What Is a Research Paper Outline and Why Do You Need to Prepare It?

If you get a task to prepare a research paper, get ready to spend long hours studying different sources of information, brainstorming, and analyzing. Structuring writing properly is not only what you’re actually required to do, but what can help with preparing the work a lot. Below, you’ll find comprehensive information on how to make a research paper outline, and we recommend to read it.

What Is a Research Paper?

Before beginning working, understand what you’re actually required to do. It’s a piece of academic writing, in which the author presents his or her original research on a particular topic as well as the analysis and interpretation of the findings. It’s recommended to find examples of such works to get a clear idea of how the writing should look like, what to include, and how to structure it.

Why Should You Make an Outline?

Many students are not sure why they actually need to prepare an outline for their research paper. In order to give the answer to this question, let’s figure out what an outline is. It’s a framework of the paper that presents the following:

  • The main goal of the work;
  • Ideas;
  • Arguments and findings;
  • Conclusions.

Add each section of the paper in a certain order to make sure that your writing flows logically. Thanks to the outline, you’ll know how to organize the pieces of information that you decide to add in the work.

What Can Help You in Writing an Excellent Paper?

While a basic outline that can be used in the writing, make this framework more detailed, which means more helpful. Below, you’ll find a few tips on how to do that.

Conduct a Research

Research the topic properly before making an outline. The thing is that it’s essential to get a clear picture in your mind of what to include in the writing. As a researcher, familiarize yourself with different ideas and theories on the topic. This is how you’ll know what aspects to discuss in the work.

Set a Goal

The outline of the paper also depends on the goal of the research because you can conduct a comparison of a certain phenomenon in different territories, analysis of cause and effect of an event, etc. Therefore, before starting to prepare the paper, get a clear idea of its purpose.

Keep It Clear and Concise

While you want to provide comprehensive information in the paper on the topic, methods, and findings, you want to keep your writing clear and concise. You should avoid overloading the paper with minor, unnecessary thoughts.

How to Structure Your Work?

Although the outline of the paper depends on many factors, below you’ll find a template that will help you to understand how to structure a research paper.

Title

It’s the name of your paper that explains what the work is about. It should be no more than two sentences. Here, you’ll also add your name and the name of the tutor.

Abstract

It’s a short piece of writing which should be no more than 200 words. Write what research is about, describe the main findings, and mention the methods that you’ve used in the work. Provide the conclusion and add the recommendations for further research.

Content Page

Provide the title of each of the sections of the work. Later, you’ll also add the number of pages to each of them so that the reader could easily find the needed section.

Introduction

It’s also a brief piece of writing. In this section, you’ll need to grab the attention of the reader. Provide the information explaining what the work is about and why it’s important. Clearly define the problem or object of the research and include a thesis statement.

Body

Provide the necessary data for the research and analysis and use relevant methodology for data analysis. Also, give a detailed description of the findings and results.

Conclusion

Create a summary of all the findings and briefly describe what outcome has been achieved. It’s important to relate the results with the thesis statement that you’ve provided in the introduction. Give recommendations for further research in this field. Keep this section concise and provide no new arguments or factors.

References

Add all the sources of information in the work. Format them in a particular formatting style and make sure to add all the references in proper order.

Appendix

In this section, include raw data used to prepare the work. Adding this section is optional and depends on the topic and information used.