How to Create a Research Paper Outline

How to Create a Research Paper Outline

A research paper is a scholarly work where the writer conducts research and analyzes their findings to present an argument. It is important to have a good outline for your research paper before you start writing to avoid losing focus or forgetting what point you were trying to make.

This blog post will provide some tips on how to create an outline your research paper and get started with it quickly. You will also find a sample research paper outline template APA and examples for a quick writing process.

Research Paper Outline Definition

A research paper outline is a strategic plan written by the author to avoid getting stuck in the middle of writing it. It's really like an action plan for your study and lists all primary ideas.

When you're done listing possible topics, take some time to organize your outline.It will help you keep track of how everything fits together. An outline is more detailed about each section than just number pages as with tables of contents.

The assignment prompt may not say to write an outline, but if a project is more than 1000 words in length, it often requires one by default.

How to Create a Research Paper Outline?

Here are the steps that you need to consider for creating a college research paper outline.

  1. Decide on the subject and scope of the paper
  2. Write down all the ideas you want to include or discuss
  3. Organize related ideas into sub-groups
  4. Arrange your ideas into a hierarchy - from the most important information to the least important or vice versa
  5. Create appropriate headings and subheadings
  6. Format the outline in either alphanumeric, full-sentence format, or decimal formatting styles

To write an effective outline you first need to decide what you want your readers to learn from it. After that, create an outline by organizing the headings based on their significance. Add sub-headings with each heading to make it more comprehensive.

Alphanumeric is the most commonly used format. It uses Roman numerals, Arabic numerals, capitalized and lowercase letters to organize all the information.

Without an excellent plan for how each section will flow into one another coherently, confusion can arise among readers.They may find themselves lost within your argument without knowing where to go next.

It is important to create an outline to understand what the whole paper is about. Once done, you won’t have to worry about structuring your research paper later on.

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Research Paper Outline Format

The following are the most important elements that you should consider for creating an outline for your research paper.

  • Title page

    It is the first part that introduces the major details of your research paper. Your title page should include the following information.

    • Your full name
    • Your professor’s name
    • Submission date
  • Abstract

    It is a summary of the overall work. The length of an abstract should not exceed 300 words. In this section, you should include basic information about the significance of your work.

  • Table of Contents

    This section provides readers with a complete overview of the paper’s contents. It also allows them to go directly to any specific chapter or subsection that they want without scrolling through all of it first!

  • Introduction

    Here you need to introduce your topic and provide some background information of your investigation. Mention the results that you are expecting from the investigation. Don’t forget to state the thesis statement to end the introductory paragraph.

  • Literature Review

    In this section, mention the research gaps that you have used to support your theories. Demonstrate how it helped you in finding relevant data and developing your research.

  • Methodology

    List down the tools and techniques used to carry out the research. In this section, you should write down your research step by step. The purpose of this section is to allow others to continue the research who are interested in the same research question.

  • Results and discussion

    It is one huge section in which you state the findings of your study. You can also add visual elements for the readers to understand the basic components of the study better.

    Also, add facts and charts to make it more interesting and engaging.

  • Conclusion

    Here you need to include the summary of the findings and restate the thesis statement. Provide the value of your research paper and discuss different ways to implement the results.

  • Bibliography

    Lastly, mention all the sources that you have used in your text. Do not forget any references in the bibliography section.

    Also, add facts and charts to make it more interesting and engaging.

Research Paper Outline Template

Below is a sample research paper outline template that you can review for understanding the basic elements for most academic papers.

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Research Paper Outline Example

Here are some interesting research paper outline samples that you can check for your better understanding. These examples are written for different formats such as Apa, Mla, and others.

APA Research Paper Outline

MLA Research Paper Outline

Argumentative Research Paper Outline

Gun control Research Paper Outline

Scientific Research Paper Outline

This guide will help you understand how to write a research paper outline in no time. The key to writing a successful research paper is outlining your thoughts and ideas. A well-structured outline can help you stay on track with the requirements of the assignment.It also ensures that you cover everything within each section before moving onto the next one.

Creating an outline for your research paper doesn't have to be difficult if you know how it's done correctly. If you're still unsure about what goes into creating a good outline or need some assistance putting together yours, contact us today.

Our team of professional writers at will work with you to get started right away. Contact our essay writing service now and get the best research paper writing help that you will be proud of.


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