Research Paper Outline: What Are the Key Components?

Research Paper Outline

Many people undeservedly underestimate the usefulness and importance of a simple outline. Some students ignore it because they I sure that they will keep everything in their mind and won’t be stuck on any phase of writing. Notwithstanding, the practice shows that most of them fail miserably. The main reason is the lack of time, which is induced by the absence of a plan.

Every competent research paper writing service will prove that outline makes great sense and is an inevitable part of writing. A good plan structures your assignment, shows which stage to fulfill next, and what you are supposed to do during a new phase of writing. It saves a lot of precious time, which cannot be stopped. You should remind yourself of the deadline. Therefore, an outline is important.

In order to create an appropriate outline, one should know its key components. It is remarkable that the typical outline is universal and may suit a persuasive essay, research proposal, argumentative paper, and almost any other academic assignment. Consider the following basic sections:

  1. Title.
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Literature Review
  5. Methods
  6. Results
  7. Conclusion
  8. Bibliography

These guidelines are typical for assignments students are to compose in middle or high school, college or university. You may use it for almost any piece of writing. Moreover, it is suitable for various disciplines, such as history, sociology, psychology, science, art, etc. As an alternative, you can buy cheap essay online but before that, check out our simple tips and tricks. We will clarify every point for a better comprehension of what you are expected to do.

Research Paper Outline Template

It goes beyond all doubts that a visual sample is more effective than simply reading comments and instructions. Thus, we use our vision as an additional helper. Accordingly, we have crafted a common template of a research paper. Memorize the following structure:

  1. Title. “The question of friendship and loyalty in The Lord of the Rings”.
  2. Abstract. This research focuses on the issue of loyalty and real friendship, which is one of the guidelines in the immortal masterpiece of J.R.R. Tolkien “The Lord of the Rings”. It will show how the real devotion helped to pass through great hazards and led to a victory…
  3. Introduction. The Lord of the Rings is considered one of the greatest bestsellers and stands in the third place of the most read books in our history. Though many people centralize the constant battle of good vs. evil, one should pay attention to the importance of friendship and loyalty. The greatest victories come only when the leader has support in the form of devoted friends.
  4. Literature Review. This section introduces already used materials and the new sources investigated by the author.
  5. Methods. Show the methods you’ve used to prove your claim and explain their effect.
  6. Results. Provide only the results of your research. Do not analyze and discuss them in this section. Simply mention what you have found. For example, Sam helped Frodo in the Shire and Minas Morgul. He was also constantly aware of the tricky creature Gollum and saved Frodo several times.
  7. Conclusion. This is the defining chapter, which allows interpreting the results. You may write the following conclusion “Frodo would have never come so far without his loyal companions – hobbits and other members of the Fellowship of the Ring. Aragon would have never regained the crown without Legolas, Gimli, and Gandalf. Friends supported one another and never retreated though they knew their journey might cost their lives. Nobody can withstand the evil alone. Sauron failed because he had no friends and so, no one supported him when he needed that most.”
  8. Bibliography. This is an alphabetical enumeration of the informative sources you’ve used for your project.

Remember this template for good and use it to craft outlines of your own.

How to Write an Outline for a Research Paper

You already know every section of a research paper and have a good template. Nonetheless, it’s necessary to understand what every section means. Under such a condition, you will be able to make an appropriate plan.

The title indicates the main question of your project. It’s recommended using keywords to find information quicker and easier.

The abstract is a brief review of your project. It highlights the main aspects of your writing and gives a plain vision of your intentions. Its length is no more than 200 words.

The introductory section gives a broad or general presentation of your project. Afterward, you should narrow it to a specific question, which will be your thesis statement.

The literature review provides informative sources that have been already used by other authors who contributed to its solution. At the same, it presents new sources used by you. Name the latest facts and contributors and include them to your literature support.

A section devoted to methods provides readers with a methodology that was used to research your problem. These methods help to complete the study and explain your audience how effective and essential they were because you conduct scientific work.

Another section is devoted to results. The nature of scientific studies is either qualitative or quantities. Accordingly, represent your result in accordance with the nature of your study. Introduce outcomes, which are related only to your main question. Don’t represent the research results of other authors. It is remarkable that you should simply give objective outcomes without any commenting on them. This will be done during the next stage.

The conclusion is that very point when you are welcome to interpret the results of your study. Discuss how the outcomes support your initial idea and contribute to the general solution or explanation of the main question. It’s likewise necessary to mention the relation of your findings to previous works in the same field and possible future researches.

The final section is devoted to the list of references. Indicate all the informative resources you have used to disclose your thesis. Use an alphabetical order for the biographical sources. Be cautious with the writing style. If you want to receive the highest grade, take this matter seriously and be attentive to the details. Use the formal language. Commonly, students should write in accordance with the 6th MLA or/and APA edition. You may use a citation generator to settle the things correctly. Submit your papers in PDF and sometimes doc format.

It’s also important to consider such details as page numbers, grammar, stylistics, spelling, punctuation, word count and other points. Everything counts and makes the final sum of your grades.

We wish to pay your attention to the choice of your topic. Pick a relevant and interesting theme, which is currently important. A good topic sufficiently enhances chances to receive higher grades. Besides, it attracts potential readers.

You may write about different topics, such as career choices, gun control, human relationships, the issue of abortion, traffic problems as the eternal issue, fair behavior and moral code, etc. If you lack ideas, use Google to generate appropriate concepts. Be selective and reasonable. A proper topic greatly helps.

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Angelina Bennett

Angelina Bennett is a college adventurer, shopaholic and dreamer. She has, perhaps, the widest circle of offline friends, but despises aggressive online presence. “Be true” is her motto. She explains her life philosophy in her personal blog at – a website for international students.

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