Writing Ideas

Writing an Outline of a Research Paper

A research paper is an important piece of document required from students as part of their syllabus. Writing this paper, however, can be challenging for students without an appropriate outline. An outline always helps in shortening the period it takes to articulate thoughts in the research paper. The purpose of the research paper is to mirror your position concerning a specific subject. It is also to convince your readers on its truthfulness and accuracy.

So how does an outline become critical in all this? An outline, which is a stepwise plan helps in making your writing easier. But before coming up with it, you must do some pre-writing so that you can compose a quality outline and eventually an excellent academic piece of document.

Tips for a Great Research Paper Outline

Before you begin with writing your outline for the research paper, consider the following guidelines.

  • Pick an ideal subject for the research paper. For a successful piece, you need to pick a perfect topic that can play to and accentuate your strengths. Choose a topic that fascinates you and equally your intended audience.
  • Pen down your argument. It is an essential step after settling on a subject. You need to know the type of case that you can support. Understand the underlying reasons for its importance to you as a writer and potential appeal factor for the audience you are targeting. Contemplate how your thesis statement can provoke discussions that are meaningful and which can transform how the world functions.
  • It would help if you defined your audience.In as much as the paper’s sole reason is for better grades and possibly your instructor as the only audience, you need to understand the potential audience that the article can appeal to past the grading in school. Can they support or counter the arguments you present in the paper? The best tone and type of language to use in the article. Can you use jargon and get appreciated, or is it best for you to maintain the use of formal language?
  • Do extensive research as it requires proper and thorough investigation to be meaningful. Study lots of resources to get evidence that can support the arguments you put forth. Get information to back your thesis statement and potential counter-arguments complete with evidence against your stand on the subject. Such an endeavor will increase your grasp of the topic you are researching and probable pitfalls you can encounter your thesis statement.
  • It would be best if you then organized the references you use. References comprise evidence for every piece of the argument you front and research you do. Make sure you prioritize their relevance and importance to your research paper thesis statement.

Stepwise Process for Writing a Research Paper Outline

  • Introduce the subject in the introduction complete with a hook, thesis statement, and audience definition.
  • Body. It should comprise of every relevant detail with no limitation to the volume of information. It should contain your arguments, counter-arguments complete with citations and proper formatting. The style and tone that you use should also reflect within the body paragraphs.
  • Conclusion. The portion should summarize arguments that you do front in the paper. Make it brief, but with a summary of all the relevant information. It should also have a call for action to conclude the conclusion section.


The guidelines provided will help you to write an excellent research paper which will guarantee you better grades besides appealing to anyone to have a read whenever they come across it.