Practical Research Paper Outline Guidelines: How to Do It in the Right Way

A research paper outline sampleis a formal system you need to think of to organize your paper. It can be used to see if the ideas you have connect and the order of ideas that works best. You can also use it to find enough evidence to support every point. Writing your research paper with outline assists you to see the entire picture.

Outlines can be categorized into two:

  • Topic
    – it consists of short phrases and is used when one is dealing with numerous issues that can be arranged in diverse ways in the paper.
  • Sentence
    – it’s done in full sentences and is usually used when the paper is focusing on complex details.

Both types follow rigid formats, using Arabic and Roman numeral along with small and capital alphabetical letters. This assists you to follow the organization easily. There isn’t a rule on the best outline, so you are free to select the one that will work best for you.

Making the Outline

  • Know your topic – you cannot write a paper without a topic. Try to put together the points of the assignment in one phrase or sentence. This assists you to stay focused on the key point.
  • Identify main categories – do you know the main points you want to cover? Your introduction is meant to introduce all the main points, and the other parts of the paper are to be developed on those points.
  • Design the first category – do you know the first point you would like to cover? In case your paper is centered on a complicated term, you can choose to begin with the definition. If a paper is on a particular theory, a general feedback would be a great place to start.
  • Create subcategories – once you know your main point, you can draft points to support it. The categories to use will depend on the volume of information to be covered; there isn’t a wrong or a right number to use.

Keeping the plan flexible

Although the outline’s format is rigid, it should not make you inflexible when it comes to writing the assignment. A paper can take a new direction when you are writing, especially if the subject is something you do not know very well. If the direction of the paper changes, you can then change the plan the same way you can make the necessary corrections on your crude map once you are familiar with the terrain you have been exploring. Reorganizations aren’t uncommon; the outline will assist you to stay focused and organized.