Standard research paper outline

While many essays can be given as in-class assignments or homework for the week, the length of a research paper requires more time to write it. Effort: By the same token, research papers also require more effort.

Step 1: Identify the paragraph’s purpose

The name says it all— research paper. The Point of It All: A lot of students probably want to know what the point of any writing assignment is. Essays are about improving your skills as a writer and communicator in general. Research papers, on the other hand, are assigned both to improve your writing skills and to improve your knowledge about a subject. It may be tempting to think that, for the sake of time, you should just jump right into your research paper, skipping the outline completely.

But an outline, especially for lengthier papers, will end up saving you some time in the end. It all boils down to organization.


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Sure, you could just start writing, but even if you reach the word or page requirement, your paper would probably lack any sort of logical flow. A research paper outline allows you to get your main ideas down and organize them before you get too deep into the actual writing.

Format for a Research Paper

Check out these example research papers. Like most essays, your research paper is going to have three main parts: an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. However, what goes into each of these sections—especially the body—is going to be a little different and a lot more in depth. The sections below give an example of each section of a research paper outline, followed by an explanation of each section.

Hook: First impressions are everything. Just like an essay, your research paper needs a hook. The hook for a research paper is typically a bit longer, and may consist of an anecdote to create some sort of tension. Research Question: By now, you should have a pretty clear idea of your research question. Each Arabic numeral 1, 2, 3, 4… indicates a sentence or piece of supporting evidence for each main point. So in the first body paragraph II.

Toggle action bar FAQ Actions. Print Tweet Share on Facebook Was this helpful? Comments This is very helpful. Thanks a lot! Very nice and very helpful. I mean my parents are making me do a outline about a state. Very helpful, it cleared things up a lot for me, so thanks! Very helpful! Thank You! Thumbs up!! Were very helpful Thanks!

Tips on drafting a research paper outline

Thank you guys this helped me out big time! It's actually saving my English grade from dropping. Thanks so much! This is perfect, especially the way you've explained what each area should contain. It's something writers need to know but so often get wrong.

Research Process: A Step-by-Step Guide: 4b. Outline the Paper

Thank you!! This was very helpful, as I am a watch and do type of person!

The hardest part in writing a paper is the outlining. You made outlining easy for me Am forever grateful. This is a great video, very helpful and easy to follow. This was VERY helpful. Thank you! Exactly what I needed. Thank you. Thank-you for taking the time to do this, I found it very helpful. After 45 minutes of surfing the web, this is the first helpful article I have come across in my attempt to find an outline example. Thank you so much. This was very helpful. The video and explanation was very easy to follow.

Thankyou for putting the outline in full detail it helped me out alot. Thank you very much! Exactly what I need. This is so helpful.

Graduate Research Project Outline: Guidelines and Model

Thank you!!! God Bless. This was extremely helpful towards my assignment that I am required to do in order to receive a grade. Very, very helpful!!!!!!!! I found this video most useful. Add a public comment to this FAQ Entry. Related Topics. Chat with the Rasmussen Library. Submit a Question. Each division should be logical and informative. The heads of an outline should represent equally important divisions of the subject as a whole, and should be parallel in grammatical form and tense.

Likewise, a sentence outline should use complete sentences throughout and not lapse into topic headings.

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Types of Outlines // Purdue Writing Lab

The subdivisions should also designate equally important and parallel divisions of one phase of the main divisions. Skip to navigation Search Hunter. Advanced Search…. Murray and Anna C. Elements of Division and Subdivision Begin your formal outline with your thesis statement: the single sentence that formulates the topic of your paper and your point of view. Indentation The primary divisions of an outline roman numerals are set flush with the left-hand margin.

When a heading runs more than one line, the second line is indented as far as the first word of the preceding line: The photoelectric cell, known as the "electric eye," has been put to a variety of everyday, practical uses.