How To Write An Outline For A Research Paper: Tips For Dummies

Writing outlines for any paper that you are doing make it a lot easier. Instead of writing and being confused because you left something out or you put something in the wrong section, having an outline will help minimize the errors in your essay and make it as strong as it can be. Below is some tip to help write a basic framework. Four tips to help write an outline for a research paper:

  1. Determine the structure of the paper- This is especially important because it allows you to know what you will be putting in the plan for your essay. For instance, is it a classical argument research? Will there be a delayed thesis? (That is, one that does not fall into the introduction) Is there a word count? How many points must you have? And the like. You need to ask yourself these questions so you can have a clear idea of what the finished product will look like. After you have determined all of this, you are now ready to start your outline.
  2. Write an Introduction- The introduction of the essay will essentially give background information on what you will be writing about or what your research contains. In this section, the thesis will also be presented, usually at the end of the introduction. The thesis will set the tone of the paper and forecast what is to come next. It is essentially a claim followed by reasons. For instance, J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter series is the perfect example of why fantasy should be separate from reality because (insert reason 1, reason 2 and reason 3). You will gauge the length of your introduction by the length you expect the document to be. If the paper is five pages, then the introduction can be one page.
  3. Body of Research- The reasons that you put in the thesis will serve as the body of research. So reason one would be the first paragraph and maybe second depending on its length. A general rule is to start a new point in a new paragraph. On the outline, you would list the points you would expect to make in your body. For instance, paragraph one would talk about one thing, paragraph two would discuss something else. Under each argument you have, be sure to have sufficient evidence to support this point.
  4. Conclusion- The conclusion sums up everything in your body of research. It is also good to close with a bang, something that will leave readers thinking and make your paper memorable. It will be reiterating every point you made in the body with a shorter length.

Remember, an outline is nowhere near the finished product. It just allows you to have a lot less stress on your plate when it comes to writing the real thing.

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