Writing Research Paper Outline

03/09/2019 | George Orwell | 9573

Working on a research paper outline can be a challenging task for the students, but it is the most critical part of academic life. Students have to spend their precious time, plus they have to do hard work for making an effective research paper outline. A perfect research paper is something that can reflect the position of the students and their truthfulness towards the topic chosen.


What is a Research Paper?

A research paper is an essay assigned to students which they have to expand by proper evaluation and interpretation. It is necessary that if the students work on a research paper, then they have to mention everything which they had experienced personally about the topic.

When do the students start writing a research paper, then their first attempt is to convince the readers with the problem and deliberately attempt for best. Students have to do in-depth research on the topic of excellently writing informative content. The research paper becomes ordered if the students know how to approach it.

For making an effective research paper , students have to find out actual data and facts related to writing in the academic paper. It will not only enhance the knowledge of the students but can also improve the comprehensive and intellectual skills ideally.

What is a Research Paper Outline?

A research paper outline is a formal system which researcher utilities for developing a framework in order to think about organization and eventual contents of the research paper.

It act as the basis of academic educational paper from which students can develop the whole research paper. Usually, the framework of a research paper includes three main parts containing the introduction paragraph, central body part, and finally, the conclusion. For making a standard quality and successful research paper students have to draft a detailed outline.

A most important question asked by many of the students is that how can they write an effective research paper outline? Highlighting the framework is an essential part of making the research paper fantastic.

  • It helps in organizing the thoughts, opinions, and the whole research work before representing the paper.
  • By giving a proper outline to the article, students can make sure that they have used the scientific resources and approaches that helped them in solving the writing issues.
  • After giving a research paper outline, students get ready to convey the ideas through research paper.
  • An overview acts as a reminder for the students to include all the necessary concepts and subtitles in it.
  • It works as a skeleton for the research  paper that helps in guiding the students throughout the whole process.

By splitting the research paper into its sub constituent parts, students can get deliver information without forgetting something. Besides, students can remain calm after dividing the data into important parts because it will no longer seem perplexing or overwhelming.

Students can approach each subpart at different days and can plan consecutively about the preparations which will help them to meet even tight submission deadlines.

Why there is a need to draw an Outline for a research paper?

College students are often familiar with writing different types of research papers because it is a part of their academic curriculum. Research paper writing is a thought-provoking and an elaborate procedure for most of the University students.

Every college going student needs much time to research a topic to write up a well-thought research paper. It is not a simple and easy task to create an effective research paper and influence more and more readers. An outline of a research paper can help you in this process. Writing an effective research paper outline provides you the step by step guidance to create your research paper more manageable.

So, to create a persuasive research paper, Graduation and PG students need to outline their research paper in which students can organize their thoughts and work to be done while writing a research paper. However, writing an outline of a research paper is not a simple and easy task.

Students studying in any college or university in the world have to write up the research papers as part of their academic curriculum. So, to make your work process easy, you should write up an outline of a research paper.

Tips for Research paper Outline Structure

It is a plan format or structure for the work you are going to do in your research paper. The research paper is an academic assignment which is equal to the final papers. The outline of a research paper demonstrates the vision and understanding of the students for their research paper topics. The research paper outline helps to prevent mistakes and errors to be done while writing up a serious work, research paper.

A research paper outline mainly includes the following;

  • Title
  • Thesis statement
  • Major arguments
  • Supporting points for statement and argument
  • Conclusion

The structure of the research outline is mostly the same for all whether you write an outline for college research paper on dreams or some other topics like a research paper for Ph.D. application. The outline of a research paper is the same as the structure of a research paper. In this, university students will get the details of the outline structure of various research topics through the examples.

Template of research paper outline consists of

  1. Abstract part
  2. Introduction part
  3. Body part
  • Review of literature
  • Research methodology
  • Analysis
  • Results
  • Perspectives
  1. Conclusion
  2. Bibliography



It is a summary of the research paper. All the necessary information about the research is described in the abstract in around five to six sentences. The abstract is the first part of the research outline which is an insight into the investigation, and all questions of the readers are answered in the abstract related to the research topic, subject, participants, method, and the results. All these things are described in the shortest possible way. An abstract is written in one paragraph in around 150-200 words. It is always written at first and comes at the beginning after the title page of the research paper.

Introduction part

This is an integral part of the research paper outline. The introduction part of the outline presents the readers with the research topic, and this part is like a hook that attracts the interest of the readers. In this part, students have to mention the top required components of the research paper like the thesis statement, explanation of the core terms, and the topic related to the study.

Body part

The body part is the important one in the outline of the research paper, which consists of many paragraphs and subheadings. In this part, students will write arguments for stating the statements.

Research methodology

The research methodology is the method to be written, which follows the introduction part of the outline of the research paper. This part gives the readers insight into how research is carried out. The research methodology includes the type of investigation and questionnaire to be filled up in the process. The aim of the inquiry should also be written in the introduction part.

Literature review

students should even include a literature review in the Research paper outline. In this part of the outline of the research paper, you have to mention the literature that you use for hypothesis and theories. The literature review will show the readers how you are going to operate the terms, philosophy, and evidence. The chosen literature for the research paper and the central theme of the research paper should be adjacent.


This part was usually written after the research methodology and literature review. In the part of data and analysis, you will present your results and other main variables that you get as a result of the process of the survey done by you. Students can use tables and graphs to analyze the data and results if necessary.


After that, interpret your results. Here at this point, students have to tell the readers whether the outcomes of the result bring any difference in the whole research topic or not. In the analysis part, you have to outline the advantages and drawbacks of your research paper.


A conclusion is the final part of the research paper outline. This part does not present the readers with new information. However, it gives the cursory glance of the research done at the whole work by concluding and summarizing the main points of the research paper in it. In this part of the research paper outline, students have to mention the thesis statement of the research paper again. Moreover, you should formulate the prospect for future research to be done as well.

Things to consider before writing a Research Paper Outline

There are some pre-writing steps that the students have to keep in mind while working on the outline of the research paper. It will not only help the students to compose the excellent quality outline but also helps in producing great academic work.

1. Select an appropriate research paper writing topic

Selecting a useful research topic is an essential factor for writing a successful research paper. Whether the students get assigned with the topic or not, writing about the active topic will always work as a strength for the students.

  • The text should not only seem attractive to the readers but must make them curious about what will happen next.
  • The students can take the help of various sources like books, magazines, and the internet to select the perfect research paper topic.

2. State strong thesis argument

After selecting the specific topic, students can take some time to figure out the materials which they want to include in their research paper. Before making an argument, it is necessary to understand why this topic is important to you and what if others do not think like you.

  • Thinking about the main motive of the thesis statement can be beneficial for the students.
  • Try to make a meaningful discussion that can help the readers to show their interest in the argument.
  • When the students understand the purpose behind writing a research paper on that topic, then they can create a persuasive outline for the research paper.

3. Get ready to define the audience

There is no doubt that the professor is going to read the research paper submitted by the students. So, it is essential to understand that what the professors will think after reading your academic paper. Analyze both sides properly; one is can the professors support the argument made by the students in their paper and another one what if they do not like the paper. Using appropriate languages can be beneficial for the students, which can build up the excitation among the readers. However, the overall tone and style required for creating a research paper depend on how readers will take it.

4. Conduct well-formatted research

No students can work on their writing task without doing thorough research about the topic. Students have to investigate much material from different resources to find adequate evidence to support the argument. It can be better if the students find general information regarding the topic and then start searching genuinely. Students have to prepare for the questions and to face many counter-arguments. In this way, they can master the research writing excellently.

5. Organize proper references

References can provide the evidence for each argument and support the research which the students have done for their research paper. Students can arrange all the references according to the relevance of the discussions and the importance of each statement.

How to write an effective outline for a Research Paper?

When the students get succeeded in writing a proper research paper, then they are ready to make an impressive outline for the research paper. Generally, each outline consists of three main parts, namely the introduction paragraph, the main body, and the conclusion part. It is essential to use a detailed outline for the standard quality and informative research paper.

You can understand the outline of the research paper by the following diagram:

I. Content of Introduction paragraph

  • Hook
  • Define the audience.
  • Thesis statement.

II. Main Body part includes

  • An argument to support the thesis.

III. Conclusion

  • Summary
  • Call to action

Step-by-step guidance for creating a research paper outline

I. Introduction

The introduction paragraph is an essential step in every academic work. It can reflect the thinking of the students and give information about whether readers are going to read it or not. An introduction must be informative, engaging, and exciting. Students do not have to provide much information about the content. Three necessary points make a practical introduction:

  • Hook: A hook can be around four to five sentences long depending on the volume of the research paper. It is an informative part that persuades the audience to continue reading the article. Interesting and provoking hook can make the readers understand the research paper.
  • Define the audience. Here the students have to mention the critical points that why they had written the research paper. If the readers find the resounding answer, then they can get interested in reading the whole research paper.
  • Thesis statement. Students have to state their argument. It is crucial to clarify what they are going to discuss next in their research paper . Try to make the thesis statement short and straightforward and no dull point should get included.

II. Body paragraph

The central part of the research paper outline on which the students are working in the body. It is the main section of the paper and can be the biggest as the students want. There is no limit to words. The more arguments students want to support in their paragraph, the more significant body paragraph gets.

  • All the points and evidence which the students have collected to include in their research paper can get found in the body.
  • Each idea and the suitable evidence will make the theme clear to the readers.
  • Give each statement with the proper proof and do not try to make wrong proofs.
  • Use valid references and adequate styles according to the required research paper format.
  • Students can provide some controversial statements in their research paper to evidence why their side is correct.

Focusing on this part can enhance the knowledge of the students and will make them perfect for creating a good argument. Producing an effective research paper outline can make the students capable of creating an impressive reputation among their class.

Conclusion Part

In this part of the research paper, you have to summarize the arguments using statements so that the readers can digest the main content and idea written in the research paper for a long time. Students should write only the main parts in the research paper conclusion and keep the end short of making the whole research paper digest into the mind of the readers.

Summary of arguments

in this part, college and university students have to state the most persuasive argument again. No need to explain the argument entirely and profoundly. Students only have to give a general overview of the stated cases used in the research paper.

Call to action

This part is the end of the research paper and should impress and involve as many readers. In this, you have to write up the final message for the readers.

Important points to take care of while working on a research paper outline

  • Students should not forget about the overall style which they have chosen to write a useful introduction part.
  • The research paper must be consistent throughout the entire research paper.
  • The techniques, manner, and pattern must be the same from the beginning to the end of the research paper .
  • Do not forget to be creative and use different impressive language techniques to make the paper more interesting.
  • Remember that the professors know everything about the subject which you have mentioned in the research paper.

Be sure to explain everything with confidence and without getting nervous. Students can address the matter with in-depth knowledge about it and making readers conscious to understand them properly.

Template of an outline of an MLA style research paper

If students follow a particular formatting style of an outline of a research paper, it makes the research paper writings more attractive to the readers. So, graduate students should focus on the research work and do not spend much time in adjusting with the formatting style. Students can follow this outline style for MLA style research papers.

  1. on the first page: student’s name, professor’s name, name of the class, and date
  2. At the upper right corner of every page, there should be page numbers in the header.
  3. Write the titles and emphases in italics.
  4. Before cited work, write down the complete list with endnotes.
  5. All subheadings should be marked with Arabic numbers.

Tips for creating a good MLA outline of research paper format:

  • Students should keep in mind that the requirements to do  citations of sources in research paper depend upon its types like a journal, book, magazine, video, article, and many more.
  • There is no requirement of a title page in the outline of the MLA research paper if the university professor does not indicate something different to be written in the research paper.
  • College students should pay attention to the instructions and guidelines and check everything twice before submitting it.

Template of APA research paper Outline

  1. These research papers always include a separate cover page.
  2. The cover page of the research paper should consist of a title, name of the author, name of the university, and running header.
  3. There should title name and page number on every next header.
  4. In APA style research paper, students are required to include an abstract which is followed by keywords.
  5. References are also included in this style of a research paper.

 Example of an outline for APA style research paper

  1. Can overpopulation be managed?

Introductory clause

  • Brief introduction of the related issue
  • The theoretical background of the relevant issue
  • Literature review
  • Thesis statement
  • Relevance and significance of the related research study

 Main Body

  • Background about the problem
  • Define overpopulation and its history
  • A general overview of the issue and includes reasons, dangers, effects.
  • Explain why it needs to be managed
  • Ways to manage overpopulation and problems related to it.
  • Promote childbirth planning
  • Importance of education in developing countries
  • Government incentives and regulations
  • Building extraterrestrial settlements
  • Main difficulties related to the issue
  • Religious beliefs and strong cultural ideas
  • Lack of understanding and ignoring the problem
  • Some solutions can violate human rights

Final Clause

  • Conclusion
  • Short analysis
  • Rephrased thesis statement
  • Final words regarding the problem



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