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Importance of Having a Research Paper Outline PDF

Research. That intimidating word, the bane of a student’s otherwise less-challenging school life. What then comes to mind when we hear the words “research paper“? Probably along the lines of “I need to go to the library for the rest of the semester, hacking into other people’s brains, with a stack of books piled beside me on the table. Couldn’t be any worse than that, can it?” It can’t be that bad. You’re nearly there with whatever image you managed to create in your mind, though, as we’re pretty sure you have a picture of sources of information, be it Google or the actual library.

38+ FREE & Premium Outline Templates - Download NOWBeautifully Designed, Easily Editable Templates to Get your Work Done Faster & Smarter.

Research Paper Outline

It is also an interpretation of your findings and results, which will be tackled later on. It can be either your college term paper, a master’s thesis, or a dissertation. This article will focus on some helpful steps and a few samples to serve as a guide to writing an outline that would then lead to a more organized research writing process. You surely don’t want it to be just good enough to pass for research. Take it one or two steps higher and actually give it the right amount of dedication, if not more. That’s if you’re looking to write one that may not be near perfection but something that you and your professor can be proud of. For that, you need more than knowledge and more than backup. Like any born winner aiming for the gold, you need to prepare for the best and the worst. But, the most important thing is that you have a positive attitude about it, no matter the frustrations later on.

How to write a research paper outline

A research paper is more than just what you can come up with all the sources you have. It’s more than just the bulk of information you have collected for a certain subject you have chosen, and it’s also more than a review of other sources and related studies in the field. A research paper needs to live up to its name and definition which is to analyze certain perspectives and argue a point. Yes, you have to make an argument and you have to make it a good one. At the end of the term, you have to defend it yourself, with a good backup of ideas you managed to collect, regardless of what it is about. You may also like research outline templates.

Academic Research Paper Outline

Outlines weed out potential errors

Writing your research paper outline, or any other papers in college for that matter, requires authoritative, sophisticated, and sometimes very creative ways to organize your ideas and turn them into something tangible. Students oftentimes forget the benefits of making drafts. Drafts are honestly underrated that you just tend to write straight for the kill, resulting in errors too many to weed out and nothing really coherent enough to make sense out of. Taking the time to make a draft first can help you decide which of your ideas has potential or works best, and which ones are unnecessary. It also helps cover gaps you didn’t know existed, and more importantly, it helps check which ideas cannot be properly supported.

Steps to writing your research paper and outline

1. It keeps you focused

It is a good way to help you figure out the estimated time you can give yourself to finish the whole paper. It makes for better time management, which you would really need, since you have a lot of trips to make to the library, a lot of sources to check, and fact-check, as well as a lot of things to cover. When you have an outline, it’s easy to check what you lack and what needs cross-checking. Without an outline, any seriously long writing projects tend to be off tangent, unfocused, and sometimes lacking a proper argument. Without an outline, you have an accident waiting to happen. Do you really want the risk of having to write a whole hundred-page paper over again, just because you lost track of your arguments and important details, which are errors you could have avoided. You may also see research paper in pdf.

Research Paper Guidelines


Writing an outline helps you ensure that your writing stays focused and helps in the proper construction of arguments and the details that support them. With an outline, your idea is more organized and strong enough to make an impact. You would have little to worry about when it comes to writer’s block, too, as an outline serves as a good backup for ideas. It also helps keep you on track during your whole research writing process. Furthermore, you can just easily pick up where you left off, once you decide nothing is really working at the moment and the work needs to be left for a little while. You may also like outline templates.

Research Paper Outlines

2. It makes reading and writing easier

You may have multiple ideas that you can’t simply write about one thing and one thing only. An outline helps you structure those ideas more easily, after which you get to write better about the one you figured out was more important. It helps break down a big weight of a subject into chunks of something more manageable. When you’re done with paragraphs, you will realize how much easier it is to read as well, since it is more organized. This way, your research would be better communicated. Are you arguing a point in your research? Well, without an outline, it’s hard to make that happen and to get that point across. When your writing is mismanaged in a way where you just write simply from start to finish, you tend to lose the point you are trying to make. And with research, your argument is very important. You may also like blank outline templates.

Writing a Research Paper Outline

3. It helps you stay motivated

When your outline is properly done, you are able to see what you have managed to put together. Most of the time, those who are able to create a good outline are more excited about their whole research than those who have done it haphazardly or those who didn’t bother with it at all. With a research paper outline on your desk, you tend to feel more motivated because there are very good chances that everything is clicking together and everything is falling into place.

Scientific Research Paper Outline

When you’re ready to write your outline, remember that it is your framework for ideas. Those are ideas that you would present the main ideas and others that would support it for your chosen research topic. Your outline should help you come up with a coherent, logical structure for your sample research paper later on, and make it easier for you to be able to translate them to the actual paper. Once this is complete, you’ll have a better picture to look at or however you want your paper to develop.

How to Make a Research Paper Outline

4. Cover the bases

A strong outline shouldn’t really be complicated to create. First things first. Choose your topic and choose it well. It needs to be something you can really commit yourself to. If you go the easy way out and choose a topic just because you think it is less challenging, chances are, you won’t really feel fulfilled, no matter the outcome. Choose something you like to research about, not something easy to finish. Then, establish your purpose. What questions do you hope to answer? A lot of students and writers struggle with their research goals and objectives that they trip easily over one thing and another. What results do you anticipate? Who would benefit from this?

How to Write an Effective Research Paper Outline

5. Find information

Find information in two places you can find it best: the Internet and the library. Be careful in collecting information and sources from the Internet. Only take those from trusted educational institutions and organizations as the rest don’t really hold information value. Go to the library. Don’ forget the library is still the most reliable source of information for researching facts. Check out almanacs and related studies that have been published. You have to know where to go. When in doubt, ask the librarian. You may also like formal outline templates.

Outline for Research Proposal

A good outline is the most important step in writing a good paper. Most outlines include three important parts: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. Your first outline should be tentative. Your introduction should state the purpose of your study. Why are you writing this? What for? The body is where you state and present your arguments with supporting statements from the sources you have collected. For this, you need to have at least three arguments with each one stronger than the last and no less than that. Finally, state your conclusion. Make a good summary of your arguments and explain how and why you have come up with your conclusion. You may also like outline templates in Word format.

Dissertation Outline

An outline is a good way to prepare for your research paper. It needs to be a powerful one, with points that would then be clearly stated and supported once you have written your research paper. You would know where to start, and you would know where to finish. With a good outline, you never have to worry about getting lost or losing track of your ideas.

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