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Student Guide: Writing a Research Paper Outline

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Introduction

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Move onto a two-level outline. Two-level outlines are a little more common for research papers. You utilize major headings and one level of subheadings. In other words, your Roman numeral and capital letter sections are both present.

Each second-level subheading should discuss a primary supporting argument for the main idea it falls under. Progress to a three-level outline. A three-level outline is even more complex, but if done right, it can help you to structure your research paper even more thoroughly. You use Roman numerals, capital letters, and standard numbers for this version. Next to each third-level subsection, you should address the topic of a paragraph that falls under the corresponding second-level section or main idea above it.

Use a four-level outline, when necessary. These outlines are about the most complex you would expect to need for a research paper, and if you choose this structure, you will use Roman numerals, capital letters, standard numbers, and lowercase letters for your levels. The fourth-level subheadings should address supporting statements, citations, or ideas within each paragraph listed in the third-level sections.

Every heading and subheading should maintain a structure that is parallel to the other headings within its level. Parallelism also refers to parts of speech and tense. If a heading starts with a verb, then the other headings must also start with a verb.

Moreover, that verb must also be in the same tense usually present tense. The information provided by your first major heading should be equal in importance to the information offered in your second major heading. The same can be said of sentences in subheadings, as well. Your major headings should identify major tasks or ideas. Your subheadings should elaborate on the points addressed in your major headings. The information in your headings should be general and the subheadings should be more specific.

For instance, if you were writing about memorable experiences from your childhood, "Memorable Childhood Experiences" would be the heading and the subheadings might look something like, "Vacation at 8 years old," "Favorite birthday party," and "Family trips to the park. Each major heading should be divided into two or more parts. In other words, you should have at least two subheadings for every major heading.

There is no limit on subheadings, but once you start forming a dozen or so subheadings under a single heading, you might find your outline looking cluttered and messy.

Identify the research problem. As you prepare to write your outline, you need to specifically identify the research problem you are trying to address. This will guide the entire formation of your outline and your paper. From this research problem, you will derive your thesis statement.

A thesis statement is a single sentence that sums up the entire purpose or argument of your research paper. This thesis statement will usually be written above the outline itself or within the first "Introduction" heading of the outline. Your research problem can also help you figure out a title. Identify your main categories. You also need to figure out what main points you plan on covering. 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. Topics of the research paper are different. 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. Final words regarding the problem recommendations regarding how a particular paper and its ideas can be used in practice or in further studies.

Wish you an academic success with our guide to the research paper writing! Place new orders and track progress on current orders anytime and anywhere. You need to Log in or Sign up for a new account in order to. Please enter your email to proceed.

Your email This is an obligatory field. You will receive an email that will help you to change your password. Back to all posts — Academic Writing. How can I build a research paper on this argument? As soon as you have answers for these questions, you are almost ready to create a good outline for a successful research paper. Of course, most of the time only your professor will read a research paper you have created. However, you need to understand readers of your paper. Will the professor support your argument or will he have a counterargument?

When defining your audience, you will comprehend what type of language is better to use: The overall style and tone of your research paper depend on the audience it is aimed at. There is no research paper without proper and thorough research. You will have to investigate a lot of resources in order to find effective evidence to support your argument.

Firstly, you will have to find general information to support your thesis statement, then you will have to dig deeper. You will have to be aware of any counter arguments and evidence supporting them. This way you will master the topic and comprehend the pitfalls of your thesis statement better.

References are the evidence of each of your arguments and the research you have conducted. You should prioritize them according to the importance and relevance to your thesis statement.

Writing a good research paper outline When you are finished with pre-writing activities, created a good research paper topic, you are more than ready to make an effective research paper outline.

Essay Editors that may help. There are three main points that make an impressive Introduction: Depending on the overall volume of your research paper, a hook can be from one to five sentences long.

This the part that persuades readers to read the paper. A hook should be interesting and provoking — you need your readers to want to read your research paper. In your pre-writing activities, you had to define the audience for yourself — you had to understand who would be interested in reading your paper.

Here, however, you need to explain to your reader why she or he is your target audience. The Introduction and the whole text, for that matter, should be relatable. Here you state your argument. You make a clear point about what you are going to discuss and why is it important.

Your thesis statement should be clear and simple but never dull. You want the readers to read your paper especially after the research you have conducted and materials you have gone through. Body The Body is the main part of the research paper outline you are writing.

Stuck on Your Research Paper Outline? Check out these research paper example.

Writing a good research paper outline

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Research Paper Outline Examples 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 .

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For any research paper, it is essential to know how to write an outline. Many research paper formats even require an outline, as an integral part of the paper.

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C. Creating an Outline. SUMMARY: WriteExpress – Writing an Effective Outline; Outline for Writing a Research Paper; University at Albany – How to Write an Outline; Sample Outline; Now that you’ve grouped your notes, thought about your transitions, and developed a high-powered thesis, its time to build the scaffold upon which you’ll. An outline is a “blueprint” or “plan” for your paper. It helps you to organize your thoughts and arguments. A good outline can make conducting research and then writing the paper very efficient.

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How to Write a Research Paper Outline: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide access_time March 29, Writing a research paper outline is a rather challenging but usual part of student’s life. For a standard research paper of pages, your outline should be no more than four pages in length. It may be helpful as you are developing your outline to also write down a .