An Ultimate Guide on How to Create a Research Paper Outline

outline for research paper

Are you wondering how to create a compelling research paper outline? There is no need to panic as you are not the only student who struggles to write persuasive academic papers in order to receive the highest grades. And you certainly can’t graduate from high school or college without the necessity to write an outline for research paper. Firstly, you need to understand what an outline for a research paper means. This is generally an organized plan of your future academic paper which should include certain parts and paragraphs. In this article, we are going to share with you some of the most important tips on how to craft a compelling research paper outline template.

The Aim of Outline Research Paper

Every research paper for high school or college needs to include the outline, which should consist of the introduction, body paragraphs, and subparagraphs and the conclusion. The research paper outline example aims to reflect the parts of your research and help you to structure the whole document. This essential part of your academic writing helps to make certain the student doesn’t miss any significant ideas and create a well-structured paper. Your sample research paper outline is as significant as the document itself. Even when you’ve finished creating the whole document, you still need to go back and proofread the outline to make sure nothing is missing.

Use the following guide to learn how to write an outline for a research paper.

Select Your Topic

Before you start thinking of how to write a research paper outline, you need to choose an appropriate topic for your paper. Some professors provide a particular topic a student should write about, but often it’s up to you to select a topic for your research paper. If you have an opportunity to choose your own topic we recommend you to opt for something that you feel interested in. In this case, you won’t feel tortured to write on the topic that you don’t care about.

Search for the Best Resources

In order to write a great outline of a research paper, you need to find the best resources of up-to-date and relevant information that can be used in your paper. This step should be your second one after you choose the topic and before you actually start writing the outline. It will help you gather all the appropriate sources of information and create a plan of what you want to include in the final document. So, before you begin crafting the outline of a research paper, dig into the relevant resources.

A lot of useful and up-to-date data can be found in the books, libraries or just surfing the net. Dive into the relevant articles and books in order to search what you need on your topic. Also, paying attention to the domain name extensions may be helpful. For instance, search for .gov (government), .edu (educational institution) as well as .org (non-profit organization). These can be some of the most trustworthy resources with useful information. Remember to be selective when you need to write a college research paper outline. Avoid biased websites and try your best to make an effective Internet search.

What useful resources can be found in the library:

  • encyclopedias, dictionaries
  • newspapers, magazines
  • atlases, almanacs
  • guides, government publications, reports.

What useful resources can be found online for your research paper outline format:

  • Google Scholar
  • Wall Street Executive Library
  • Online reference resources (eLibrary, ProQuest and other databases)
  • Encyclopedias (Britannica, etc.)
  • Online journals and magazines
  • International Public Library.

How to Make an Outline for a Research Paper

A research paper basically should have the following structure: a title page, an abstract, introduction, body, conclusion, reference and tables (optional). How to outline a research paper? Include the three main parts of your research paper format outline. It should consist of the introduction, main body with subparagraphs and the conclusion. This is the structure of the basic research paper outlines.

1. Introduction. Sample outlines for the research paper need to start with the introduction. This part of your document mentions the purpose of your paper. It includes a thesis statement if necessary. If your lecturer has asked you to provide one, make sure you take some time to develop an impressive thesis statement. Tell your potential readers about what they are going to read by mentioning the key points of the document.

2. Body.Every outline template for research paper can’t go without the body part. Here is where a student needs to provide their arguments. Remember about the “rule of three” in which you need to give a minimum of three arguments to support your point of view. Experts suggest you should start with the smallest argument, then include a stronger one and leave the strongest argument for the end. This way you will leave the greatest impression and your paper will sound more persuasive and impressive.

3. Conclusion. This part is aimed at demonstrating the summary of all arguments which were given in the body. The conclusion of your research paper offers students a chance to recall the most relevant and valuable points. So, make sure you explain once again why you’ve come to this conclusion by summarizing the arguments mentioned above.

How to Do a Research Paper Outline in APA Format

Follow the general guidelines of creating the outline if you need to use APA format. Begin with the title in uppercase letters. Put the main thesis or your paper and include any subheadings if necessary. All headings and subheadings should consist of relevant and important information. Make sure your outline demonstrates your flow of thoughts and ideas. Generally, you are expected to use capital and lowercase letters as well as Roman numerals to write a research paper in APA format. For more information, you may search for an example of an outline for a research paper online.

How to Do a Research Paper Outline in MLA Format

This is probably the easiest format of academic papers which was established by the Modern Language Association. This format of documents is often used for History, English or Literature subjects. It requires using the upper-case Roman numbers, I, II, III, etc. for the main headings, and lowercase letters or Arabic numerals for subheadings. Also, this format doesn’t require a title page of the document. Make sure you place the word “Outline” in the very center of your page.

Hopefully, this guideline was useful for every student who needs to craft their own research paper outline. Use these tips and ideas to create a well-structured paper so that you include all the important details. It certainly takes time and effort to make an impressive and original research paper but the results won’t make you wait. These easy techniques will help you create a compelling outline for your research paper and receive the highest grades.