Learning How to Write an Outline for a Research Paper: Some Writing Tips

If you can refine and perfect your outline, writing your research paper will be a smooth process. The outline is the roadmap that you must follow to write your paper. Take your time when constructing your outline. You may go through several drafts before you finalize your outline.

Your outline needs several important parts for it to be efficient:

The Introduction

The introduction will include the hook, the background information to the subject, and the thesis statement. The introduction sets the tone for the entire paper. How many main points you have in your thesis statement will define your research paper body.

Main Body

For young writers, the teacher will set the requirement for one paragraph per each main idea. So if you have three main points, then your body of your paper would have three paragraphs. As you mature as a writer, you will find that one main idea may have ideas that branch off from it. So the one to one ratio no longer makes sense.

The Conclusion

In the conclusion, you will wrap up the paper with a universal statement. You will then restate the thesis statement. You simply switch up the wording or you can break it into several sentences. You should not introduce new material in the conclusion.

The Details

In the outline include all the quotes, statistics, data, and support that you will include in your paper. The more specific and detailed the outline is, the easier the paper will be to compose.

Your teacher will tell you if they want you to use a sentence outline or a topic outline. He or she will also give you the MLA rules as they apply to outlines. You will use a mix of Roman numbers, regular numbers, capital letters, and small letters as designations in the outline. The general pattern looks like this:







You cannot have a 1 without a 2, or an A without a B. How many letters and numbers you have depends on how much material you have. You would want to have sample outline beside you as a guide for the first time you write an outline. There are little nuances that must be followed exactly.

After you create an outline or two, the procedure will come easily to you. Additionally you will be able to recognize just how important the outline is to the entire process of writing the paper.