How to Write a Research Paper Outline

Writing a research paper outline is quite challenging but is a normal part of a paper writers life. You need to take your time to come up with a well thought out and comprehensive research paper.

What is a Research Paper Outline?


A research paper should be reflective of the writer’s position on the topic issue and also persuade the reader of its reliability. A research paper outline is a point-by-point plan that makes writing a research paper much easier. An outline is vital for any research paper. It enables you to organize his or her thoughts and the whole work before getting down to write the paper.

 Research Paper Outline

By preliminary dividing your research paper into various constituent parts, you’ll be better organized in your writing. This also relieves you the worry of forgetting a critical point in the research and also gives you a piece of mind because after splitting the paper into several parts, it will not appear to be an overwhelming task. Typically, a research paper enables you to keep track of a significant amount of information. You can decide to assign each section its day and consecutively plan your writing, to meet tight deadlines, usually provided for lengthy research papers.

How to Create a Free Outline for a Research Paper

Before you create your research paper outline, you need to;

• Determine the purpose of the research paper.
• Determine your readers or audience to whom the research paper is directed to
• Create a thesis statement for your research paper


• Brainstorm by listing all the main points that you intend to include in your research paper.
• Organize related ideas in one group.
• Arrange content materials in the subsection, starting with the more general ones to specific ones.
• Come up with the main headings and subheadings for the research paper.

Tips on Structuring Research Paper Outline

Despite the research topic you’re writing on, outlines are often the same. The main parts of a research paper are;

• Introduction
• Body
• Conclusion

Introduction Part

This is one of the most critical sections of a research paper outline structure, as it presents the audience with the main topic of discussion for the paper. It’s what captures the reader’s attention or interest.

Define your audience-It’s vital that you define your audience in the introduction part of the paper. Explain to your readers why they are your target audience.
Include thesis– Also, you need to list the top essential components such as the thesis statement in the introduction part. Make it clear to your audience about what you’re going to discuss in the research paper.

Body Part

This is the central part of a research paper. The body section is where the writer brings an argument to support the thesis statement. It consists of many paragraphs and sub-parts depending on the specified length of the paper. The following are the main sections of the body or discussion part of a research paper.

Methodology- This is the next part after introduction. It gives the reader an insight into the way the student or writer carried out research and should include the type of investigation and questionnaire fulfilled. Remember to include the purposes of study in the methodology section.
Literature Review– This where you need to mention the literature used in backing up your hypothesis and theories. Literature review reveals your ability in operating the theory, terms and existing field of evidence. Make your central theme for the paper and selected literature review adjacent.
Data Analysis– This usually comes after methodology and literature review. Here you need to present the primary results and other variables that you identified in your survey process. You may use graphs or tables or keep your paper more precise and structured. Interpret the determined results and tell the reader whether the research outcome brings any difference in the whole of the researched topic. Outline the challenges you experience during your research and related advantages.

Conclusion Part

The conclusion part does not present new information to the reader; instead, it provides a summary of the main ideas or points of the research. Remember to restate your thesis statement here.
Creating an outline for your research paper makes it easy to organize your writing thoughts. You may not have to follow any suggested framework, but developing any outline (noting down essential points) will be necessary to write my college term paper smoothly.

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