Writing a Research Paper Outline

Definition of an Outline

For you to draft an outline for your research paper, you first need to define what an outline is. It involves picking the critical parts of your topic and organizing them in a standard manner that the reader can follow through the text.

An outline will guide you on how you will write each point in a research paper. The structure will ensure that you have captured all relevant information within the allotted space. Furthermore, you will know what to write in each section for any given reader.

Here are some of the things you should look at when you are looking to include in a research paper outline;

  1. Types of Outlines

Include the elements mentioned above. A research paper outline will include a title page, your name, and a brief bibliography. The front matter should be separate from the content, and include an introduction, and the main body. The body should be the same arrangement as the title page. Your introduction should have a thesis statement that works to define your argument.

  1. A summary of your paper

Ensure that your outlines have a short, summary of your research topic. It should only be four or five sentences, explaining the thesis statement and the central issue that the paper will cover. Furthermore, you should not introduce any new information to the reader.

Your summary should be brief, even in comparison to other research paper articles. After finishing the writing process, ensure that you reread your summary to confirm whether the information was left in the summary.

  1. Assignment of time

The outline will guide you on how long it will take you to finish the research paper. The period can be between three to seven sentences. Depending on how much of the main body you are going to write and the extent of the topic, you can make a longer outline. Do not write more than five sentences in a single outline.

Choosing the most appropriate point to capture is another aspect to consider. You will know where to start or end your research paper by looking at where you are going to use the time. It will be better if you only used a ten to fifteen-word summary that captures the most essential points. A sample outline that you can use is given below;

Outline for a History Research Paper

Use this outline to capture most of the writing in your outline. It is advisable to start off the outline with a title and reference material. Make sure that the references and title are arranged in chronological order.

After recording all the materials, link them to the thesis statement by adding the sources under the note pad. After doing this, the next step will involve defining the topic of the research paper. It is recommended to do this by using the titles you obtained from the previous step. This will serve to tie everything together.

  1. Write the conclusion in your outline

After defining the research topic, write the conclusion in your outline. Write it based on how you will structure the body paragraphs. It is crucial to state why you made your conclusion. Finally, check to see if the conclusion you have included matches what you have written in the body.

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