5 Things You Need To Know About The Research Paper Outline

The importance of having an outline for your research paper

It is not uncommon for a paper to be lengthy. You work on a topic for a long time, find out new things, and document all your methods, approaches and even your mistakes, and the number of pages increases. There is no page limit to a research paper, so it is not a problem. However, a big paper sometimes gets messy. The order of things, the details and other things might get out of hand. That is why you need an outline.

An outline is the first step in a research paper. In the outline, you decide the exact format of the paper. There are some parts that must be included, like an abstract, a thesis statement, an introduction, a body or content, a conclusion. You might add other broad categories if required. These categories might be further subdivided into sub categories. In the outline you not only decide on the format, but decide on the word limit of each part of your research that you are going to include.

How to write a good outline

Before you can draft an outline, you need to decide on a topic. Also, you need to know that the first outline you make might not be the final one. You might have to go through the process many times. Do not get frustrated and give up. Writing a research paper can sometimes prove to be more difficult than doing the research itself. However, there are some points which if you keep in mind will help you tremendously in writing the perfect outline.

  • Now what exactly you want to include in the paper. Consult your guide or instructor if necessary. Only then can you make an outline.
  • List all the categories and subcategories without missing even the minutest details.
  • Understand the scope of your paper before you start making the outline.
  • Concentrate on the introduction, body and conclusion. Those are the three parts that you write about in the outline.
  • If necessary, you can include other points as well, like the abstract, contents, title and author etc. However, these things are fairly simple and have a standard word limit, so they generally do not get messy.

These 5 are the main guidelines that you need to keep in mind if you want to have a good outline. Go through examples of research paper outlines if necessary.