Creating an outline is the first thing you should do before starting on your research paper. Once you've decided what topic you will be writing about, the next thing you should pay attention to is the scope of your paper or what you will be including in your discussion.
The broader your topic is, the more difficult it is to discuss the full details. This is why you should establish early on the scope and limitations of your paper which will provide the foundation for your research paper outline. Basically, your outline will constitute three main sections: But to make sure your paper is complete, consult your instructor for specific parts they wants to be included in your research paper.
Sample outlines for research papers will follow. The introduction should contain your thesis statement or the topic of your research as well as the purpose of your study. You may include here the reason why you chose that particular topic or simply the significance of your research paper's topic.
You may also state what type of approach it is that you'll be using in your paper for the entire discussion of your topic. Generally, your Introduction should orient your readers to the major points the rest of the paper will be covering, and how. The body of your paper is where you will be presenting all your arguments to support your thesis statement.
Start with a strong argument, followed by a stronger one, and end with the strongest argument as your final point. The conclusion is where you form a summary of all your arguments so you can arrive at your final position. Explain and reiterate why you've ended up with the said conclusion.
As mentioned earlier, here are some sample outlines for research papers:. Shakespeare Adapted from AResearchGuide. Check out our quiz-page with tests about:. Research Paper Outline Examples.
Retrieved Sep 14, from Explorable. The text in this article is licensed under the Creative Commons-License Attribution 4. Others, whilst not requiring an outline, do ask for a table of contents for longer papers, and an outline makes this process much easier. It allows you to be organized and lay out your headings properly, allowing the word processor's automatic table of contents tool to do its work. For long papers, there is no harm in showing your outline to your supervisor early on in the process, because they will be able to tell you whether you are going in the right direction.
The easiest way to design an outline is with the MLA standard format , which helps you to develop a good structure for the outline.
Major headings, such as ' Introduction ', ' Method ', etc. These sections are further subdivided, using A, B as a second level, 1, 2 as a third and a, b and i, ii make up the rest.
Obviously, for a short or straightforward paper, you may not need all of these subheadings. Your first outline is a working outline, so do not worry too much about going into detail, or getting everything in exactly the right order. The initial outline allows you to structure your thoughts and establish how you are going to lay out the paper. For example, in the literature review part of your paper, the outline will help you to decide whether to lay it out in a purely chronological order, or address each relevant point individually.
Whichever layout you use, it will help you to integrate the previous research and provide a more detailed analysis. If you follow these instructions to write an outline, then you are a long way towards laying out the parts of a research paper correctly. Check out our quiz-page with tests about:. Martyn Shuttleworth Sep 11, How to Write an Outline.
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Below are examples of research paper outlines. Creating an outline is the first thing you should do before starting on your research paper.
How to Write a Research Paper. What is a research paper? A research paper is a piece of academic writing based on its author’s original research on a particular topic, and the analysis and interpretation of the research findings. It can be either a term paper, a master’s thesis or a doctoral dissertation.
For any research paper, it is essential to understand how to write an outline. In many fields, research papers require an outline, as an integral part of the paper. In many fields, research papers require an outline, as an integral part of the paper. Learn about the writing process, goal setting, and how to write papers successfully for course assignments. Skip to main content. Writing Center. D. Gaps in the Research: Outlining Your Outline as a Way to Write Every Day (blog post) Writing Center blog post.
The outline structure is approximately the same whether you write a research outline on dreams or some topic distant from this one, like a research outline for PhD application. The structure is identical to the structure of the research paper itself. If you get a surge of inspiration part way through writing your paper and decide to take your paper in a new direction, go ahead and change your outline. There are several different ways to format an outline, but the MLA method (below) is a solid way to do it.