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Why and How to Create a Useful Outline
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This resource describes why outlines are useful, what types of outlines exist, suggestions for developing effective outlines, and how outlines can be used as an invention strategy for writing.
Why create an outline? There are many reasons, but in general, it may be helpful to create an outline when you want to show the hierarchical relationship or logical ordering of information. For research papers, an outline may help you keep track of large amounts of information. For creative writing, an outline may help organize the various plot threads and help keep track of character traits. Many people find that organizing an oral report or presentation in outline form helps them speak more effectively in front of a crowd. Below are the primary reasons for creating an outline.
- Aids in the process of writing
- Helps you organize your ideas
- Presents your material in a logical form
- Shows the relationships among ideas in your writing
- Constructs an ordered overview of your writing
- Defines boundaries and groups
How do I create an outline?
- Determine the purpose of your paper.
- Determine the audience you are writing for.
- Develop the thesis of your paper.
- Brainstorm : List all the ideas that you want to include in your paper.
- Organize : Group related ideas together.
- Order : Arrange material in subsections from general to specific or from abstract to concrete.
- Label : Create main and sub headings.
Remember: creating an outline before writing your paper will make organizing your thoughts a lot easier. Whether you follow the suggested guidelines is up to you, but making any kind of outline (even just some jotting down some main ideas) will be beneficial to your writing process.
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Getting started with your research paper outline
The outline is the skeleton of your research paper. Simply start by writing down your thesis and the main ideas you wish to present. This will likely change as your research progresses; therefore, do not worry about being too specific in the early stages of writing your outline.
- Levels of organization for a research paper outline
A research paper outline typically contains between two and four layers of organization. The first two layers are the most generalized. Each layer thereafter will contain the research you complete and presents more and more detailed information.
The levels are typically represented by a combination of Roman numerals, Arabic numerals, uppercase letters, lowercase letters but may include other symbols. Refer to the guidelines provided by your institution, as formatting is not universal and differs between universities, fields, and subjects. If you are writing the outline for yourself, you may choose any combination you prefer.
First level of organization
This is the most generalized level of information. Begin by numbering the introduction, each idea you will present, and the conclusion. The main ideas contain the bulk of your research paper 's information. Depending on your research, it may be chapters of a book for a literature review , a series of dates for a historical research paper, or the methods and results of a scientific paper.
II. Main idea
III. Main idea
IV. Main idea
Second level of organization
The second level consists of topics which support the introduction, main ideas, and the conclusion. Each main idea should have at least two supporting topics listed in the outline.
If your main idea does not have enough support, you should consider presenting another main idea in its place. This is where you should stop outlining if this is your first draft. Continue your research before adding to the next levels of organization.
- A. Background information
- B. Hypothesis or thesis
- A. Supporting topic
- B. Supporting topic
Third level of organization
The third level of organization contains supporting information for the topics previously listed. By now, you should have completed enough research to add support for your ideas.
The Introduction and Main Ideas may contain information you discovered about the author, timeframe, or contents of a book for a literature review; the historical events leading up to the research topic for a historical research paper, or an explanation of the problem a scientific research paper intends to address.
- 1. Relevant history
- 2. Relevant history
- 1. The hypothesis or thesis clearly stated
- 1. A brief description of supporting information
- 2. A brief description of supporting information
Fourth level of organization
The fourth level of organization contains the most detailed information such as quotes, references, observations, or specific data needed to support the main idea. It is not typical to have further levels of organization because the information contained here is the most specific.
- a) Quotes or references to another piece of literature
- b) Quotes or references to another piece of literature
- Tips for writing a research paper outline
Tip: The key to creating a useful outline is to be consistent in your headings, organization, and levels of specificity.
- Be Consistent : ensure every heading has a similar tone. State the topic or write short sentences for each heading but avoid doing both.
- Organize Information : Higher levels of organization are more generally stated and each supporting level becomes more specific. The introduction and conclusion will never be lower than the first level of organization.
- Build Support : Each main idea should have two or more supporting topics. If your research does not have enough information to support the main idea you are presenting, you should, in general, complete additional research or revise the outline.
- Research paper outline template
By now, you should know the basic requirements to create an outline for your paper. With a content framework in place, you can now start writing your paper . To help you start right away, you can use one of our templates and adjust it to suit your needs.
- My research paper outline is complete: what are the next steps?
After completing your outline, you should:
- Title your research paper . This is an iterative process and may change when you delve deeper into the topic.
- Begin writing your research paper draft . Continue researching to further build your outline and provide more information to support your hypothesis or thesis.
- Format your draft appropriately . MLA 8 and APA 7 formats have differences between their bibliography page, in-text citations, line spacing, and title.
- Finalize your citations and bibliography . Use a reference manager like Paperpile to organize and cite your research.
- Write the abstract, if required . An abstract will briefly state the information contained within the paper, results of the research, and the conclusion.
- Frequently Asked Questions about a research paper outline
An outline is used to organize written ideas about a topic into a logical order. Outlines help us organize major topics, subtopics, and supporting details. Researchers benefit greatly from outlines while writing by addressing which topic to cover in what order.
The most basic outline format consists of: an introduction, a minimum of three topic paragraphs, and a conclusion.
You should make an outline before starting to write your research paper. This will help you organize the main ideas and arguments you want to present in your topic.
- Consistency: ensure every heading has a similar tone. State the topic or write short sentences for each heading but avoid doing both.
- Organization : Higher levels of organization are more generally stated and each supporting level becomes more specific. The introduction and conclusion will never be lower than the first level of organization.
- Support : Each main idea should have two or more supporting topics. If your research does not have enough information to support the main idea you are presenting, you should, in general, complete additional research or revise the outline.
- Related Articles
Research Paper Outline/Structure with Examples
A research paper outline also referred to as research paper structure, is an important writing tool that a student or a professional writer can apply in their writing process. It contains the blueprint or skeleton of the research paper, detailing the structure to follow when inserting information to make a research paper.
In essence, a well-crafted outline makes writing your research paper fast, efficient, and seamless. It does so by helping you organize the ideas and thoughts, organize the flow of information and related concepts, and ensure that every part of the research paper is addressed.
In some cases, teachers ask students to prepare research paper outlines to have a perspective of how the final product will be. It is common practice with almost all graduate-level supervisors, especially when you target to publish your research paper in an online journal.
What is a research paper outline?
A research paper outline is a skeleton or blueprint of a research paper, enlisting the potential contents of different parts of the research paper that you are to write. The outline serves to organize the written ideas about a given research topic in a logical order in a manner that helps you to visualize the final research paper.
Outlines help organize the main ideas based on a topic, headings, subheadings, and supporting details. They also help decide what points come first and which ones come last depending on their order of importance and impact on the writing process.
Writing an outline helps visualize your final research paper, which makes it easier to refer to the structure each time you face a challenge with a given part. Besides, with an outline, you can work on any part of the research paper independently without fearing that you will disturb the flow or confuse yourself.
The basic format of a research paper outline entails the introduction, body, and conclusion. You should write a research paper outline before starting to write your research paper. Some instructors can assign it as an independent assignment that culminates into the research paper.
A typical research paper has between two to four layers. The first two layers are the most basic and generalized, while the subsequent levels contain more specific and detailed information about the research topic, as would appear in the research paper.
Tips for Perfecting your Research Paper Outline
For you to write an effective research paper outline, it is vital that you consider the factors we list below.
- Ensure that you maintain consistency in formatting your outline . If you choose a specific format, ensure that you maintain it all through. For instance, you cannot mix approaches. Also, ensure that the outline levels are reflected in your outline.
- Organize the information such that higher levels of your outline are general while the subsequent levels are detailed and well labeled.
- If your professor requires the outline, include the relevant citations (in-text) and reference list.
- Every main idea must have two or more supporting subtopics . If you notice there is none, do extra research to gather enough information to support the ideas.
- Ensure that you properly coordinate the points so that there is a correlation between the subheadings with the subpoints
- It is beneficial to write from general to specific when writing an outline. Separate the general and specific points. For instance, the subheadings should be general, while the sub-points become more specific as you descend the levels.
- Ensure that you break down the information into subpoints . Although there is no limit to the number of subsections, you can use, ensure that there is a good flow of information that can structure a good paragraph once you begin writing.
How to Format a Research Paper Outline
Of course, there is the MLA, APA, Harvard, or Chicago formatting style. However, in terms of formatting an outline, there are three strategies that you might use: using full sentences, using decimals, and using alphanumeric.
When using the decimal for your outline, you will use a numbering system that entails the use of decimal points to note the level of the point. For instance, you will use 1.0, 1.1, 1.1.2, 1.2.1, etc.
In this case, you will be writing your text in short rather than full notes.
Here is an illustration
- The extent of the problem (statistic)/hook
- Background of the problem
- Organization of the research paper
Full-sentence or Three Level Outline format
If you opt to use the full-sentence format for your outline, you will be writing your text in full sentences, sometimes with citations rather than in short points.
- PTSD is a mental health condition caused by terrifying life events.
- The paper addresses the history of the issue, cause, extent of the problem, and possible solutions.
Alphanumeric or the Four-level outline format
In the alphanumeric outline format, which is by far the most commonly used outline format in colleges and universities, you will use Roman numerals, capital letters, Arabic numerals, and lowercase letters to organize information depending on their levels for a good flow.
The test is written mainly in short notes instead of full sentences
Here is an illustration:
- Types of pandemic disease
- History of the pandemic disease since the 1900s
- Thesis statement: Our nation’s response to the threat of pandemic disease creates a clear objective to support the two pillars of the National Security Strategy and defeat America’s enemies.
- Subpoint of subpoint 1
- Subpoint of subpoint 2
- Federal Government
- State and local government actions
- Conclusion: Can the National Security Plan for pandemic disease support and protect the
citizens of the United States.
Research Paper Outline Examples
Now, to further break down what we have so far discussed, let us look at some examples of outlines for research papers. These can serve as templates for your next research paper outline. You can choose any format that you are comfortable with, depending on the topic and type of research paper you are writing.
Sample 1: Basic Research Paper Outline
Topic: Role of Valium in Opiate Replacement Treatment Approaches:
- Statistics of the use of opiates and their impacts on society
- Significance of valium as an opiate replacement treatment
- Thesis statement
- History of valium
- Psychopharmacology of valium
- Current trends and issues
- Societal concerns or issues relating to diazepam
- Significance of the topic to the counseling profession
- Future implications
Sample 2: Scientific Research Paper Outline
- Proper hook
- Background statement
- Statement of the problem
- Statement of intent
- Significance of the study
- Statement of hypothesis or research question
- Theoretical framework
- Past research on the topic/ review of related literature
- The identified gap in the literature
- Sampling strategy/method
- Data collection tools
- Dependent and independent variables
- Controlled variables
- Graphs, figures, and tables
- Numerical and non-numerical data
- Restate the problem
- Describe the findings
- State if your findings support the hypothesis or not
- Explanation of the research given past studies
- Problems and sources of error
- Significance of the findings
- Analytical summary
- Reworded thesis
- Recommendations for future research
Sample 3: Typical Research Paper Outline
Topic: Labor Shortage in Healthcare Industry
- The extent of labor shortage
- A snapshot of labor shortage in the USA
- Causes and consequences of labor shortage
- How labor shortage should be addressed, and why it is a matter of concern
- Voluntary turnover of healthcare workers
- The limited capacity of educational programs
- Poor working conditions and compensation
- High burnout, dissatisfaction, and fatigue
- Better alternatives
- Brain drains
- Increased demand for healthcare due to chronic diseases
- Mortality and morbidity rates
- Limited patient care
- Reduced patient safety
- Improper patient to healthcare workers ratio
- High levels of dissatisfaction
- Overcrowded healthcare settings
- Increased wait times
- Inefficient healthcare management
- Better perks, compensation, and working environment
- Funding and supporting students
- Attract, recruit, and retain a young workforce
- Creating gender-balanced workforce
- Embracing diversity
- Embracing technology
- Developing new balanced care models
- Summary of the causes, effects, and remedies for healthcare workforce shortage.
- Summary of the implications of the proposed recommendations and who should implement what
What next after writing a Research Paper Outline?
In most cases, when assigned to submit a research paper outline and then a research paper, you need to keep your references for use when writing your research paper upon approval of your research outline.
Upon approval of the outline, you need to conduct in-depth research, read widely, and begin writing the first draft of your research paper. As you conduct the research, build on the outline and provide evidence, examples, and explanations to bolster your thesis. Check out our research paper writing guide for more details.
Immediately you are done writing the first draft, ensure that you verify that you have tackled all the parts of a research paper. You then need to rest and only edit your research paper when you are sober enough.
When you resume to edit, check for the formatting (MLA, APA, Harvard, or Chicago), check and correct all the errors (grammar, language, and spelling), and ensure that the in-text citations are correct and that a corresponding reference list is provided at the end of your paper.
With everything polished, you now have yourself a final research paper. Ensure that it has an abstract and title page and then submit for grading. Then, you can pat yourself on the back for doing it wonderfully. However, you can buy custom research papers from our website. We will have it written from scratch with a guarantee of 100% originality, high quality, and timely delivery.
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APA Research Paper Outline: Examples and Template
06 Mar 2022
❔Why Is Research Paper Format Necessary?
☝️Concept & Purposes of Research Paper Outline
📑Understanding the APA Outline Format
✒️The Basic APA Outline Format
📃APA Style Outline Template Breakdown
📌Full Sentence Outline Format
📝Decimal Outline Format
💡Tips to Writing an Outline: Organize Your Ideas
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Why Is Research Paper Format Necessary?
Detect plagiarism in your paper for free, concept & purposes of research paper outline, purpose of research paper outline.
- APA paper outline discusses the study's core concepts.
- The research paper outlines define the link between your ideas and the thesis.
- It provides you with manageable portions that you can handle.
- The research paper APA outline enables the detection of structural faults or gaps.
- As shown in the example, it must offer a clear comprehension of the subject at hand.
APA outline example
Understanding the apa outline format, apa paper outline example.
- Headings & Subheadings
- 1-inch margins on the top, bottom, left, and right.
- Page number on upper right corner.
Need help with writing your APA papers?
Get your paper written by a professional writer
- Summarize your key arguments.
- Explain how these concepts support your ultimate stance, as shown in APA outline example below.
The Basic APA Outline Format
Apa style outline template breakdown, full sentence outline format, apa research paper outline example, know how to structure your paper.
- 12-point Times New Roman
- 0" between paragraphs
- 1" margin all around
- double spaced (275 words/page) / single-spaced (550 words/page)
- 0.5" first line of a paragraph
PapersOwl editors can also format your paper according to your specific requirements.
APA Paper Outline Format Example
Decimal outline format, first paragraph: hook and thesis.
- The first paragraph is a sentence or two that introduces the central concept of your article.
- Introduce your topic or subject of study where your research is applicable as a context for further research.
- Explain why the mentioned issue is essential or relevant to the audience.
- A thesis statement is a claim that you make throughout your whole essay.
- The topic phrase is the first point in any writing to support a thesis statement.
- Give an explanation or provide evidence to support your point.
- Provide verifiable facts, figures, and/or citations from credible sources in your writing. It helps in substantiating assertion.
- Include as many supporting statements and related evidence in your decimal outline.
Decimal APA outline format example
Decimal apa outline format layout, tips to writing an outline: organize your ideas, a definite goal, parallelism, coordination, subordination, avoid redundancy, wrap it up in a good way.
- Thesis statement
- Techniques employed
- Body of paper
- Conclusions section
- List of references
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- Research Paper Format | APA, MLA, & Chicago Templates
Research Paper Format | APA, MLA, & Chicago Templates
Published on November 19, 2022 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on January 20, 2023.
The formatting of a research paper is different depending on which style guide you’re following. In addition to citations , APA, MLA, and Chicago provide format guidelines for things like font choices, page layout, format of headings and the format of the reference page.
Scribbr offers free Microsoft Word templates for the most common formats. Simply download and get started on your paper.
APA | MLA | Chicago author-date | Chicago notes & bibliography
- Generate an automatic table of contents
- Generate a list of tables and figures
- Ensure consistent paragraph formatting
- Insert page numbering
Table of contents
Formatting an apa paper, formatting an mla paper, formatting a chicago paper, frequently asked questions about research paper formatting.
The main guidelines for formatting a paper in APA Style are as follows:
- Use a standard font like 12 pt Times New Roman or 11 pt Arial.
- Set 1 inch page margins.
- Apply double line spacing.
- If submitting for publication, insert a APA running head on every page.
- Indent every new paragraph ½ inch.
Watch the video below for a quick guide to setting up the format in Google Docs.
The image below shows how to format an APA Style title page for a student paper.
If you are submitting a paper for publication, APA requires you to include a running head on each page. The image below shows you how this should be formatted.
For student papers, no running head is required unless you have been instructed to include one.
APA provides guidelines for formatting up to five levels of heading within your paper. Level 1 headings are the most general, level 5 the most specific.
APA Style citation requires (author-date) APA in-text citations throughout the text and an APA Style reference page at the end. The image below shows how the reference page should be formatted.
Note that the format of reference entries is different depending on the source type. You can easily create your citations and reference list using the free APA Citation Generator.
Generate APA citations for free
The main guidelines for writing an MLA style paper are as follows:
- Use an easily readable font like 12 pt Times New Roman.
- Use title case capitalization for headings .
Check out the video below to see how to set up the format in Google Docs.
On the first page of an MLA paper, a heading appears above your title, featuring some key information:
- Your full name
- Your instructor’s or supervisor’s name
- The course name or number
- The due date of the assignment
A header appears at the top of each page in your paper, including your surname and the page number.
Works Cited page
MLA in-text citations appear wherever you refer to a source in your text. The MLA Works Cited page appears at the end of your text, listing all the sources used. It is formatted as shown below.
You can easily create your MLA citations and save your Works Cited list with the free MLA Citation Generator.
Generate MLA citations for free
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The AI-powered Citation Checker helps you avoid common mistakes such as:
- Missing commas and periods
- Incorrect usage of “et al.”
- Ampersands (&) in narrative citations
- Missing reference entries
The main guidelines for writing a paper in Chicago style (also known as Turabian style) are:
- Use a standard font like 12 pt Times New Roman.
- Use 1 inch margins or larger.
- Place page numbers in the top right or bottom center.
Chicago doesn’t require a title page , but if you want to include one, Turabian (based on Chicago) presents some guidelines. Lay out the title page as shown below.
Bibliography or reference list
Chicago offers two citation styles : author-date citations plus a reference list, or footnote citations plus a bibliography. Choose one style or the other and use it consistently.
The reference list or bibliography appears at the end of the paper. Both styles present this page similarly in terms of formatting, as shown below.
To format a paper in APA Style , follow these guidelines:
- Use a standard font like 12 pt Times New Roman or 11 pt Arial
- Set 1 inch page margins
- Apply double line spacing
- Include a title page
- If submitting for publication, insert a running head on every page
- Indent every new paragraph ½ inch
- Apply APA heading styles
- Cite your sources with APA in-text citations
- List all sources cited on a reference page at the end
The main guidelines for formatting a paper in MLA style are as follows:
- Use an easily readable font like 12 pt Times New Roman
- Include a four-line MLA heading on the first page
- Center the paper’s title
- Use title case capitalization for headings
- Cite your sources with MLA in-text citations
- List all sources cited on a Works Cited page at the end
The main guidelines for formatting a paper in Chicago style are to:
- Use a standard font like 12 pt Times New Roman
- Use 1 inch margins or larger
- Place page numbers in the top right or bottom center
- Cite your sources with author-date citations or Chicago footnotes
- Include a bibliography or reference list
To automatically generate accurate Chicago references, you can use Scribbr’s free Chicago reference generator .
Cite this Scribbr article
If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.
Caulfield, J. (2023, January 20). Research Paper Format | APA, MLA, & Chicago Templates. Scribbr. Retrieved May 22, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/research-paper/research-paper-format/
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Research Paper Guide
Writing Research Proposal
Last updated on: May 26, 2023
Writing a Research Proposal - Outline, Format, and Examples
By: Nathan D.
13 min read
Reviewed By: Rylee W.
Published on: Mar 24, 2023
Ready to take on the world of research, but feeling a bit intimidated by the proposal-writing process? You're not alone! Writing a research proposal can seem like a daunting task, especially if you're new to the game.
But don't worry – we're here to help make the process as easy and exciting as possible!
Think of your research proposal as a sales pitch for your ideas. It's your chance to convince others that your project is worth their time and investment. And just like with any great sales pitch, the key is to show passion and enthusiasm for your work.
In this guide, we'll demystify the proposal-writing process. We'll cover everything from defining your research question to outlining your methodology to presenting your budget.
So get ready to rock this proposal writing journey!
On this Page
What is a Research Proposal?
As per the research proposal definition, it is a concise summary of your research paper. It introduces the general idea of your research by highlighting the questions and issues you are going to address in your paper.
For writing a good and ‘acceptance worthy’ proposal, demonstrating the uniqueness and worthiness of your research paper is important.
Below is a detailed definition that will help you understand it better.
‘A research proposal is a document that is written to present and justify your interest and need for researching a particular topic.’
Similarly, a good proposal must highlight the benefits and o utcomes of the proposed study, supported by persuasive evidence.
Purpose of Research Proposal
Knowing what the goal of writing a research proposal is can make the process easier and help you get your project approved by faculty.
Let’s break down what makes up a good research proposal.
Filling Gaps in Existing Knowledge
Crafting a research proposal is an opportunity to explore the depths of your topic and uncover unturned stones.
By identifying areas previously unexamined, you can open up new perspectives which could provide substantial value to your project. This demonstrates your contribution to knowledge.
With such insights in hand, faculty will quickly recognize that there's something special about this study – setting it apart from others on the same subject!
Underscoring Existing Knowledge
A research proposal is a chance for you to show how good you are at analyzing things and understanding past studies.
With evidence-based data, you can demonstrate how these studies relate to each other - which agrees or disagrees with current theories about the topic.
Whether it's presenting meaningful insights or uncovering new ones, this exercise will challenge your ability to think critically!
Adding New Original Knowledge
To create a compelling research proposal, you must demonstrate your understanding of the existing body of knowledge on your topic.
You should also bring something new to the table. You can explore primary sources like interviews or surveys with experts or members involved in this study.
Showcase how this proposed project adds value and moves conversations forward; make sure that it is relevant to today's context!
In conclusion, the purpose of a research proposal is to identify gaps in existing knowledge and provide new, original perspectives on the topic. By doing this, you'll be able to craft an impactful study that faculty will find hard to ignore!
How to Create a Research Proposal Outline?
Sometimes students don’t realize how important a research paper proposal is and end up putting all the information together without following the basic outline or thinking this through.
Before starting with the outline, you need to understand the basic components. A clear outline is important when it comes to presenting the literature review and writing the entire paper.
Here is a basic format you can follow while writing your proposal.
- Literature Review
- Research Methodology
It might seem like a dreadful task and especially for the students who are new to this. It requires good writing as well as research skills.
Here is a sample template to further explain the outline.
Research Proposal Template
RESEARCH PROPOSAL TEMPLATE
Need help with creating an outline for your research paper? Check out this in-depth read on how to create an effective research paper outline !
How to Start a Research Proposal?
Many students think that starting a research proposal is the same as creating an outline. No, it is not, and knowing how to start with your research proposal on the right track is like getting done with half of it.
Below are the important steps to start a research proposal.
- Begin working on it as soon as possible.
- Conduct thorough and in-depth research.
- Instead of forming the title first, find the main theme or problem that you would like to discuss in your research.
- Collect and save the research information with proper and complete citation and reference information.
- Divide the collected details into the sections of the proposal and stick to them.
Writing a research proposal is tricky, but when you start it beforehand then you will have enough time to understand your main topic’s different aspects.
Procrastinating and leaving it for the last few days before submission will only land you in trouble.
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How to Write a Research Proposal
Now you have the basic outline you can follow. Let’s discuss how to write it by following the format mentioned above.
1. Choose the Title Carefully
Your proposal title should be concise and clear to indicate your research question. Your readers should know what to expect in the paper after reading the title. Avoid writing titles in a general perspective or phrases like “An investigation of …” or “A review of …” etc. Make it concise and well-defined.
2. Add a Concise Abstract
‘How to write an abstract for a research proposal?’
The abstract is a short summary that is around 100-250 words. The abstract should include the research question, the hypothesis of your research (if there is any), the research methodology, and the findings.
If the proposal is detailed, it will require a section of the contents after the abstract. It, knowing how to write an abstract will be helpful and can save you from making any blunders.
3. Add a Strong Introduction
You need to start with a strong introduction. The introduction is written to provide a background or context related to your research problem. It is important to frame the research question while writing the proposal.
Start the introduction with a general statement related to the problem area you are focusing on and justify your study.
The introduction usually covers the following elements.
- What is the purpose of your research or study?
- Mention the background information and significance before you introduce your research question.
- Introduce your research question in a way that its significance is highlighted by setting the stage for it.
- Briefly mention the issues that you are going to discuss and highlight in your study.
- Make sure that you identify the independent and dependent variables in the title of your study.
- If there is a hypothesis or a theory related to your research, state it in the introduction.
Have a very clear and concise idea about your research, and make sure that you do not deviate from the main research question. A clear idea will help you craft a perfect thesis. Here is how you can create a crisp and interesting thesis introduction along with a basic guideline.
4. Clarify the Research Objectives
Your research objectives will explain what the writer is trying to achieve. Moreover, these aims and objectives must be achievable. It means that it must be framed according to the:
- Available time
- Other important resources.
However, it is beneficial to read all the developments in the field and find research gaps before deciding your objective. It will help you come up with suitable aims for your projects.
5. Add Relevant Literature Review
A separate section dedicated to the literature review will allow you to conduct extensive background research and support your research question with credible sources and research.
The following are the basic purposes of the literature review.
- To give reference to the researchers whose study has been a part of your research.
- To help you construct a precise and clear research question.
- To critically evaluate previous literature information related to your research.
- To understand research issues relevant to the topic of your research.
- To convince the reader that your research is an important contribution to the relevant niche.
A literature review is an important component. Learning how to write a literature review will help you compose an engaging and impressive literature review easily.
Keep your literature review organized by adding a subheading to maintain a smooth flow in the content. Try not to bore your readers and your instructor or the committee. Write it in an engaging manner.
6. Mention the Significance of the Research
The significance of your research will identify the importance of your work. It should be mainly stated in the introductory paragraph.
You must highlight how your research is beneficial for the respective field of study. Similarly, you can also state its contribution to the field in both the broader and narrow sense.
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7. Explain the Research Methodology
‘How to write a methods section of a research proposal?’
This section explains how you are going to conduct your research. Explain why the specific method is suitable for your research and how it will help you attain your research goals. Your research methodology will give you an organized plan for the research.
Mention sufficient information regarding your research methodology for readers to understand how you are conducting your research. It must contain enough information regarding the study for another researcher to implement it.
i.) Types of Research Methodology
Choose the type of research methodology that is suitable for your research.
a.) Qualitative type is used in a theoretical type of research like that in literature.
Some research involves both; if your research topic also involves analyzing both the statistical data and theory, then make sure that you use them appropriately. For a qualitative approach, the method section of your proposal needs to be more detailed and elaborate compared to the one in the quantitative approach. How you will collect your data and analyze it according to the qualitative approach should be described with great care.
b.) Quantitative research is suitable for projects involving collecting and analyzing statistical data like that in social sciences, medicine, and psychology. When you choose a quantitative approach for your research, the method section should contain answers to the following elements.
- Design – Is it a laboratory experiment or a survey?
- What are the sample size and the subject of your study?
- What is the procedure of your study, and how will you carry out the activities involved in it?
- Describe your questionnaire or the instruments you will be using in the experiment.
Have detailed knowledge of all the research methodologies to justify your approach toward the research problem.
8. Present the Hypothesis or the Expected Research Results
In the research proposal, this section will contain the results of the research, but since this is a research proposal, you do not have the results yet. This is why you will add the expected research results here. These results are those that you aim to obtain from the research.
Sometimes the researcher gets the same kind of results, but sometimes, the results could differ from the expected ones.
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9. Mention the Ethical Considerations
It is an essential part of your outline. Researchers need to consider ethical values while conducting research work. Furthermore, you also have to be very careful in the data collection process and need to respect the rights of the participants.
They should not harm them in any way, and full consent should be obtained from them prior to the study.
Lastly, the writer’s moral duty is to promise complete confidentiality to feel comfortable while sharing information.
10. Discuss the Research Limitations
The research limitations indicate the flaws and shortcomings of your research. These may include:
- Unavailability of resources
- Small sample size
- Wrong methodology
Listing the limitations shows your honesty and complete understanding of the topic.
11. Add Proper References and Citation
Don’t forget the references section. You don’t want to get blamed for plagiarism. Always give references to the authors and the literature you have studied for your research.
There are two ways to cite your sources.
- Reference – List the literature that you have used in your proposal.
- Bibliography – List everything that you have studied, cited, or not while doing your study or while writing.
Follow a specific format for the citation section as instructed by your supervisor. It can be written in APA, MLA, Chicago, or Harvard style. Both references and a bibliography are included in it.
12. Edit and Proofread
Many students prefer not to proofread the proposal after completion, which is a grave mistake. If you proofread the paper on your own, you may fail to identify the mistakes. Use online tools or have a helping hand from your friend to give it a good read.
In the end, edit the document as per the needs.
Why Do Research Proposals Get Rejected?
An analysis of 500 rejected proposals allowed us to identify the common blunders made in them. These blunders caused the rejection of otherwise promising research. Therefore, to maximize the chances of acceptance, you must avoid these mistakes.
Here are some of those mistakes.
- The proposal stated a flawed hypothesis.
- The professor doubts the research will not bring new or useful results.
- The plan mentioned in the proposal lacks details and is unrealistic.
- It lacks coherence.
- The results obtained, or the hypothesis from the chosen method will be inaccurate.
- The review of the literature is not done correctly.
- Sufficient time was not devoted to writing the proposal.
- The proposal is copied or has been used by many other students in the past.
These are the common mistakes that result in rejection.
If you desire to make it shine, stick to your instructor’s guidelines and stay away from committing these mistakes.
Research Proposal Examples
Looking for some helpful and detailed research proposal examples to get you started? Examples are great for a quick understanding of how something works or is written, in our case.
Here are some complete research paper proposal samples to help you write your own.
RESEARCH PROPOSAL SAMPLE
RESEARCH PROPOSAL EXAMPLE - APA
HOW TO WRITE A RESEARCH GRANT PROPOSAL
NSF RESEARCH PROPOSAL SAMPLE
MARKET RESEARCH PROPOSAL SAMPLE
PH.D. RESEARCH PROPOSAL SAMPLE
Research Proposal Topics
You can take ideas for your topic from books, journals, previously done research, and dissertations.
Here are a few topics you can choose from.
- How has technology evolved the English language over the last ten years?
- What are the effects of individualism on British literature?
- How has Feminism helped women get their rights over the last decade?
- What caused the fall of the Roman empire, and what are its effects?
- What factors caused World War II?
- What are the effects of World War II on diplomacy?
- Can cultural differences affect social interactions?
- How have violent video games affected brain development among children?
- How does alcohol affect aggression among a few people?
- How effective is the death penalty?
If you want to know more about finding a topic for your research paper and research paper topic examples, here is a list of interesting research paper topics .
Research proposals can be critical because they require great attention. If you are inexperienced, you are likely to suffer. In a worst-case scenario, your proposal may get rejected.
Your dedicated professional and experienced essay writer at 5StarEssays.com is always here to help you. Being a professional essay writing service , we know how to craft a compelling research proposal and help you get it accepted.
If you have any queries, talk to our representative or place your research proposal order now.
Frequently Asked Questions
What makes a strong research proposal.
Your proposal must explain 'why' your research is important in addition to explaining the methods that you will use. You should also position yourself within your field of study and give an overview of why this specific topic could be significant.
How many pages a research proposal should be?
Research proposals typically range between three and five pages in length. Research proposal formats vary across disciplines.
You should follow the format that is standard within your field, with special attention to what your faculty mentor prefers.
What tense should a research proposal be written in?
In a research proposal, use future tense for actions to be undertaken in the study. For example: "A survey method will be employed", and "a close-ended questionnaire will be used."
How long is a research proposal?
When writing a research proposal, it is best, to begin with, what you want to know more about. There is no set length for these proposals so they can be anywhere from 2,500 words up or down depending on the topic and scope of your study.
Does a research proposal have chapters?
Like a research paper, the introduction and conclusion of your proposal should be brief. In every chapter you include in your proposal, begin with an informative intro paragraph that captures what will follow in each section.
Similarly, for chapters near their end, conclusions summarize points discussed throughout the sections but also highlight what is most important about them overall.
What are the 7 parts of the research proposal?
The 7 parts of a research proposal include
- Problem statement
- Literature review
Each of these sections is key in order to craft an effective research proposal that will be approved by faculty members!
PhD Essay, Literature
Nathan completed his Ph.D. in journalism and has been writing articles for well-respected publications for many years now. His work is carefully researched and insightful, showing a true passion for the written word. Nathan's clients appreciate his expertise, deep understanding of the process, and ability to communicate difficult concepts clearly.
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- How to Cite a Research Paper with the Help of Examples
- How to Write a Research Methodology in 10 Simple Steps
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Research Paper Outline
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Are you feeling lost in the sea of research papers? Let us introduce you to your new best friend: the template for a research paper outline. With its simple and elegant style design, it will guide you towards the perfect research paper. No more aimlessly wandering through your thoughts, it has everything you need to organize and plan your research. Its minimalist vibe might give off a calm and cool exterior, but don't be fooled, it's packed with all the necessary components to make sure your research paper is top-notch.
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How to Write a Research Paper Outline: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide
Crafting a research paper outline is a common, yet arduous part of a student’s life. It takes a great deal of effort and time to create a thorough, well-thought out research paper. Fortunately, Edusson.com is here to help.
A research paper has to reflect your position on the topic and persuade the readers in its accuracy and truthfulness. A research paper outline is a helpful point-by-point plan, which makes your research paper writing services easier.
However, before proceeding to an outline you will have to take some pre-writing steps. They will be helpful in composing the best quality outline and, as a result, a great academic work.
Submit instructions, choose a writer, and pay only if satisfied.
Before Writing a Research Paper Outline
- Select an appropriate topic . Selecting a topic is a crucial factor for a successful research paper. Whether you select a topic yourself or not, it should work to your strengths and not weaknesses. An appropriate topic should be interesting to you and appeal to or provoke readers. As to choosing the best essay topics for your research paper, we have professional writers, who offer personalized help or even essay writing service if you need it.
- State your argument . After selecting a topic, take some time to figure out what kind of argument you want to support. You need to understand why it is important to you and why it might be important to others. Ask yourself – what is the aim of my thesis statement? Can it provoke a meaningful discussion that might change the world? 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.
- Define the audience. 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: will the use of jargon be appropriate or is it better to stick with formal language? The overall style and tone of your research paper depend on the audience it is aimed at.
- Conduct a research. 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.
- Organize references. 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. An outline is a basement of your research paper from which you build up the whole paper. Each outline consists of three main parts the Introduction, the Body, and the Conclusion. For a successful and high-quality research paper, however, the more detailed outline you use, the better. There are many services that can do the research paper for you , but give a chance and try to make a good outline for your paper by yourself.
The simplest diagram of an outline looks like this:
- Research question.
- Thesis statement.
- An argument to support the thesis.
- Summary of arguments.
- Call to action.
A Research Paper Outline: a Step-by-Step Guide
The introduction is an important part of every academic work. It determines whether a reader is going to continue with your paper or just give it a rest. An introduction should be intriguing, engaging, and informative, although without giving away too much. There are three main points that make an impressive Introduction:
- Hook. 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.
- Research question. In most cases, you’ll get the research question i.e. what exactly to research and create your paper about, but in other instances, you’ll have to do it on your own. Generally, the research question should be concise, on the point, and inform the reader what to expect throughout your work.
- Thesis statement. 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 the materials you have gone through.
Tips for Introduction
Here are some useful things to consider when writing a research paper introduction:
- Although introductions of research papers can be somewhat longer than in regular essays, you should still try to keep it short. Don’t drag the introduction and take up half of a page or something. Rambling, lengthy introductions will quickly lose your reader’s interest. Plus, they are a sign of an unorganized thought.
- The introduction isn’t a summarized version of the entire paper, it briefly introduces your work.
- Never choose a thesis statement you can’t support with evidence.
- Based on your research, include points or subtopics that you will delve into in the body of the paper.
- Subtopics should be associated with the main subject and work to strengthen the importance and value of your thesis statement.
- When writing the first draft, you can save the introduction for last (if you find it easier that way). By the time you finish the body and conclusion, you’ll get inspired and know what to include in the introductory part of your paper.
- Take a notebook and write down different ideas to make an interesting, yet professional introduction. Separate good ideas from the bad ones, and think of your research question and thesis statement. Now, connect those ideas with sentences
- Be precise, your introductions should be precise and specific and discuss only the idea you’ve researched and plan to elaborate on further, don’t stray away from the topic and write about stuff that you won’t even mention in the body.
The Body is the main part of the research paper outline you are writing. It has no volume limitation, as it is the biggest and main section of the paper. The quantity of paragraphs for this part depends on the overall requested volume of the research paper: the more arguments you have to support the bigger the Body section there should be.
All the evidence you have found during the research should go here. You state each idea and provide efficient evidence. Do not state something you have no way of proving! Each statement you give has to be backed up with proof. Do not forget about valid references and proper citations according to the required paper format.
You can mention counterarguments to your ideas and provide evidence why they are not correct. Opposing facts prove your deep knowledge of the topic and that you have really conducted thorough research. This will show your commitment to challenging tasks and create quite an impressive academic reputation.
Do not forget about the style and tone of your research paper, which you have stated in the introduction. The paper should be consistent from the beginning to the very end. The manner, pattern, and techniques should be the same throughout the paper. However, remember to be creative and use various language techniques to make your paper interesting to read. Take into consideration that there is a high chance that your professor knows everything about the subject. Nonetheless, your paper needs to be addressed to the reader unfamiliar with the topic and the thesis statement of your choice. This again will show your deep knowledge on the matter. Be sure to explain everything clearly without sounding too dull in the process.
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The conclusive part of the research paper has to summarize the arguments so the readers digest the main idea and remember it for a long time. The conclusion should not be long but should contain all the important parts to make the whole paper sink into readers’ memory.
- Summary of arguments. In this short section, you again state your strongest arguments. There is no need to provide a deep explanation of your ideas or evidence to each of them. Nonetheless, you will have to give a general overview of the arguments you used in the research paper.
- Call to action. This is the very end of your research paper and it should provoke your readers. Whether it is a call to a discussion or to an action, you need to choose what your final message to readers should be.
Example: Here’s how the general outline would look if we’re writing about Shakespeare.
- Body – Shakespeare’s early life, marriage, works, later years
- Early life, family, marriage to Anne Hathaway, references to his marriage in poems he wrote
- Shakespeare’s works: tragedies, comedies, histories, sonnets, other poems
- Later years: last two plays, retired to Stratford, death, burial, the epitaph on this tombstone
It is essential to bear in mind that every new idea, in this case, an aspect of Shakespeare’s life and work, requires a separate paragraph.
To simplify, use the following diagram when you have to work on a research paper.
The purpose of a research paper outline is to help you think through your topic carefully and organize it logically before the writing process commences. Since I’ve already shown how to write the introduction, it’s time to give a few pointers for the body and conclusion of your work. So, here we go:
- Assume that your reader isn’t familiar with the topic and start with basic info first. Imagine you’re reading a paper for a five-year-old. Give background, historical context, etc. You don’t have to go into the tiniest details, mentioning something useful, and memorable will do the trick too
- It’s useful to research and include opinions of other, respected historical figures about your topic. For example, what other authors had to say about Shakespeare
- Don’t forget about conflicting views e.g. some people didn’t like Shakespeare and thought he was a fraud, it’s useful to mention that as well. Regardless of the topic, there are always pro- and anti- opinions, mentioning both sides
- Only include information you can support with reliable and trustworthy evidence. Don’t use Wikipedia, blogs, and such, go for journals, books, and respected websites, it all depends on the topic of course
- Give credit where credit is due, don’t forget to cite your sources
- The overall tone of your paper should be formal, don’t be scared to demonstrate your vast vocabulary skills
- Avoid wordiness, sentences should be concise. Every word you use should only contribute to the overall meaning of a sentence. Don’t use “fluff” just meet the word count
- When writing conclusions, briefly mention the most important arguments or research, and explain the importance of the subject and what we can learn from it.
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Remember that the main purpose of the research paper is to show your abilities to work by yourself and demonstrate the range of your knowledge on various topics. Creating a good outline is essential in further composing of your research paper. Make sure to take notes when conducting research, do not be afraid to ask for assistance, and read additional resources. Alternatively, you could choose to pay to write a research paper and save yourself the time and energy. In such a case, you should make sure to find a reliable and experienced writer who can deliver a high-quality paper.
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Research Paper Guide
Research Paper Outline
Research Paper Outline - A Complete Guide with Examples
Published on: Dec 1, 2017
Last updated on: Mar 16, 2023
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A research paper is a compulsory academic writing task. It is an important activity to check the writing and research abilities of students. However, it takes time to write a good research paper , so you need to create a plan before you start writing.
It is a bit tricky and hard to write an outline. You need to write it carefully, or the ideas will get mixed up. But after you do, it will be worth the work.
Research Paper Outline Example
A research paper outline could be created in several different ways. Here is a sample research paper outline for a quick review;
Research Paper Outline Template
You can format your research paper outline in three different ways. Here is how to use each type of outline template for formatting;
How to Write a Research Paper Outline?
The following is a detailed explanation of the steps to write a college research paper outline.
Cover or Title page
A paper should have the title in it. It should discuss what the paper is about and how it will help in proving the arguments. This section includes the following elements.
- Student’s full name
- Name of the instructor
- Course title and code
- Submission date
The abstract is a short summary of your paper. It should be five to six sentences long and includes the main information. It comes after the title page and mainly focuses on:
- The main arguments
- The research methods
- The subject matter
Ensure the abstract should not exceed the ? of the page, i.e., about 150 to 200 words.
Table of Contents
The table of contents will summarize the chapters and sections in an organized manner. It also includes the title and descriptions of the headings and subheadings.
This section provides readers with a complete overview of the document’s contents. It is good to have a table of contents. It helps you know what is in your research paper, and it allows the audience to go directly to a specific section.
Research Paper Introduction
The introduction is the most important part of any research paper. It should present the topic and answer the research question. Similarly, it must also explain the importance of the subject matter for the audience.
The central aim is to grab the reader’s attention with the help of strong arguments. Thus, this section must be engaging and interesting enough.
Below are the four main elements to write a compelling introduction:
- A Hook - An engaging start to persuade the readers to read more. It is about 1 to 2 sentences in length.
- Background Information - It presents the historical background of the topic along with the general information for better understanding.
- Thesis Statement - It explains the major points of your paper that discuss why the topic is of great importance. Thus, it must be clear, specific, and to the point.
- Define the Audience - Understand and define your target audience. Explain the reasons why they are interested in reading your content.
Research Paper Body
The body is the main section of your research paper. It consists of several paragraphs that include the relevant information, examples, and evidence to support your argument.
You can also provide counterarguments and opposing facts. Such factors help the reader to get an idea about your understanding of the topic.
Make sure the paper should remain consistent from the beginning to the end. The style, tone, and citation should be according to the required format.
This section will explain how the literature you used to support your theory has influenced and helped guide your research. It also identifies the research gaps in the existing data.
Here, you will present the techniques and types of equipment that you have employed to carry out the research work. Keep in mind that the methods can vary according to the subject matter.
Thus, you need to give a detailed explanation of how you have conducted the research.
A good research paper has facts and figures to justify the argument. In this section, you will focus on the findings of your paper. Make sure to add as many facts, statistics, and numbers as possible.
Use tables and graphs to be more precise and structured. Remember to tell the audience how the outcome has contributed to the field of study as a whole.
Most students get confused between the results and discussion. There is a simple line that separates both.
Results focus on facts and figures. However, in the discussion section, a writer makes sure whether the expected results are achieved or not.
Research Paper Conclusion
The conclusion is the final part of your research work that summarizes the main arguments.
It also restates the thesis, goals, and methods used to achieve the results.
There is no need to provide a detailed explanation. Instead, just give a general overview. Also, formulate the prospect for future research and a call to action to provoke the readers.
Keep in mind; the conclusion should not be longer than the abstract.
Bibliography and Appendix
Mention all the sources that you have used in your text in the bibliography section. Similarly, add facts, tables, images, and charts in Appendix, but in some formats, the appendix is not required.
Research Paper Outline Samples
Below you can find an example of an outline for a research paper to understand and create an outline for your own paper clearly.
Basic Outline for a Research Paper
Research Paper Outline for College Students
Research Paper Outline in MLA Format
Research Paper Outline in APA Format
Why is a Research Paper Outline Important?
A research paper outline is basically a blueprint for a complete subject. It serves as a mindmap and a plan of action that most students follow throughout the writing process.
The following are the benefits of creating a well-structured outline.
- It organizes all the thoughts and ideas in one place.
- It provides a detailed structure for your future research work.
- It demonstrates your understanding and vision of a particular topic.
- The outline helps to avoid any possible mistakes by shaping a topic.
- It helps not to skip any important points.
- It gives an idea for the future headings of the paper.
- It provides an understanding of the flow of information and how ideas are related.
- It gives the audience a clear idea of what is included in the paper.
The above guide will help you to start writing an outline for your research paper. However, some students lack good writing skills and prefer to seek professional help.
This is where a lot of people get into trouble. In a hurry to meet the deadline, they end up ordering from an unreliable paper writing service.
So if you are in search of a legitimate service, MyPerfectWords.com is right here to help you. You can fully trust our reliable essay writing service . We are here to write your perfect outline of a research paper or even a complete research paper from scratch.
Moreover, our team has advanced qualifications and years of experience. They work with the aim to provide you with 100% original and zero plagiarism work.
Reach out to us and get the services of a paper writer online now.
Nova A. (Literature, Marketing)
Nova Allison is a Digital Content Strategist with over eight years of experience. Nova has also worked as a technical and scientific writer. She is majorly involved in developing and reviewing online content plans that engage and resonate with audiences. Nova has a passion for writing that engages and informs her readers.
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Research Paper Outline – How to create a good one
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- 1 Research Paper Outline: Definition
- 3 Structure
- 5 APA Outline
- 6 MLA Outline
- 7 In a Nutshell
Research Paper Outline: Definition
A research paper outline is a simple structure of what you will include in each part of your research paper . The research paper structure should help to reduce the stress of writing the entire paper since you will only be tackling one section at a time. A good research paper structure should also help you avoid leaving out points or making mistakes in the paper.
Research paper outlines can make your work a lot easier since they show you what to include in every part of the research paper. After reading this guide, you will be able to create a research paper outline. We have included a sample of a research paper structure.
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What are the parts of the research paper outline?
A research paper outline should include all of the essential parts of a research paper . The essential parts are generally the introduction, the main section, and the conclusion. The introduction should contain a hook, a thesis statement, and it should define the research topic. The body should contain your arguments in support of the thesis. In the conclusion, you should summarize your arguments and add a call to action.
What is the format of the research paper outline?
For the research paper outline, there are many strategies that you can use. Which one you choose, depends on your research paper topic , and your lecturers’ instructions. The research paper outline is most commonly formatted with letters and (or) numbers. Usually, the format of a research paper outline starts with Roman numerals for the main topics (I., II., III., …). For subtopics, uppercase letters are often used (A., B., C., …). For detailed parts of your subtopics, use Arabic numbers (1., 2., 3., …). And if there are any subparts, you can use lowercase letters for them (a., b., c., …).
What should be included in a research paper outline?
Your research paper outline should simply show what you will include in each section of your research paper. For example, the introduction , body paragraphs and conclusion. You should show the main ideas that will be covered in each of the specific sections. The research paper outline should follow the layout of the actual study, and each part should contain points that are relevant to the corresponding section.
What's the difference between MLA and APA research paper outlines?
MLA stands for the Modern Language Association and APA stands for the American Psychological Association. They are both methods for formatting research papers. The main differences are in the referencing styles and the cover pages . Which method you are required to use, will depend on your area of research. Areas in humanities usually require you to use MLA, whereas scientific research usually requires APA formatting.
What are the steps before writing the research paper outline?
Before writing your research paper outline, you need to have completed the research phase. This means that you should have decided on your research topic and your research question . You need to have already written at least a draft thesis statement. You can’t create a research paper outline, if you don’t know which areas within your research topic are going to be covered.
A research paper outline should have the following parts:
Your research paper outline should be well divided. First, you will determine what you will include in the abstract . This part basically works as a brief summary of your entire paper, and in the research paper outline, you should include the key points to include in this section.
The next part of your research paper outline will be the introduction . This part hooks the reader to the paper and should contain some key details. As you create your research paper outline, make sure you include the thesis statement , the core terms in the paper, and major points tackled in the paper.
The body part of your research paper outline should have the most information. This part of the research paper outline should contain different sections. Immediately after the introduction, you should show what you will include in your methodology. You should make notes on the methods used to carry out the research. You should then note the literature you used as a backup to your hypothesis and theories. In the research paper outline, you should mention the main theme of your study, along with how you intend to expand on the chosen literature.
Supporting points for each argument
After this part, your research paper outline should show the data and analysis section of the study. Note your results and other variables that you got in the study and indicate your preferred method of presenting the data. This could be with tables, graphs, etc.
A summary of the research findings and conclusions should also be included in this part of the research paper structure. Determine whether the findings make a difference to existing studies. Also, note the drawbacks of the research and its advantages.
To make your work easier, you can use this format and add the details of your own research paper structure. Note that this format may need to be changed depending on the type of research and the writing style requested. The following is an example of a research paper outline:
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When writing the research paper with the APA format, you should consider the particularities of this style. First, remember that the papers include separate cover pages, and the cover page includes the title, author’s name, school name, and running head. The header on every next page has a number and title. With this format, the abstract has to be followed by keywords. The list of cited sources is titled as ‘References’. You should note these items in the research paper outline to make sure you don’t get anything wrong.
As you complete your research paper outline for an MLA paper, you should remember that the citation styles differ based on the type of source. For example, a book will be cited differently from a video or magazine article. With MLA format, you will also not need to worry about title pages, unless your instructors indicate that they need a title page. In the research paper outline, the titles and emphasis points should all be written in italics. Before writing your cited works, you should consider making a list of the endnotes. The subheadings should be marked with Arabic numbers.
In a Nutshell
- Research paper outlines can make your work easier and will ensure that you don’t miss anything out of your paper.
- Research paper outlines differ based on the formating style used. APA research paper outlines will be slightly different from the MLA research paper outlines.
- A research paper outline should have an introduction, body, and conclusion.
- You should make brief notes on your main points and arguments in the research paper structure and refer to them when writing the paper itself.
Discover more useful articles:
This article shows how to create a table of contents - with examples:
How do you write the perfect abstract? Find out here:
In this article we give you information about thesis format:
What you should know about an APA format title page:
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- Manuscript Preparation
How to Write a Research Paper Outline
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Table of Contents
Getting started with your research paper can sometimes feel a little overwhelming. But, if you start with an outline, the rest of the paper almost completes itself. Even so, an outline can be difficult to wrap your head around as well. In this article, we’ll go over the fundamentals of a research paper outline, explaining exactly what it is, and how you can write it, step-by-step.
When it comes down to it, your research outline is like the frame of a house for your research paper. It is the framework on which everything else is built upon. The foundation of this framework is the thesis and main ideas of your research project. And, just like a house, there are multiple layers to complete the project. The same is true with your research paper. We start with general ideas and building a framework, and then we add information and detail as the outline comes into shape.
The key to understanding how to write an effective research paper is by comprehending what these different layers are, and in what order you should address them. For example, you wouldn’t put your kitchen counters in a house, without first completing the interior walls and base cabinetry of the home. So, you build carefully and deliberately, step-by-step, in a way that makes it easy for your ideas to take shape.
Let’s take a look at those layers and stages.
Step-by-Step Research Paper Outline
Most research papers have several layers to their construction. In this section, we’ll cover the most basic construction principles. For additional information, talk with colleagues in your field to review their outlines and how they may have built a research paper that you find useful.
You’ll likely notice that each layer grows from general to more specific topics. Additionally, each layer is usually shown via Roman numerals, along with Arabic numbers, upper and lowercase letters. Some institutions actually look for a specific outline format, and formatting can also depend on your specific field and topic. Of course, if you’re just using an outline for your own purposes, you can use whatever format that works best for you.
First Level of Organization
This is the most basic core of your research paper; your introduction, each of your main ideas and your conclusion. The main ideas are where, of course, the majority of your information is going to be presented. If you think of your research paper like a book, your main ideas would be like chapters. Your main ideas may also read like specific dates for a historical literature review, or even specific methods and results for a scientific-based research paper.
I. Introduction/summary of the research
II. First main idea or date
III. Second main idea or date
IV. Third main idea or date
At this level, we dig into the topics that support each of the ideas in the first level. For each main idea, you’ll want at least two to three details. If you can’t put that much detail into any of your main ideas, you might want to consider merging it with another main idea. Once you have the second level of your outline done, typically you’ll want to stop working on your outline, especially if this is just your first draft.
Continue with your research so that you can add details to the next layers and levels of your outline. Keep in mind, that depending on where your research leads you, your main ideas may even change, which is yet another reason why you won’t want to dig too deeply into your outline until your actual research is completed.
A. Background info
B. Hypothesis (or thesis)
A. First supporting idea or topic
B. Second supporting idea or topic
C. Third supporting idea or topic
V. Conclusion (don’t worry about this, at this stage of your outline)
Third and Fourth Level
With the third and fourth levels, you’ll add supporting data and information that’s related to your previously outlined topics. This is where your research “fills in the blanks.” For example, you might add to your introduction, or revise your main ideas, based on the research you’ve conducted. The fourth level is only used when further details are needed to describe the research or topic. For example, historical quotes, references, and the most specific data and information.
1. Reference One
2. Reference Two
1. Quote One
2. Quote Two
III. Conclusion (based on the culmination of your research project)
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Research Paper Writing
Research Paper Outline
Last updated on: Mar 16, 2023
How to Create a Research Paper Outline
By: Donna C.
Reviewed By: Chris H.
Published on: Sep 22, 2020
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.
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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.
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How to Create a Research Paper Outline?
Here are the steps that you need to consider for creating a college research paper outline.
- Decide on the subject and scope of the paper
- Write down all the ideas you want to include or discuss
- Organize related ideas into sub-groups
- Arrange your ideas into a hierarchy - from the most important information to the least important or vice versa
- Create appropriate headings and subheadings
- 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.
Research Paper Outline Format
The following are the most important elements that you should consider for creating an outline for your research paper.
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Lastly, mention all the sources that you have used in your text. Do not forget any references in the bibliography section.
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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.
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 MyPerfectPaper.net will work with you to get started right away. Contact our essay writing service now and get the best " help me do my paper now " service that you will be proud of.
Donna has garnered the best reviews and ratings for her work. She enjoys writing about a variety of topics but is particularly interested in social issues, current events, and human interest stories. She is a sought-after voice in the industry, known for her engaging, professional writing style.
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New research, and startling footage, shows why it’s time for academics to let UFOs buzz the Ivory Tower
A research paper published this week found nearly 20 per cent of american academics have either seen a ufo or know someone who has..
On Amazon, you can buy a fake degree in Ufology.
The novelty certificate sells for $13.99, or what a head of lettuce will cost in a month. The idea of earning a “Doctorate of Ufology” from “Ufologist State University” is a gag steeped in decades of stigma, during which any expressed interest in UFOs was sure to land you in a cray-cray banquet hall with Bigfoot and Loch Ness enthusiasts.
But faster than you can say “Fox Mulder,” the stigma has crashed and burned.
In recent years, the U.S. government has shifted away from its Top Secret factory default and is at least open to the possibility that strange craft of unknown origin are buzzing its airspace while violating all known laws of physics. We’ve had front page stories in the New York Times and code-named videos — “FLIR,” “GIMBAL,” “GOFAST” — witnessed by navy pilots and recorded by tracking systems on advanced fighter jets.
Now the question becomes: When will universities get serious about UFOs?
A research paper, published this week in the journal Humanities and Social Science Communications, found that nearly 20 per cent of American academics have either seen a UFO or know someone who has. Faculty from 14 disciplines across 144 universities were surveyed for the paper. As the authors wrote, “Results demonstrated that faculty think the academic evaluation of UAP (Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena) information and more academic research on this topic is important. Curiosity outweighed skepticism or indifference.”
It’s about time. And if academics are looking for research ideas, they might start by watching Tuesday’s episode of the “Weaponized” podcast. It is co-hosted by Jeremy Corbell and George Knapp, two investigative journalists who are to ufology as Einstein was to the theory of relativity. I have privately joked with Corbell, the director of “Bob Lazar: Area 51 & Flying Saucers,” that he gets name-checked in this column more than any Kardashian. What can I tell you? Jeremy just keeps digging up the skies.
His latest scoop? Corbell was tipped off about a curious sighting in 2021. It took place at the Twentynine Palms military base in California. Dozens of marines “watched in awe as a massive, triangular-shaped object sat motionless in the sky for a period of more than 10 minutes. Several marines recorded images of the triangle on their cellphones, including phones equipped with low light features.”
Those images, and eyewitness audio, were shared on “Weaponized.”
The object was described as the size of a two-storey house, if that home was the length of half a football field. It hovered in eerie silence with no visible means of propulsion. Then when flares were fired at it so the humans could get a better look, it vanished.
Poof . Gone as fast as an edible in the mouth of Mike Tyson.
Before skeptics dismiss this with bird, weather balloon or traffic light explanations, they might ask why military choppers and a truck convoy were dispatched to find the mystery craft. And they might wonder why, in recent days, commercial flights were briefly suspended in both Taiwan and Turkey after unexplained sightings.
It was once easy to tolerate the stigma as it relates to UFOs and the education system. In high school, when I sheepishly asked an English teacher if I could devote my yearlong independent study project to UFOs, I knew she would instantly believe I was a kook. But she had an open mind. And that school year, when I should have been up to my eyes in Hemingway or Tolstoy, I instead did a deep dive into Roswell, Kenneth Arnold, Green Fireballs, Barney and Betty Hill, Project Blue Book, Travis Walton, the Berkshire Sightings, the 1976 Tehran Encounter, weird incursions over nuclear bases in Russia …
Now, obviously, we should not ditch chemistry or history to focus on UFOs. We have serious issues on this planet worthy of ongoing research. But is there no room in the Ivory Tower for a mother ship? If universities can offer courses in bowling management or the gender politics of “Peanuts,” why can’t our deepest thinkers figure out, A) What on earth is that overhead? And, B) Is it from Earth?
I keep hearing the experts say the UFO phenomenon is about national security. It’s actually about planetary security. There are sightings every month, in every part of the world, of objects we can’t identity that exhibit aerial manoeuvres that make our most sophisticated aircraft seem like helium balloons. More than 50 U.S. marines witnessed a triangular object with five lights float above Camp Wilson for 10 minutes?
Vinay menon: evidence suggests ufo whistleblower bob lazar was telling the truth all along, vinay menon: now that ‘60 minutes’ has climbed aboard the ufo mother ship, it’s time for skeptics to eject, vinay menon: here’s why things are looking up for ufologists.
This sounds like something the academics should be investigating.
And now that we have foolishly released the artificial intelligence genie from the bottle, why not harness the power of supercomputing for research? When I watched “Weaponized” on Tuesday, I was struck by similarities to the Hudson Valley sightings of the ’80s and the so-called Phoenix Lights incident in 1997.
And I am a total moron. Imagine what correlations AI might generate if it is fed the data sets of every UFO sighting in recorded history. Why is there a spike of sightings coming out of oceans? Why do navy videos show crafts travelling belly first, exactly as Bob Lazar described in 1989 ? Can gravity and space be manipulated?
These are questions governments are finally taking seriously.
Now it is time for universities to ditch the fake degrees and get real.
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A research paper outline is a useful tool to aid in the writing process, providing a structure to follow with all information to be included in the paper clearly organized. A quality outline can make writing your research paper more efficient by helping to: Organize your thoughts;
For research papers, an outline may help you keep track of large amounts of information. For creative writing, an outline may help organize the various plot threads and help keep track of character traits. Many people find that organizing an oral report or presentation in outline form helps them speak more effectively in front of a crowd. Below ...
Title your research paper. This is an iterative process and may change when you delve deeper into the topic. Begin writing your research paper draft. Continue researching to further build your outline and provide more information to support your hypothesis or thesis. After the draft is complete, format it accordingly.
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Research paper outline example 4. The following example is for a five-paragraph compare and contrast essay on driving vs using public transportation. It uses the full-sentence structure. Research could investigate the specific costs of each type of transportation, their environmental impact and the value of convenience. I. Introduction. A.
A research paper outline is a skeleton or blueprint of a research paper, enlisting the potential contents of different parts of the research paper that you are to write. The outline serves to organize the written ideas about a given research topic in a logical order in a manner that helps you to visualize the final research paper.
What Is a Research Paper Outline? A research paper outline is a basic format for writing an academic research paper. It follows the IMRAD format (Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion). However, this format varies depending on the type of research manuscript. A research paper outline consists of following sections to simplify the paper ...
Table of contents. Step 1: Introduce your topic. Step 2: Describe the background. Step 3: Establish your research problem. Step 4: Specify your objective (s) Step 5: Map out your paper. Research paper introduction examples. Frequently asked questions about the research paper introduction.
If you are looking for how to write a research paper outline APA in Full Sentence Format, here is an example: A. For subheadings, you use capital alphabets A, B, C. B. Subheadings must compliment, lead, or link to the paper's main idea. 1. Arabic numerals are used for headings under subheadings like 1, 2, and 3. 2.
This document was produced to aid students writing a research paper for my graduate and undergraduate classes. Hence, some of the details may not apply to your situation, but the procedure should still be helpful for producing an organized paper outline. Outlining is an important step in organizing a paper. When done well, it clearly shows the ...
A research paper outline makes writing your paper more efficient. It organizes your thoughts and helps shape the flow of information. 796. A step-by-step guide to the writing process The writing process involves researching the topic, planning the structure, drafting the text, revising, editing and proofreading. ...
Formatting an APA paper. The main guidelines for formatting a paper in APA Style are as follows: Use a standard font like 12 pt Times New Roman or 11 pt Arial. Set 1 inch page margins. Apply double line spacing. If submitting for publication, insert a APA running head on every page. Indent every new paragraph ½ inch.
Your proposal title should be concise and clear to indicate your research question. Your readers should know what to expect in the paper after reading the title. Avoid writing titles in a general perspective or phrases like "An investigation of …" or "A review of …" etc. Make it concise and well-defined. 2.
Let us introduce you to your new best friend: the template for a research paper outline. With its simple and elegant style design, it will guide you towards the perfect research paper. No more aimlessly wandering through your thoughts, it has everything you need to organize and plan your research. Its minimalist vibe might give off a calm and ...
Crafting a research paper outline is a common, yet arduous part of a student's life. It takes a great deal of effort and time to create a thorough, well-thought out research paper. Fortunately, Edusson.com is here to help. A research paper has to reflect your position on the topic and persuade the readers in its accuracy and truthfulness.
The following outline is for a 5-7 page paper discussing the link between educational attainment and health. Review the other sections of this page for more detailed information about each component of this outline! ... Sample Background: A background section on a paper on education and health might include an overview of recent research in ...
Here is a sample research paper outline for a quick review; Research Paper Example: Typhoid and the Usefulness of Vaccination. Introduction. Definition of Typhoid. Rise in the cases, especially in previously 'clean' places. Data and Figures: Surge in the number of cases and number of patients. Dangers of Typhoid.
A research paper outline should include all of the essential parts of a research paper. The essential parts are generally the introduction, the main section, and the conclusion. The introduction should contain a hook, a thesis statement, and it should define the research topic. The body should contain your arguments in support of the thesis.
The same is true with your research paper. We start with general ideas and building a framework, and then we add information and detail as the outline comes into shape. The key to understanding how to write an effective research paper is by comprehending what these different layers are, and in what order you should address them.
Here are the steps that you need to consider for creating a college research paper outline. Decide on the subject and scope of the paper. Write down all the ideas you want to include or discuss. Organize related ideas into sub-groups. Arrange your ideas into a hierarchy - from the most important information to the least important or vice versa.
Briefly outline the main points in the paper II. Body Clearly present the main points of the paper as listed in the thesis Give strong examples, details, and explanations to support each main points If an argumentative paper, address any counterarguments and refute those arguments If a research paper, use strong evidence from sources ...
A research paper published this week found nearly 20 per cent of American academics have either seen a UFO or know someone who has. On Amazon, you can buy a fake degree in Ufology. The novelty ...