our full guide - HOW TO CITE A RESEARCH PAPER USING MLA FORMAT
Mastering APA Research Paper Outline
An APA is a most frequently used format when it comes to writing a paper, and it is more complicated than MLA. The American Psychological Association has established it. Students and professionals use APA essay format in these fields:
- Social sciences
- Healthcare & nursing
The representatives of other fields apply APA paper format from time to time too. We have prepared a tasty infographic with an APA outline example, which is based on the 6th edition of the manual.
Let’s view that structure in details.
A Detailed Outline
There are several critical elements you should consider in your research paper:
It is the opening section to introduce the major details. The length of the recommended title is 60 characters. On the whole, do not miss this information in the title page:
- Your full name
- Professor’s name
- Peers who took part in the investigation (if any)
- Submission date
A summary is an integral part of the research paper. In college, they call it an abstract. The length of such text should not exceed 250-300 words (1/3 of an A4 page), and a student should include the basic findings, their significance, and a brief conclusion.
Experts recommend painstaking the entire research into the investigation’s background. Try to explain why the chosen problem is necessary to analyze and discuss. Mention the results you expected to obtain during the working process, and state a hypothesis that should enclose the introduction (it would be the thesis). Also, don’t forget to mention the thesis statement or the topic of your research.
List the tools, equipment, & techniques used to carry out a study. This section should make it possible to replicate the investigation step-by-step. The goal of the section is to allow other scientists interested in the same research question to continue the investigation.
In most cases, master paper writers combine results and discussion in one huge section. They are interrelated. Start with sharing the findings of the study. Go on interpreting the meaning of the results for the society and provide a short synopsis of the main components: figures and statistical examinations. While adding any visual elements for understanding (graphs, images, etc.), place the numbers next to each of them to provide details in the last section — Appendix.
In the Conclusion part, it is necessary to include:
- A summary of the results
- Paraphrased thesis statement
- Value of the research paper
- Ways to implement the findings
- Some forecasts
Based on the chosen paper format, develop a full list of references. Each time you cite something, write the source’s details on a separate piece of paper. It will speed up the process at the end. Don't forget to read about expository essay and how to write it correctly.
Things to Remember
- An outline is like an action plan which guides you through the writing process.
- You need to write an outline if your assignment is more than 1000 words in lenght.
- Basically, the outline contains three main sections: the Introduction, the Body and the Conclusion.
- The outline format depends on the type of academic assignment (MLA, APA).
- Before developing a research paper outline, read the latest version of the manual according to the chosen format of the research paper.
Research Paper Outline Example
Also, check free research paper outline template example: Developing an Attention-Grabbing Resume! The example is written according to APA writing style guidelines - the rules of the game maybe be different for other formats.
If you need help, get in touch with our support agent from coursework writing service 24/7. To order essay online fill out the form and let the writing process begin.
Need Help with Creating an Outline?
Even after reading a detailed guide on how to outline a research paper, some students need help from EssayPro — one of the leading websites in the field of academic writing & editing.
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How to Write an Outline for a Research Paper
Last Updated: December 18, 2020 References
This article was co-authored by Matthew Snipp, PhD . C. Matthew Snipp is the Burnet C. and Mildred Finley Wohlford Professor of Humanities and Sciences in the Department of Sociology at Stanford University. He is also the Director for the Institute for Research in the Social Science’s Secure Data Center. He has been a Research Fellow at the U.S. Bureau of the Census and a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. He has published 3 books and over 70 articles and book chapters on demography, economic development, poverty and unemployment. He is also currently serving on the National Institute of Child Health and Development’s Population Science Subcommittee. He holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin—Madison. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 296,726 times.
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 your research and your final paper in much more efficient ways, though, so it is a good idea that you learn how to write one. Here are a few things to keep in mind when doing so.
Outline Type and Structure
- Topic outlines are usually used when your research deals with many different issues that can be arranged in different ways.
- Sentence outlines are usually used if your research focuses on complex issues.
- Some instructors will insist that you must not combine these two forms. Many others, however, offer one exception to this guideline by allowing the main section headings to be short phrases while the remaining subpoints are written as full sentences.
- The first level is represented by Roman numerals (I, II, III, IV, etc.), the second level is represented by capital letters (A, B, C, D, etc.), the third level is represented by numbers (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.), and the fourth level is represented by lowercase letters (a, b, c, d, etc.).
- One school of thought indicates that first level headings should be written in all capital letters while all remaining headings use standard sentence capitalization rules.
- Another school of thought suggests that the first level headings should only have the first letter of each word capitalized, rather than the entire word. The remaining headings, again, use standard sentence capitalization rules.
- For a four to five page paper, you only need a single page outline.
- For a 15 to 20 page paper, your outline will usually run no longer than four pages.  X Research source
- These headings are labeled with Roman numerals.
- Note that you would not usually use this outline for a research paper, as it is not very specific or detailed. It can still be a good idea to start with this outline level, however, since you can use it to provide yourself with a general direction for your paper and expand upon it as the information flows in.
- In other words, your Roman numeral and capital letter sections are both present.
- Each second-level subheading should discuss a primary supporting argument for the main idea it falls under.
- You use Roman numerals, capital letters, and standard numbers for this version.
- Next to each third-level subsection, you should address the topic of a paragraph that falls under the corresponding second-level section or main idea above it.
- The fourth-level subheadings should address supporting statements, citations, or ideas within each paragraph listed in the third-level sections.
Components of Effective Outlines
- This refers most obviously to the usage of "topic" versus "sentence" outline formats, as described in the "structure and type" section of the article.
- Parallelism also refers to parts of speech and tense. If a heading starts with a verb, then the other headings must also start with a verb. Moreover, that verb must also be in the same tense (usually present tense).
- Your major headings should identify major tasks or ideas.
- Your subheadings should elaborate on the points addressed in your major headings.
- For instance, if you were writing about memorable experiences from your childhood, "Memorable Childhood Experiences" would be the heading and the subheadings might look something like, "Vacation at 8 years old," "Favorite birthday party," and "Family trips to the park."
- There is no limit on subheadings, but once you start forming a dozen or so subheadings under a single heading, you might find your outline looking cluttered and messy.
Organizing the Outline
- From this research problem, you will derive your thesis statement. A thesis statement is a single sentence that sums up the entire purpose or argument of your research paper.
- This thesis statement will usually be written above the outline itself or within the first "Introduction" heading of the outline.
- Your research problem can also help you figure out a title.
- The main points are details that support or address your research paper. They should be very general in nature.
- Chronological arrangements generally only work if you have a topic that has some chronological history to it. For example, if you were researching the history of modern medicine, it would make sense that your paper and outline follow a chronological order.
- If your research topic does not have a history, though, you will probably end up using a spatial structure. For instance, if you are researching the effects of television and video games on the adolescent brain, you probably would not follow the chronology of the research. Instead, you might describe the different contemporary schools of thought on the issue or otherwise follow some other spatial arrangement of ideas.
- Some instructors will insist that you do not use the terms "Introduction" and "Conclusions," however. In these instances, you can usually skip these two sections altogether, but you will need to write your thesis statement separately and above the outline.
- Note that these elements will usually be listed as subpoints, not as major headings. The major heading for the section will be "Introduction."
- As with the actual paper itself, this portion of your outline will hold all the significant content.
- The main headings will correspond to the main categories briefly listed under a subheading of your “Introduction” section.
- You can include only the main ideas and supporting details of those ideas (a two-level outline, as noted in the “Outline Levels” section of the article) or you could include information about specific paragraphs and supporting details within those paragraphs (three-level and four-level outlines, respectively).
- Restate and rephrase your thesis.
- If you drew any additional conclusions based on your research, list them here. Keep in mind that none of this information should be “new,” and all of it should have been addressed elsewhere in the paper.
- If your research demands a “call to action”—a response that a reader should have in response or an action that should be done in response—include that under this section, as well. This will usually be your final point within the outline.
- A good outline shows you what to address next in your paper, thereby limiting writer's block.
- Outlines help maintain a coherent, orderly flow of ideas.
- You can use an outline to check yourself as you write if you suspect that you are straying from the main topic.
- Having a visual outline can help encourage you as you write your paper since you can tell how much you have left.
- Outlines help you organize different ideas about the same topic and gain an understanding of how those ideas connect.
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- ↑ http://libguides.usc.edu/c.php?g=235034&p=1561769
- ↑ http://libguides.usc.edu/content.php?pid=83009&sid=634166
- ↑ http://www.eng.usf.edu/~cunning/CGN6933-drinkingwater/CGN6933-drinkingwater-project/HowToOutline.pdf
- ↑ https://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/twc/sites/utsc.utoronto.ca.twc/files/resource-files/Outline.pdf
- ↑ Matthew Snipp, PhD. Sociology Professor, Stanford University. Expert Interview. 26 March 2020.
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/the_writing_process/developing_an_outline/how_to_outline.html
- ↑ http://www.austincc.edu/tmthomas/sample%20outline%201.htm
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Research Paper Guide
Research Paper Example
Research Paper Example - APA and MLA Format
12 min read
Published on: Nov 27, 2017
Last updated on: May 26, 2023
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Do you spend time staring at the screen and thinking about how to approach a monstrous research paper ?
If yes, you are not alone.
Research papers are no less than a curse for high school and college students.
It takes time, effort, and expertise to craft a striking research paper.
Every other person craves to master the magic of producing impressive research papers.
Continue with the guide to investigate the mysterious nature of different types of research through examples.
Research Paper Example for Different Formats
An academic paper doesn't have to be boring. You can use an anecdote, a provocative question, or a quote to begin the introduction.
Learning from introductions written in professional college papers is the best strategy.
Have a look at the expertise of the writer in the following example.
Social Media and Social Media Marketing: A Literature Review
APA Research Paper Example
While writing research papers, you must pay attention to the required format.
Follow the example when the instructor mentions the APA format .
Effects of Food Deprivation of Concentration and Preserverance
Research Paper Example APA 7th Edition
Research Paper Example MLA
Once you are done with APA format, let’s practice the art of writing quality MLA papers.
Found Voices: Carl Sagan
We have provided you with a top-notch research paper example in MLA format here.
Research Paper Example Chicago
Chicago style is not very common, but it is important to learn. Few institutions require this style for research papers, but it is essential to learn. The content and citations in the research paper are formatted like this example.
Chicago Research Paper Sample
Research Paper Example Harvard
To learn how a research paper is written using the Harvard citation style , carefully examine this example. Note the structure of the cover page and other pages.
Harvard Research Paper Sample
Examples for Different Research Paper Parts
A research paper has different parts. Each part is important for the overall success of the paper. Chapters in a research paper must be written correctly, using a certain format and structure.
The following are examples of how different sections of the research paper can be written.
Example of Research Proposal
What is the first step to starting a research paper?
Submitting the research proposal!
It involves several sections that take a toll on beginners.
Here is a detailed guide to help you write a research proposal .
Are you a beginner or do you lack experience? Don’t worry.
The following example of a research paper is the perfect place to get started.
View Research Proposal Example Here
Research Paper Example Abstract
After submitting the research proposal, prepare to write a seasoned abstract section.
The abstract delivers the bigger picture by revealing the purpose of the research.
A common mistake students make is writing it the same way a summary is written.
It is not merely a summary but an analysis of the whole research project. Still confused?
Read the abstract mentioned in the following research to get a better idea.
Affirmative Action: What Do We Know? - Abstract Example
Literature Review Research Paper Example
What if a novice person reads your research paper?
He will never understand the critical elements involved in the research paper.
To enlighten him, focus on the literature review section. This section offers an extensive analysis of the past research conducted on the paper topics.
It is relatively easier than other sections of the paper.
Take a closer look at the paper below to find out.
Methods Section of Research Paper Example
While writing research papers, excellent papers focus a great deal on the methodology.
Yes, the research sample and methodology define the fate of the papers.
Are you facing trouble going through the methodology section?
Relax and let comprehensive sample research papers clear your doubts.
View Methods Section of Research Paper Here
Research Paper Conclusion Example
The conclusion leaves the last impression on the reader.
“Who cares for the last impression? It’s always the first.”
Don’t be fooled!
The conclusion sets the tone of the whole research paper properly.
A key list of elements must be present in conclusion to make it crisp and remarkable.
The Conclusion: Your Paper's Final Impression
View the sample paper and identify the points you thought were never a part of the conclusion.
Get Quick AI Research Help!
Research Paper Examples for Different Fields
Research papers can be about any subject that needs a detailed study. The following examples show how research papers are written for different subjects.
History Research Paper Sample
Many Faces of Generalisimo Fransisco Franco
Sociology Research Paper Sample
A Descriptive Statistical Analysis within the State of Virginia
Science Fair Research Paper Sample
What Do I Need To Do For The Science Fair?
Psychology Research Paper Sample
The Effects of Food Deprivation on Concentration and Preserverance
Art History Research Paper Sample
European Art History: A Primer
Scientific Research Paper Example
We have discussed several elements of research papers through examples.
Introduction in Research Paper!
Read on to move towards advanced versions of information.
Scientific research paper
Let's have a look at the template and an example to elaborate on concepts.
- Related Work
- Research Methodology
- Results and Discussion
- Conclusion & Future Work
The name itself sounds terrifying to many students. Make no mistake; it sure is dangerous when touched without practice.
Students become afraid and hence aspire to locate an outstanding essay paper writer to get their papers done.
Detailed, high-quality, and credible sources and samples are a must to be shared here.
Science Fair Paper Format
Example of Methodology in Research Paper
The words methodology, procedure, and approach are the same. They indicate the approach pursued by the researcher while conducting research to accomplish the goal through research.
The methodology is the bloodline of the research paper.
A practical or assumed procedure is used to conduct the methodology.
The Effects of Immediate Feedback Devices in High School Chemistry Classes
See the way the researcher has shared participants and limits in the methodology section of the example.
Research Paper Example for Different Levels
The process of writing a research paper is based on a set of steps. The process will seem daunting if you are unaware of the basic steps. Start writing your research paper by taking the following steps:
- Choose a Topic
- Create a thesis statement
- Do in-depth research for the research study
- Create an outline
You will find writing a research paper much easier once you have a plan.
No matter which level you are writing at, your research paper needs to be well structured.
Research Paper Example Outline
Before you plan on writing a well-researched paper, make a rough draft.
Brainstorm again and again!
Pour all of your ideas into the basket of the outline.
What will it include?
A standard is not set but follow the research paper outline example below:
View Research Paper Outline Example Here
This example outlines the following elements:
- Thesis Statement
Utilize this standard of outline in your research papers to polish your paper. Here is a step-by-step guide that will help you write a research paper according to this format.
Good Research Paper Examples for Students
Theoretically, good research paper examples will meet the objectives of the research.
Always remember! The first goal of the research paper is to explain ideas, goals, and theory as clearly as water.
Yes, leave no room for confusion of any sort.
Fiscal Research Center - Action Plan
Qualitative Research Paper Example
Research Paper Example Introduction
How to Write a Research Paper Example?
Research Paper Example for High School
When the professor reads such a professional research paper, he will be delighted.
Grant of funds for the project!
Appreciation in Class!
You'll surely be highly rewarded.
Research Paper Conclusion
“Who cares for the last impression? It's always the first.”
Don't be fooled!
A key list of elements must be present in the conclusion to make it crisp and remarkable.
Critical Research Paper
To write a research paper remarkably, include the following ingredients in it:
- Justification of the Experimental Design
- Analysis of Results
- Validation of the Study
How to Write the Methods Section of a Research Paper
Theoretical Framework Examples
The theoretical framework is the key to establish credibility in research papers.
Read the purpose of the theoretical framework before following it in the research paper.
The researcher offers a guide through a theoretical framework.
- Philosophical view
- Conceptual Analysis
- Benefits of the Research
An in-depth analysis of theoretical framework examples research paper is underlined in the sample below.
View Theoretical Framework Example Here
Now that you have explored the research paper examples, you can start working on your research project.
Hopefully, these examples will help you understand the writing process for a research paper. You can hire an essay writer online. If you still require help writing your paper, you can buy well-written yet cheap research papers by contacting our expert and professional writers.
So, contact our essay writing service now.
Nova A. (Literature, Marketing)
Nova Allison is a Digital Content Strategist with over eight years of experience. Nova has also worked as a technical and scientific writer. She is majorly involved in developing and reviewing online content plans that engage and resonate with audiences. Nova has a passion for writing that engages and informs her readers.
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How to Write a Research Paper Outline
Academic writing can be daunting, but having a well-crafted plan can make the write-up process much more manageable. An outline of a research paper is a roadmap that guides the direction and content of your essay. It will help you stay organized, focus your effort, and produce a polished final document.
In this article, we will discuss the importance of outlining and teach you how to make an outline for a research paper step-by-step. We will also provide some examples that you can use to come up with your own roadmap.
Research Paper Explained
Before diving into outlining, let's briefly review what a research paper is and what it involves.
At its core, it is a written document that presents and analyzes the results of studying a particular topic. You need to gather relevant data, analyze that data, and draw conclusions based on your findings to create it.
A successful research paper will typically include the following components:
- An introduction that states the purpose of your writing and the main findings,
- A methods section that specifies the methodologies used,
- A results section that showcases the information collected,
- A discussion section that explores how your findings fit into the wider context,
- A conclusion that summarizes your main points and suggests areas for further studying.
What Is an Outline for a Research Paper?
Now, let's move on to outlining. Understanding what an outline is and why it is important can help you produce better content.
An outline of a research paper is essentially a plan for what you will write in your essay. An outline for research paper works is a list of the topics and arguments to include. It typically comprises of the major sections along with brief descriptions of what each section will cover. All the necessary facts and evidence that support your main points should be present in your plan.
Why Make an Outline for Research Paper?
Now that we know what an outline is, let’s see why it is so important to create a detailed outline for research paper.
Keeping you organized
Writing a research paper outline can help you keep track of the main components of your writing. It also serves as a reference point to check if you have included all the ideas to uncover your topic.
Focusing your research
When writing a paper outline, you can use it to focus your research. Having a list of points to cover, you won’t miss any key information when gathering data. By the way, you can find a good sample of outlines for research papers to have a better idea.
Improving the flow
A plan can help you ensure that your document has a proper structure. By organizing all the ideas in advance, you can easily see how different sections and points link together. Thus, you can improve the flow of your writing and make it easier to read and comprehend.
Making the writing process easier
Finally, crafting an outline can help speed up the writing process. With all the major components of your document planned out, you can sit down and get writing quickly.
How to Do a Research Paper Outline in 7 Steps
Now, it is time to proceed to the practical part — how to do an outline for a research paper. Of course, there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to creating outlines for research papers. Still, these basic steps can help you get started.
Step 1: choose a topic
The first step in writing an outline for a research paper is to choose a topic. Select a subject that interests you and has enough information available on it. Pick a topic that is narrow enough to be manageable but broad enough to explore ideas.
Step 2: conduct research
Once you have your topic, start gathering relevant data to support your ideas. Use various sources, such as books, journals, and online databases to find useful materials. Read through the sources and take notes of all the important information.
Step 3: identify your audience
Next, think about who you are writing for and the type of information they need. Understanding your audience will help you decide on the structure of your document and what points to include.
Step 4: brainstorm ideas
Now, it is time to brainstorm ideas related to your topic. Think about the points you want to make and what evidence will be most effective in supporting them. Generate a list of all the ideas and points that you can think of. Brainstorming will help you design each section of your document.
Step 5: develop your thesis statement
After determining the main ideas, develop a thesis statement. Your thesis statement is the main argument of your writing. It should be a concise summary of the work you have performed and the conclusions you have drawn.
Step 6: make an outline of research paper
Once you have a list of concepts, you can move to the fun part — writing an outline. Begin with your thesis statement and a brief overview of what you will be discussing in the paper. Then, move on to listing out all the key ideas and evidence you want to use to support your points. You can also include the sub-points that you want to address in each section of your paper.
Step 7: review and revise
Now that you have come up with the plan, take time to review and revise it. Make sure that all the points look logical, and that there is a clear flow from one point to the next. Check if all the evidence you have included is relevant and up-to-date. See if your outline adheres to the requirements of your instructor or professor (if any).
Research Paper Outline Templates
When outlining your writing, a research paper outline template would come in handy. It can help you organize your thoughts, structure the paper logically, and make sure that all points link back to the main argument.
There are several types of plans you can use when crafting a research paper. Let’s look through the common examples of a research paper outline.
📄 Alphanumeric Outline Format for Research Papers
An alphanumeric outline of a research paper uses letters and numbers to organize the main ideas and sub-points. This type of outline is good for writing longer papers, such as essays or dissertations. It helps to keep track of all the important points in an organized manner.
The alphanumeric format consists of two parts:
- The main headings (lettered)
- Subheadings (numbered)
Each heading may include keywords related to its content so readers can quickly identify what each section will discuss. This outline paper example allows for easy rearrangement if needed during the writing process.
What does a research paper outline look like in the alphanumeric format? Here is the basic structure:
- Background Information
- Thesis Statement
II. Body Paragraphs
- Point 1 (Main Idea)
1. Supporting Evidence A
2. Supporting Evidence B
- Point 2 (Main Idea)
- Summary of Main Points
- Restatement of Thesis Statement
📄 Decimal Research Paper Outline Format
The decimal outline format assumes using decimal numbers to structure the main ideas and sub-points of a paper. It consists of a single number followed by a period, the main idea (or heading), and the subheadings that come after it. Just like in an alphanumeric research outline sample, you can use relevant keywords in all headings.
A decimal research paper outline template is particularly useful for longer papers. When used for dissertations or theses, it allows for easy navigation to different sections and subsections.
Here is a decimal sample outline for research papers:
2. Body Paragraphs
📄 Full-Sentence Research Paper Outline Format
A full-sentence outline of a research paper uses complete sentences to list the main ideas and sub-points of writing. Such an outline of a research paper follows a logical flow from one point to the next.
A full-sentence outline works well for longer papers, such as courseworks and dissertations. It is also suitable for shorter papers that call for more structure but don’t need the same rigorous formatting requirements.
Here is an example of a full-sentence format:
The topic of my writing is…
My research paper will argue that…
Evidence shows that…
Studies suggest that…
Experts agree that…
Results show that…
My research paper has shown that…
- Restatement of Thesis Statement
My research paper has argued that…
A Basic Research Paper Outline Example
Want an outline example for research paper writing that you can use as a reference? Here you go — a college research paper outline dedicated to the benefits of exercise.
This study focuses on the benefits of exercise.
Regular exercise can provide health benefits for individuals of all ages and backgrounds.
- Point 1 (Main Idea) – Physical Benefits of Exercise
1. Supporting Evidence A
Physical activity helps to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. It improves health markers such as blood pressure levels, weight control, and cholesterol levels in adults.
2. Supporting Evidence B
Regular physical activity helps improve bone density. As a result, the risk of osteoporosis reduces (especially for women).
- Point 2 (Main Idea) – Mental & Emotional Benefits of Exercise
Exercise can be effective at reducing stress, anxiety, depression, and other negative emotions. It can also promote a sense of well-being through natural endorphin release.
2. Supporting Evidence B
Regular exercise can improve cognitive function and memory. Thus, physical activity is good for improving focus and concentration.
Regular physical activity can have many physical, mental, and emotional benefits. Individuals of all ages and backgrounds can experience these positive effects.
Regular exercise can have positive effects on health and well-being.
Creating an outline for writing a research paper is crucially important. It helps you to organize your thoughts and ensure you have strong arguments to back your position.
Now that you know how to write an outline for a research paper, you are all set to craft your content with confidence. Use the outline samples for research papers we have shared in this article as a guide for writing your own. With an outline in hand, you will ensure a clear flow of ideas and a logical structure for your argument.
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- Utility Menu
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- Writing Support for Instructors
Your thesis is the central claim in your essay—your main insight or idea about your source or topic. Your thesis should appear early in an academic essay, followed by a logically constructed argument that supports this central claim. A strong thesis is arguable, which means a thoughtful reader could disagree with it and therefore needs your careful analysis of the evidence to understand how you arrived at this claim. You arrive at your thesis by examining and analyzing the evidence available to you, which might be text or other types of source material.
A thesis will generally respond to an analytical question or pose a solution to a problem that you have framed for your readers (and for yourself). When you frame that question or problem for your readers, you are telling them what is at stake in your argument—why your question matters and why they should care about the answer . If you can explain to your readers why a question or problem is worth addressing, then they will understand why it’s worth reading an essay that develops your thesis—and you will understand why it’s worth writing that essay.
A strong thesis will be arguable rather than descriptive , and it will be the right scope for the essay you are writing. If your thesis is descriptive, then you will not need to convince your readers of anything—you will be naming or summarizing something your readers can already see for themselves. If your thesis is too narrow, you won’t be able to explore your topic in enough depth to say something interesting about it. If your thesis is too broad, you may not be able to support it with evidence from the available sources.
When you are writing an essay for a course assignment, you should make sure you understand what type of claim you are being asked to make. Many of your assignments will be asking you to make analytical claims , which are based on interpretation of facts, data, or sources.
Some of your assignments may ask you to make normative claims. Normative claims are claims of value or evaluation rather than fact—claims about how things should be rather than how they are. A normative claim makes the case for the importance of something, the action that should be taken, or the way the world should be. When you are asked to write a policy memo, a proposal, or an essay based on your own opinion, you will be making normative claims.
Here are some examples of possible thesis statements for a student's analysis of the article “The Case Against Perfection” by Professor Michael Sandel.
Descriptive thesis (not arguable)
While Sandel argues that pursuing perfection through genetic engineering would decrease our sense of humility, he claims that the sense of solidarity we would lose is also important.
This thesis summarizes several points in Sandel’s argument, but it does not make a claim about how we should understand his argument. A reader who read Sandel’s argument would not also need to read an essay based on this descriptive thesis.
Broad thesis (arguable, but difficult to support with evidence)
Michael Sandel’s arguments about genetic engineering do not take into consideration all the relevant issues.
This is an arguable claim because it would be possible to argue against it by saying that Michael Sandel’s arguments do take all of the relevant issues into consideration. But the claim is too broad. Because the thesis does not specify which “issues” it is focused on—or why it matters if they are considered—readers won’t know what the rest of the essay will argue, and the writer won’t know what to focus on. If there is a particular issue that Sandel does not address, then a more specific version of the thesis would include that issue—hand an explanation of why it is important.
Arguable thesis with analytical claim
While Sandel argues persuasively that our instinct to “remake” (54) ourselves into something ever more perfect is a problem, his belief that we can always draw a line between what is medically necessary and what makes us simply “better than well” (51) is less convincing.
This is an arguable analytical claim. To argue for this claim, the essay writer will need to show how evidence from the article itself points to this interpretation. It’s also a reasonable scope for a thesis because it can be supported with evidence available in the text and is neither too broad nor too narrow.
Arguable thesis with normative claim
Given Sandel’s argument against genetic enhancement, we should not allow parents to decide on using Human Growth Hormone for their children.
This thesis tells us what we should do about a particular issue discussed in Sandel’s article, but it does not tell us how we should understand Sandel’s argument.
Questions to ask about your thesis
- Is the thesis truly arguable? Does it speak to a genuine dilemma in the source, or would most readers automatically agree with it?
- Is the thesis too obvious? Again, would most or all readers agree with it without needing to see your argument?
- Is the thesis complex enough to require a whole essay's worth of argument?
- Is the thesis supportable with evidence from the text rather than with generalizations or outside research?
- Would anyone want to read a paper in which this thesis was developed? That is, can you explain what this paper is adding to our understanding of a problem, question, or topic?
- Tips for Reading an Assignment Prompt
- Asking Analytical Questions
- What Do Introductions Across the Disciplines Have in Common?
- Anatomy of a Body Paragraph
- Tips for Organizing Your Essay
- Strategies for Essay Writing: Downloadable PDFs
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STEM Research Paper Outlines: The Ultimate Guide
By Logan Pearce
PhD candidate in Social Psychology at Princeton University
5 minute read
As a curious high school student, you’ve become interested in conducting your own research, perhaps in the field of psychology . After you conduct your research, the next step is to showcase it to the world ! One popular medium to communicate scientific research is through research papers , which you can use to enter scientific competitions or try to get published in a peer-reviewed journal. However, many high school students haven’t written a research paper before, and the structure is quite different from what they typically write during their high school. Outlining a research paper is a great step to make the process less overwhelming. In this article, you’ll learn how to write a STEM research paper outline. If you’re looking for other resources in the paper writing process, check out our guides on how to skim academic articles and how to showcase CS projects on Github .
The goal of the outline is to capture the key points that you want to include in the research paper. It should be detailed enough so that you know what you plan to discuss in the full research paper, but not so detailed such that your outline is basically your paper. As much as possible, try not to be too critical of your outline. Outlines give you a chance to jot down ideas without criticizing them. You can always remove and add to your outline when you are working on the full research paper.
In this blog post, I’ll give you an example of how to outline each section of a research paper. I’ll use a fictional research study to make the outline more concrete. Imagine that you are a college professor investigating how students learn best. You have a theory that students will retain more information when you include a five-minute break in the middle of the lecture. For your class that meets on Monday, you will include this 5 minute break in the middle of lecture, and for your Tuesday class, you will not. Both classes will cover the same material each day. The Monday class will simply run 5 minutes later to account for the break. Below you’ll find the key ideas to include in each section of the research paper, along with the corresponding example outline.
The introduction of your research paper provides context that readers need to understand your research. First, describe the existing research that relates to your study. Next, explain why your research matters . For example, there may be a gap in the existing academic literature and/or a real world issue that you want to solve. Conclude the introduction with an overview of your research, including the research question, hypothesis, and research design at a high level.
Here is an example of how to outline the introduction. Pro-tip: I outline/write this section last since I find it the most tedious.
Researchers have found that people tend to stop paying attention after 20 minutes of listening to a lecture. (I made this fact up for the purpose of the online, although there is research about this topic.)
Note: You will need to cite several sources in the introduction for a research paper. In the outline, give a 1-2 sentence summary about the main finding of each source.
10% of college students failed the midterm in your introduction to psychology class last semester.
Students in the Monday version of the class will attend a lecture with a five-minute break in the middle. Students in the Tuesday version will attend a lecture that does not have the five-minute break.
Research question: Do students who attend a lecture with a five-minute break in the middle do better on the midterm than students who attend a lecture without a break?
Materials and Methods Section
The goal of the Methods and Materials section is to describe your work with enough detail so that another researcher could recreate it if they wanted to. The “Materials” aspect describes what you studied and the “Methods” aspect describes how you studied it. Note: This section is also sometimes referred to as simply the “Methods” section depending on the journal.
If your work is experimental or correlational in nature, the Materials subsection involves a detailed description of your participants, your dataset, or both, depending on your research. For participants, include the sample size (total number of participants) and the participants’ demographic information. You should also discuss how you recruited the participants. For datasets, describe what information is included in the dataset, along with how you obtained it.
The Methods subsection details how you conducted your research. Describe exactly what participants did in the study/experiment. If you conducted your study on a dataset, describe how you cleaned and analyzed the data. Note that the actual numerical results of the data analyses go in the Data section.
Regardless of whether you conducted a study or analyzed a dataset, include details about your variables. For all types of studies, you will need to discuss your dependent variables, what you measured. If you ran an experiment, describe your independent variable(s), what you manipulated in your experiment.
Sample size: 300
Median age: 20.5
Gender: 50% female, 49% male, 1% non-binary
Participants were students in an introduction to psychology class at a university.
They agreed to participate in a study at some point during the semester, but they were not told exactly what it would be about.
Break Condition: Monday class. There was a five-minute break in the middle of each lecture.
Control Condition: Tuesday class. There was not a five-minute break during the lecture.
Students’ scores on the midterm
In this section, you’ll provide summary statistics of your data along with the numerical results of any statistical analyses you ran. When you write your actual research paper, you will also include figures – bar graphs, scatter plots, histograms, etc. – to give readers a way to visually comprehend your data. Whether or not to include those figures in the outline is up to you.
Also, note that the Data section contains the “objective” numerical results. The interpretation of the results is in the next section. “Objective” is in quotation marks because choosing to run a certain test involves some subjectivity, but the actual result of the test is objective.
Mean score on the midterm for the break condition: 88.7
Mean score on the midterm for the control condition: 85.2
The t-test between the two conditions’ midterm scores was significant, with a p-value of p = 0.03.
The Discussion section is the subjective interpretation of the results from the Data section. If you didn’t get the anticipated results, give a couple of explanations as to why you think that happened. Do you think you would get different results if you changed the study in some way? If you did get the anticipated results, discuss what your findings mean for academia and/or the real world.
Students who had a break in the middle of lecture did significantly better on the midterm than students who did not have a break in the middle of lecture.
These results suggest that lecturers should include short breaks so that students retain the information better.
The goal of the Conclusion section is to summarize the strengths and limitations of your study and identify future directions for research. To address potential future directions for research, you can say something along these lines: “Future researchers should extend this research by addressing X, Y, Z limitations that I mentioned earlier.”
Large sample size
Students were not randomly assigned to conditions – students who signed up for the Monday class may be different from those who signed up for Tuesday class
Researchers should conduct the study the following academic year, but reverse the conditions so that the Tuesday class has the break and the Monday class does not.
In this blog post, I’ve explained the key elements to include when outlining a STEM research paper, and I have included the full outline below. Check out this post to learn more about how to write a research paper.
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APA Research Paper Outline: Examples and Template
06 Mar 2022
❔Why Is Research Paper Format Necessary?
☝️Concept & Purposes of Research Paper Outline
📑Understanding the APA Outline Format
✒️The Basic APA Outline Format
📃APA Style Outline Template Breakdown
📌Full Sentence Outline Format
📝Decimal Outline Format
💡Tips for Writing an Outline: Organize Your Ideas
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- Deadline: July 24, 2023
- Topic: Declaration of Independence
- Language: English
- Length: 1000-5000 words
- Font size: 11 or 12
Why Is Research Paper Format Necessary?
Detect plagiarism in your paper for free, concept & purposes of research paper outline, purpose of research paper outline.
- APA paper outline discusses the study's core concepts.
- The research paper outlines to define the link between your ideas and the thesis.
- It provides you with manageable portions that you can handle.
- The research paper's APA outline enables the detection of structural faults or gaps.
- As shown in the example, it must clearly comprehend the subject at hand.
APA outline example
Understanding the apa outline format, apa paper outline example.
- Headings & Subheadings
- 1-inch margins on the top, bottom, left, and right.
- The page number on the upper right corner.
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- Summarize your key arguments.
- Explain how these concepts support your ultimate stance, as shown in APA outline example below.
The Basic APA Outline Format
Apa style outline template breakdown, full sentence outline format, apa research paper outline example, know how to structure your paper.
- 12-point Times New Roman
- 0" between paragraphs
- 1" margin all around
- double spaced (275 words/page) / single-spaced (550 words/page)
- 0.5" first line of a paragraph
PapersOwl editors can also format your paper according to your specific requirements.
APA Paper Outline Format Example
Decimal outline format, first paragraph: hook and thesis.
- The first paragraph is a sentence or two that introduces the central concept of your article.
- Introduce your topic or subject of study where your research is applicable as a context for further research.
- Explain why the mentioned issue is essential or relevant to the audience.
- A thesis statement is a claim that you make throughout your whole essay.
- The topic phrase is the first point in any writing to support a thesis statement.
- Give an explanation or provide evidence to support your point.
- Provide verifiable facts, figures, and/or citations from credible sources in your writing. It helps in the substantiating assertion.
- Include as many supporting statements and related evidence in your decimal outline.
Decimal APA outline format example
Decimal apa outline format layout, tips for writing an outline: organize your ideas, a definite goal, parallelism, coordination, subordination, avoid redundancy, wrap it up in a good way.
- Thesis statement
- Techniques employed
- Body of paper
- Conclusions section
- List of references
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I’ve worked for the past eight years as a content editor, creative writer, and professional essay writer. Every day, I work hard to make sure my clients are satisfied with the projects and papers I write for them. My areas of expertise are wide, ranging from Psychology and Sociology to Political Science and World History.
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Research Paper Outline Generator
🤖 research outline generator 101.
- 📝 Template & Format
- 🤩 Outline Tips
Outlining an academic assignment serves several purposes:
- It lets students establish connections between the thesis and their ideas.
- A template also allows them to structure papers and identify gaps in their knowledge.
- An outline makes their writing more substantial and lets them know if they understand the topic well enough.
Our outline generator for research papers speeds up this process in several ways:
📝 Outline Generator for Research Paper: Template and Format
Our tool can help you cope with the first step in any academic work, whether it's a high school or college tasks. But what should you do next? This part of the article details the components of the research paper format. It will give you a better understanding of how your work should look.
Popular Academic Formats
The format of your research paper largely depends on the style your school uses. Three main styles are widely used in the academic setting: APA, Chicago, and MLA. Each has its features we’ll discuss briefly.
Good Example of a Template
In this section, we have detailed all the components of a comprehensive research paper. Knowing these elements will make it easy for you to structure your work.
🤩 Best Outline Tips: Research Papers & Academic Essays
We want to wrap things up by offering helpful tips for an effective outline. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing an academic essay, a research work, or a personal statement. These pieces of advice can be helpful in all types of assignments.
- Plan and brainstorm . Make a list of ideas that can become good topics for your essay. By the way, having study buddies is also a fantastic idea! Try to brainstorm topics with fellow students. This way, you can better plan and find impactful research subjects.
- Organize your ideas . Next, organize the ideas into separate categories. Discard bad ones and incorporate good ones in your writing. Narrow them down until you choose the main one to write a good thesis statement.
- Use bullet points . Utilize a list format to keep your outline organized. Use headings to easily navigate the template and structure the paper logically.
- Use online tools . If you need help, turn to online platforms for assistance. For example, our research paper outline generator can make this process faster.
- Write in your mother tongue . If you struggle writing in English , make notes in your native language. It’s also better to research this topic in your mother tongue. You can translate your findings later.
- Remove redundant points . Revise all the paragraphs of your finished essay template. Make sure that all the sections match the purpose of your paper and reveal the main idea. If you find too many inappropriate points, try rephrasing them to fit the topic.
We hope that our outline generator for research papers helped in your work. If you have any questions left, check out the FAQ section below. Besides we also recommend you take a look at our research guide .
❓ Research Outline Generator – FAQ
- Writing a Research Paper. – Arrendale Library, Piedmont University
- How to Write an APA Research Paper – Hamilton College
- How To Write a Research Paper Outline (With Examples and Tips) – Indeed
- Chicago Style Guide – Menlo School
- MLA General Format – The On-Campus Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University
- Formatting an Academic Paper – Augsburg University
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