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Student Guide: Writing a Research Paper Outline

How to Start Research Outline

❶Sentence outlines are usually used if your research focuses on complex issues.

What is a Research Paper?

How to Write a Research Paper?
Language & Lit

Make sure to include the literature overview. Here mention the literature you used as a backup to your hypothesis and theories. This part will show how you can operate the terms, theory and existing evidence. Your main theme and the chosen literature should be adjacent. Demonstrate how your input develops and distends the existing works. Data and analysis usually go after methods and literature.

Here present your results and other variables that you have got in the process of the survey. Use tables or graphs if necessary to be more precise and structured.

Keep in mind to tell the audience whether your outcomes bring a difference to the whole topic. Outline the drawbacks of the research and its advantages. The final part is the Conclusion that usually does not present the audience with the new information but gives the cursory glance at the whole work by summarizing main points in it.

Do not forget to mention the thesis statement again. Formulate the prospect for future research as well. Topics of the research paper are different. Sometimes they give you to write on social issues like a research outline on homelessness. Everything depends on the college discipline. All in all, your research outline should look like a bullet list of headings and subheadings; it should be very brief but informative consisting all the necessary elements.

The unusual symbol will make it easy for you to find the exact location again. Delete the symbol once editing is completed. Read your paper for any content errors. Double check the facts and figures. Arrange and rearrange ideas to follow your outline.

Reorganize your outline if necessary, but always keep the purpose of your paper and your readers in mind. Use a free grammar and proof reading checker such as Grammarly. Is my thesis statement concise and clear?

Did I follow my outline? Did I miss anything? Are my arguments presented in a logical sequence? Are all sources properly cited to ensure that I am not plagiarizing? Have I proved my thesis with strong supporting arguments? Have I made my intentions and points clear in the essay? Re-read your paper for grammatical errors. Use a dictionary or a thesaurus as needed. Do a spell check. Correct all errors that you can spot and improve the overall quality of the paper to the best of your ability.

Get someone else to read it over. Sometimes a second pair of eyes can see mistakes that you missed. Did I begin each paragraph with a proper topic sentence? Have I supported my arguments with documented proof or examples? Any run-on or unfinished sentences? Any unnecessary or repetitious words? Varying lengths of sentences? Does one paragraph or idea flow smoothly into the next?

Any spelling or grammatical errors? Quotes accurate in source, spelling, and punctuation? Are all my citations accurate and in correct format? Did I avoid using contractions? Did I use third person as much as possible? Have I made my points clear and interesting but remained objective? Did I leave a sense of completion for my reader s at the end of the paper? For an excellent source on English composition, check out this classic book by William Strunk, Jr. Place yourself in the background, Revise and rewrite, Avoid fancy words, Be clear, Do not inject opinion, Do not take shortcuts at the cost of clarity, … and much more.

The Elements of Style was first published in There is also a particular formatting style you must follow. There are several formatting styles typically used. APA American Psychological Association style is mostly used to cite sources within the field of social sciences. Instead of providing individual recommendations for each publishing format printed, online, e-books etc. You should necessarily ask your instuctor which formatting style is required for your paper and format it accordingly before submitting.

All formal reports or essays should be typewritten and printed, preferably on a good quality printer. Read the assignment sheet again to be sure that you understand fully what is expected of you, and that your essay meets the requirements as specified by your teacher. Know how your essay will be evaluated. Proofread final paper carefully for spelling, punctuation, missing or duplicated words. Make the effort to ensure that your final paper is clean, tidy, neat, and attractive. Aim to have your final paper ready a day or two before the deadline.

This gives you peace of mind and a chance to triple check. Before handing in your assignment for marking, ask yourself: If you feel any difficulties in writing a Research Paper, our writers and editors are always ready to help! Go through your research and annotations to determine what points are the most pivotal in your argument or presentation of information. What ideas can you write whole paragraphs about?

Which ideas to you have plenty of firm facts and research to back with evidence? Write your main points down on paper, and then organize the related research under each. When you outline your main ideas, putting them in a specific order is important. Place your strongest points at the beginning and end of your essay, with more mediocre points placed in the middle or near the end of your essay. Main ideas can be spread out over as many paragraphs as you deem necessary. Depending on your paper rubric, class guidelines, or formatting guidelines, you may have to organize your paper in a specific way.

For example, when writing in APA format you must organize your paper by headings including the introduction, methods, results, and discussion. These guidelines will alter the way you craft your outline and final paper.

With the aforementioned tips taken into consideration, organize your entire outline. Justify main points to the left, and indent subsections and notes from your research below each.

The outline should be an overview of your entire paper in bullet points. Write your body paragraphs. Although it may seem counter-intuitive, writing your introduction first may be more difficult to accomplish than starting with the meat of your paper.

Starting by writing the main points focusing on supporting your thesis allows you to slightly change and manipulate your ideas and commentary. Support every statement you make with evidence.

Supply ample explanations for your research. The opposite of stating opinions without facts is stating facts with no commentary. Although you certainly want to present plenty of evidence, make sure that your paper is uniquely your own by adding commentary in whenever possible. Avoid using many long, direct quotes.

Although your paper is based on research, the point is for you to present your own ideas. Unless the quote you intend on using is absolutely necessary, try paraphrasing and analyzing it in your own words instead. Use clear segues into adjacent points in your paper. Your essay should flow well, rather than stopping and starting in a blunt fashion. Make sure that each of your body paragraphs flows nicely into the one after it. Now that you have carefully worked through your evidence, write a conclusion that briefly summarizes your findings for the reader and provides a sense of closure.

Start by briefly restating the thesis statement, then remind the reader of the points you covered over the course of the paper. Slowly zoom out of the topic as you write, ending on a broad note by emphasizing the larger implication of your findings. First of all, the conclusion is easier to write when the evidence is still fresh in your mind. The introduction is, in many respects, the conclusion written in reverse: Avoid repeating exact phrases that you already used in the conclusion.

All research essays must be documented in certain ways in order to avoid plagiarism. Depending on the topic of your research and your field of study, you will have to use different styles of formatting. MLA, APA, and Chicago are the three most common citation formats and determine the way in-text citations or footnotes should be used, as well as the order of information in your paper. This format requires in-text citations. APA format is used by researchers in the social sciences field, and requires in-text citations as well.

Chicago formatting is used mainly for historical research papers and uses footnotes at the bottom of each page rather than in-text citations and works cited or references page.

Edit your rough draft. Although it is tempting to simply read over your essay and use the spell-check tool, editing your paper should be a bit more in-depth.

Have them edit for basic grammatical and spelling errors as well as the persuasiveness of your essay and the flow and form of your paper.

If you edit your own paper, wait at least three days before returning to it. Studies show that your writing is still fresh in your mind for days after finishing, and so you are more likely to skim over basic mistakes that you would otherwise catch.

If they suggest that you rewrite a section of your paper, there is probably a valid reason for their request. Take the time to edit your paper thoroughly.

Create the final draft. When you have edited and re-edited your paper, formatted your work according to the subject matter, and finalized all the main points, you are ready to create the final draft. Go through your paper and fix all mistakes, rearranging information if necessary.

Adjust the font, line spacing, and margins to meet the requirements set by your professor or profession. If necessary, create an introduction page and a works cited or references page to bookend your paper.

The completion of these tasks finalizes your paper! Make sure to save the paper in multiple places, for extra security and print out your final draft. Sample Environmental Research Paper. Sample Research Paper Outline. Does making a research paper require me to invent something new or it is just about gathering information?

It can be for the both, whether you invent something new to implement or you gather some sort of data based valuable information and synthesize it. Not Helpful 11 Helpful The introduction should set out what you intend to discuss and prove in the research paper, and outline the approaches per topic or heading section.

It is also nice to open the topic and lead into it in an interesting way that helps the reader to want to read on. Not Helpful 18 Helpful To be honest there is no rule book or a set of formulas which will give you the best or better topic. Once you have a number of topics in hand you need to evaluate as to which topic interests you and your audience more.

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Below are examples of research paper outlines. Creating an outline is the first thing you should do before starting on your research paper.

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Tutorial to the research paper outline. It helps you through the steps of writing a research paper. Good writing is essential for any article or term paper.

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The outline structure is approximately the same whether you write a research outline on dreams or some topic distant from this one, like a research outline for PhD application. The structure is identical to the structure of the research paper itself. The Basic Outline of a Paper The following outline shows a basic format for most academic papers. No matter what length the paper If a research paper, use strong evidence from sources—paraphrases, summaries, and quotations that support the main points III. Conclusion.

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It is impossible to imagine a flawless writing process without mastering an art of developing a powerful research paper outline. This type of college academic assignment requires much more sections than an ordinary high school essay, so follow our guide not to get lost in the writing process. A research paper outline is a generalized, organized overview of a research topic. Outlines are useful as they help the writer think about a topic in more detail, revealing areas that may require more research. Like most outlines written for academic papers, there are at least three sections: the introduction, body.