How to Write an Outline for a Research Paper

Importance of an outline of a research paper

How to write a research paper outline should be the top priority of every researcher for the outline of a research paper is a very important part of the whole research. Comparing it with the human body, the outline of a research paper is the skeletal system. The research outline supports the research from beginning to end and shows the logical ordering of information in the whole research. The outline is the foundation of a good research. It must be noted that without a good outline, there can be no good research. How to write an outline for a research paper is a crucial task for the researcher at the same time writer. However, many people are not aware that writing a research paper outline is actually easy.

How to do an outline for a research paper in five steps

  • First, to be able to write an outline for a research paper, the researcher must identify the idea or topic of the whole research. However, that is the least of the concerns of the writer since topics are given by the professors.
  • Second, the researcher must be able to interconnect the gathered information and ideas which are closely related. This can be done through generalizing. Look for the common themes in the information you have gathered. Preferably, the writer should make a diagram on what ideas are to be included in the outline so as to assure a thoroughly guided research.
  • Third, you must be able to distinguish main ideas from sub-ideas.
  • Fourth, all major points must be indicated by Roman Numerals and Arabic Numerals for the ideas supporting the major points.
  • Fifth, parallelism is to be followed.

How to outline a research paper: points to remember

A research outline should include all ideas needed for the paper. It should contain an introduction, a body, and a conclusion which in between encompass all relevant data for the paper. Regardless of the form of the outline (i.e. topic outline or sentence outline), ideas should be parallel to one another. If the outline is in phrase form, it should be in phrase form all throughout. If it is in sentence form, it should be in sentence form all throughout.