Research paper outline
Jan 07, · How to write a research paper outline. Follow these steps to start your research paper outline: Decide on the subject 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 — what should the reader learn first? What is most important? How to Write a Research Paper Outline? Cover or Title page. It should contain the title of the paper written within 60 characters. Similarly, it also includes: Abstract. Table of Contents. Research Paper Introduction. Research Paper Body.
Last Updated: December 18, References. This article was co-authored by Matthew Snipp, PhD. Matthew Snipp is the Burnet C. He has been a Research Fellow at the U. He has published 3 books and over 70 articles and book chapters on demography, economic development, how to save pictures on my android phone and unemployment. He holds a Ph. There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.
This article has been viewedtimes. Writing an outline for a research paper can seem like a time consuming task, and you may not understand the value of it if you have never written one before.
Outlines can help you structure your research and your final teach me how to speak british in much more efficient ways, though, so it is a good idea that you learn how to write one. Here putline a few things to keep in mind when doing so.
papet Article Explore this Article parts. Sample Outlines. Tips and Warnings. Related Articles. Sample Outlines Literature Outline. Support wikiHow and unlock all samples. Sample Compare and Contrast Oktline.
Part 1 uotline Choose between a topic outline and sentence outline. With a topic outline, the headings and subpoints are all given in single words or short phrases. With a sentence outline, all of the headings and subpoints are provided in complete sentences. Sentence outlines are usually used if your research focuses on complex issues. Some instructors how to outline for a research paper insist that you must not combine these two forms. Many others, however, offer one exception to this guideline by allowing the main section headings to be short phrases while the remaining subpoints are written as full sentences.
Most outlines use an alpha-numerical structure. This structure uses a series of letters and numbers to identify and arrange section levels. Note capitalization issues. In sentence outlines, headings and subpoints are almost always written with correct sentence capitalization rules.
This is not always the case with topic outlines, though. One school of thought indicates that first level headings should be written in all capital letters while all remaining headings use standard sentence capitalization rules. Another school of thought suggests that the first level headings should only have the first letter of each word capitalized, rather than the entire word. The remaining headings, again, use standard sentence capitalization rules. Keep matters of length in mind. Your outline should run no longer than one-quarter to one-fifth the total estimated size of your final research paper.
For a four to five page paper, you only need a single page outline. For a 15 to 20 page paper, your outline will usually run no longer than four pages. Part 2 of Familiarize yourself with a one-level outline.
A one-level outline only uses major headings and no subheadings. Note that you would not usually use this outline for a research paper, as it is not very specific or detailed. It can still be a good idea to start with this outline level, however, since you can use it to provide yourself with a general direction for your paper and expand upon it as the information flows in.
Move onto a two-level outline. Two-level outlines are a little more common for research papers. You utilize major headings and one level of subheadings. Each second-level subheading should discuss a primary supporting rewearch for the main idea it falls under.
Progress to a three-level outline. A three-level outline is even more complex, but if done right, it can help you ror structure your research paper even more thoroughly. You use Roman numerals, capital letters, and standard numbers for this version.
Next to each third-level subsection, you should address the topic of a paragraph that falls under the corresponding second-level section or main how to train my dog not to attack other dogs above it. Use a four-level outline, when necessary.
These outlines are about the most complex you would expect to need for a research paper, and if you choose this structure, you will use Roman numerals, capital letters, standard numbers, and lowercase letters for your levels. The fourth-level subheadings should address supporting statements, citations, or ideas within each paragraph listed in the third-level sections.
Part 3 of Use parallelism. Every what were the middle colonies known for and subheading should maintain a structure that hkw parallel to the other headings within its level.
Parallelism also refers to parts of speech and tense. If a heading starts with a verb, then the other headings must also start with a verb. Moreover, that verb must also be in the same tense usually present tense. Coordinate your information. The information provided by your first major heading should be equal in importance to the information offered in your second major heading.
The same reseafch be said of sentences in subheadings, as well. Your subheadings should elaborate on the points addressed in your major headings. Employ effective subordination. The information in your headings should be general and the subheadings should be more specific. For instance, if you were writing about memorable experiences from your childhood, "Memorable Childhood Experiences" would be the heading and the subheadings might look something like, "Vacation at 8 years old," "Favorite birthday party," and "Family trips to the park.
Practice division. Each major heading should be divided into two or more parts. In other words, you should have at least two subheadings for every major heading.
There is no limit on subheadings, but once you start forming a dozen or so subheadings under a single heading, you might find your outline looking cluttered and messy.
Part 4 of Identify the research problem. As you prepare to write your outline, you need to specifically identify the research problem you are trying to address. This will guide the entire formation of your outline and your paper.
A thesis statement is a single sentence that sums up the entire purpose or argument how to raise mealworms video your research paper. This researhc statement will usually be written above the outline itself or within the first "Introduction" heading of the outline.
Your research problem can also help you figure out a title. Identify your main categories. You also need to figure out what main points you plan on covering. All of these main points will be listed in your introduction and listed as part or all of you major headings for the body part of your paper.
The main points are details that support or address your research paper. They should be very general in nature. Consider the order. Take a look at your research topic and determine the best possible order to deliver information.
You might end up using a chronological arrangement or a spatial arrangement, outlline as a general rule, you will go from general ideas to specific ones. Chronological arrangements generally only work if you have a topic that has some chronological history to it. For example, if you were researching the history of tesearch medicine, it would make sense that your paper and outline follow a chronological order.
If your research topic does not have a history, though, you will probably end up using a spatial structure. For instance, if you are researching the effects of television and video games on the adolescent brain, you probably would not follow the chronology of the research. Instead, you might describe the different contemporary schools of thought on the issue or otherwise follow some other spatial arrangement of ideas.
Table of contents
Before writing an 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 State your argument. After selecting a topic, take some time to figure out what kind of argument you want.
A research paper is a compulsory academic writing task assigned both in high school and college. It is considered as an important activity to check the writing and research abilities of the students. However, writing a research paper cannot be possible without creating a well-structured research paper outline.
It could be a bit challenging as it needs a lot of time and practice to write an outline perfectly. Nevertheless, the organization of ideas logically will make it worth the effort.
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. It should contain the title of the paper written within 60 characters. Similarly, it also includes:. The abstract briefly summarize your paper by stating the basic information in five to six sentences. Moreover, this section comes after the title page and mainly focuses on:. You can also take help from our detailed guide about writing a research paper abstract.
The table of contents will summarize the chapters and sections in an organized manner. Furthermore, it also includes the title and descriptions of the headings and subheadings. Also, it allows them to go directly to a specific section of the research paper. The introduction is the most important part of any research paper. It should be able to present the topic and answer the research question. Similarly, it will also explain the importance of the subject matter for the audience.
Thus, this section must be engaging and interesting enough. The body is the main section of your research paper. It consists of several paragraphs that include the relevant details, examples, and evidence to support your argument. Moreover, 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 mention the literature that you have used to support your hypothesis and theories. Demonstrate the research gaps in the existing literature. Also, show how it helped you to research and find relevant data and develop your research.
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. A good research paper is the one that 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.
The conclusion is the final part of your research work that summarizes the main arguments. Similarly, it also restates the thesis, goals, and methods that are 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. Lastly, mention all the sources that you have used in your text. Do not forget any references in the bibliography section. Also, add facts, tables, images, and charts in the section of the Appendix.
Nevertheless, in some formats, the appendix is not required at all. Choosing a format is important to develop an outline. As it will help you organize the information in a specific way.
Every college uses a specific format to structure or outlining the major ideas of the paper. Create a list of elements for your paper and properly section them into categories. You can even label each part in Roman numerals for easy understanding. The research paper outline according to MLA format includes the following elements. Here are the main characteristics of the APA research paper outline. Similarly, it is of great help to follow an example. The following is the standard research paper outline format.
It is the basis for creating a successful, more detailed, and high-quality research paper. Below you can find an example of an outline for a research paper to clearly understand and create an outline for your own paper. The above guide will help you to start writing an outline for your research paper. However, there are students who lack good writing skills and prefer to seek professional help.
But, this is also 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. Thus, it is important to understand that a high-quality research paper takes time and proper research.
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