Writing a Research Paper Outline

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Writing a Research Paper Outline : Let’s understand how to write a research paper outline? An outline is important for all types of research papers. It serves to organize your thoughts and your whole work before writing a research paper. This type of paper is aimed at a scientific research that will prove you to be a student that has scientific aptitudes to solve core issues and is ready convey your ideas using scientific approaches and methods. An outline will be a reminder for you to include all the necessary subtleties in it. It is “a skeleton” of the real research paper that will guide you through the whole process.

By preliminarily splitting your paper into all its constituent parts you will be far more organized and will not worry that you forgot something. In addition, looking at your outline, you will be calmer because after splitting your work into several parts. It will not seem so overwhelming and perplexing. You can approach each part during different days and plan your preparations consecutively which will help you to meet even tight deadlines!

Research Paper Outline Structure Tips

Research essay outline is a plan for your future research. It is an academic assignment that is evaluated just like your final paper. The purpose of an outline is to demonstrate your understanding and vision of the topic. It helps to avoid mistakes and shapes a topic into serious work.

Approximate research paper outline includes the following parts:

  1. Title
  2. Thesis statement
  3. Major arguments
  4. Supporting points for each
  5. Conclusion

The structure of the outline for a research paper is approximately the same whether you write a college 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. It may seem quite complicated to cope with this task, and in such case you, can always rely on online essay writing service. But if you have decided to write on your own keep reading the article. To be more versed in the details of the structure look through examples for elementary students. The outline for a Literary Essay will also help you. 

Anyway, the research paper outline template consists of:

1. Abstract

2. Introduction 

3. Body 

A. Literature overview

B. Research methods

C. Analysis

D. Results

E. Perspectives

4. Conclusion

5. Bibliography

Seems not that hard, right?! But the fact is that each of the points encompasses a wide range of information for you to arrange in your research outline about animals, for example.

Abstract is a brief summary of your paper. It reveals all basic information on the research in five or six sentences. It is an insight into investigation, which answers a reader’s questions about the topic, subject, methods, participants, and outcomes in the shortest possible way. It consists of one paragraph (150 to 200 words) and comes at the beginning, right after the title page.

The Introduction Part is one of the most important ones. Because it presents the reader with the topic of your paper and it is like a hook that attracts the reader’s interest. Here you are supposed to mention the top essential components like the thesis statement, the explanation of the topic (some major points, general information), explanation of the core terms related to your study.

The Body Part is the amplest one in the research essay outline and consists of several paragraphs or subparts. Here you bring the arguments to support your statement. The methodology is what follows the introduction section. It gives the insight into the way you carried out the research and should include the investigation type and the questionnaire you have fulfilled. Never forget about the aims of the investigation that should be also stated in the introduction.

Make sure to include the Literature Overview. Here mention the literature you used as a backup to your hypothesis and theories. This part will show how you can operate the terms, theory and existing evidence. Your main theme and the chosen literature should be adjacent. Demonstrate how your input develops and distends the existing works.

Data and Analysis usually go after Methods and Literature. Here present your results and other variables that you have got in the process of the survey. Use tables or graphs if necessary to be more precise and structured. Interpret your results. Keep in mind to tell the audience whether your outcomes bring a difference to the whole topic. Outline the drawbacks of the research and its advantages. 

The final part is the Conclusion that usually does not present the audience with the new information but gives the cursory glance at the whole work by summarizing main points in it. Do not forget to mention the thesis statement again. Formulate the prospect for future research as well. 

Temlate of MLA Research Paper Outline

Following a particular formatting style makes every writing more familiar to a reader. Thus, they should focus on the research and don’t need to spend time adjusting to style in case it happens with free formatting.

  1. Names of a student and professor, class, and date appear on the first page.
  2. Header should contain page numbers at the upper right corner.
  3. All titles and necessary emphases are written in italics.
  4. Complete list with endnotes comes before cited works.
  5. Mark all subheadings with Arabic numbers.

Tips for creating a good MLA outline format:

  1. Remember that requirements to sources citation differ depending on its type – book, journal, magazine article, video, etc.
  2. MLA format doesn’t feature title pages if your professor doesn’t indicate something different in requirements.
  3. Always pay attention to guidelines and instruction; double check everything before submitting.

APA Research Paper Outline Example

  1. Papers always include separate cover pages.
  2. Cover page features title, author’s name, university, running head.
  3. Header on every next page contains number and title.
  4. APA usually requires to include Abstract followed by Keywords.
  5. List of cited sources is titled as “References.”

Final Advice And Useful Info

Topics of the research paper or interesting biology topics are different. You can end up writing your paper about molecular physics or about bullying. Sometimes they give you to write on social issues like a research outline on homelessness. Everything depends on the college discipline.

All in all, your research outline should look like a bullet list of headings and subheadings; it should be very brief but informative consisting all the necessary elements. While completing your paper cross out those parts that you have already used and elaborated.

Here are a couple of research paper outline examples:

Thesis: Does the Internet have a positive or negative impact on the children’s education and social skills that they obtain?

Introductory Clause

  1. Brief introduction of issue
  2. Used methodology
  3. Thesis statement
  4. review of used sources and related literature
  5. Explanation of the study’s relevance and significance

Main Body

a. Detailed information about the problem’s background

  1. The history of the Internet and its role in the lives of modern people
  2. The first mentioning of issues caused by the influence of the Web
  3. The general explanation of reasons and causes that can explain either negative or positive effect of the Internet on the children’s development and education

b. Positive influence of the Internet on the quality of education and obtained social skills

  1. Online books, materials and numerous sources that help students, providing them with an opportunity for quality self-education
  2. Developed social networking and wider opportunities for education that helps develop and improve child’s social skills
  3. Examples of positive influence (or scientifically proven facts)

c. Negative influence of the Internet on the quality education and obtained social skills

  1. Distractions, games, availability of violent materials and other things that cause negative influence
  2. Examples of negative influence (or scientifically proven facts)

Final Clause

a. Conclusion

  1. Short analysis of all facts provided in the paper
  2. Rephrased thesis statement

b. Final words regarding the problem (recommendations regarding how a particular paper and its ideas can be used in practice or in further studies).

Introductory Clause

  1. Brief introduction of issue
  2. Main medical terms and their definitions
  3. The theoretical basis for the paper
  4. Used methodology
  5. Thesis statement
  6. The review of related literature
  7. Explanation of the study’s relevance and significance.

Main Body

a. Detailed information about the problem’s background

  1. The history of abortion and the main causes that force modern women take this step (explain different possible reasons like religion, financial situation, career issues, etc.)
  2. Explain the position of the religion and government regarding this problem
  3. General information about the possible consequences of abortion supported with valid facts, scientific articles and studies, examples, etc.

b. Possible alternatives to abortions, their pros and cons

c. Advantages and disadvantages of abortion

  1. Explain all advantages of abortion and support them with facts and examples
  2. Explain all disadvantages of abortion (both physical and mental) and support them with facts and examples

Final Clause

a. Conclusion

  1. Short analysis of all facts provided in the paper
  2. Rephrased thesis statement

b. Final words regarding the problem (recommendations regarding how a particular paper and its ideas can be used in practice or in further studies).

Thesis: Can overpopulation be managed?

Introductory Clause

  1. Brief introduction of issue.
  2. Theoretical background of issue.
  3. Related literature review.
  4. Thesis statement.
  5. Relevance and significance of the study.

Main Body

a. Detailed info about problem’s background

  1. Overpopulation definition, term history.
  2. General overview that includes reasons, effects, dangers, possible scenarios of development.
  3. Explanation why managing overpopulation is essential.

b. Ways overpopulation can be managed, all problems related to it.

  1. Promoting childbirth planning is the first step to building self-aware society.
  2. Education of citizens in developing countries will help to spread the knowledge in problem regions.
  3. Government incentives and regulations can provide support if used properly.
  4. Building extraterrestrial settlements may become an alternative solution soon.

c. Main difficulties that stand prevent managing overpopulation.

  1. Strong cultural ideas and religious beliefs contradict birth control and family planning.
  2. Lack of understanding results in denial or ignoring this problem.
  3. Some solutions can potentially violate human rights or be unethical.

Final Clause

a. Conclusion

  1. Short analysis of all facts provided in the paper
  2. Rephrased thesis statement

b. Final words regarding the problem (recommendations regarding how a particular paper and its ideas can be used in practice or further studies).

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