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Useful Ways Of Writing A Research Paper Outline

21 May 2024

Students have to write research papers during their university life. Before writing your research paper, you need to be sure about the outline of a research paper. Let’s study in detail how to write a research paper outline? An outline can make you organize all of your work before start writing your research paper. Basically, a scientific paper aims to prove to you a student having all the necessary aptitudes to solve a certain issue or problem. When a student starts writing a research paper, he/she announces to be ready to use scientific approaches and scientific methods. You may forget many points while writing your research paper, but an outline can make you remember all the essential aspects of your research paper. You can call your outline a “skeleton” of your actual research paper. 

When you split your research paper into so many parts, it becomes easy for you to manage your scientific paper easily. By splitting your research paper, there isn’t a chance of forgetting anything. An outline can make you feel calm because your outline can make you think that you can do it with style. When you are done making an outline, the next thing you need to do is to focus on every part of your research paper. Make sure to cover the single point of your research paper at a time because this will not only enable you to do it effectively, but it will make you meet any deadline at will.

Useful Ways Of Writing A Research Paper Outline

What Is An Outline For A Research Paper?

In simple words, we can define an outline as a plan for the research one will do in the future. It is an assignment no different than any of your final papers, which you have to do. As far as the purpose of an outline is concerned, it aims to indicate and signify your understating on a particular topic. Making an outline can make you get rid of so many possible mistakes and errors, and it can shape your research paper as well. Normally, a research paper outline has the following part:

  • Title

When we talk about the title of any research paper, it has to be very specific and to the point. Your title is something that sets the tone for your entire research paper. Avoid the use of extra words and keep it as simple as possible.

  • Thesis statement

This is a statement you need to make while writing your research paper, whether you are in favor of a topic or against that topic, your thesis statement has to be there in your research paper.

  • Major arguments

This is where you need to write your arguments to back your topic. When a topic has been selected, you have chosen a side, maybe in favor, or maybe against that topic. Some reasonable arguments and proofs must support the side you have chosen.  

  • Supporting point

Whatever you are researching must be supported by scientific experiments. If you manage to support your point by a genuine and credible source, your research paper will be considered as amazing. Don’t forget to do this in your research paper.

  • Conclusion

At the end of your research paper, you need to conclude your points in a way that the audience gets attracted by your conclusion. Don’t write the same things as you have written earlier in your research paper. Your conclusion must look like a conclusion, not a summary of your research paper.

This is a basic structure of the outline when you are writing a research paper. As far as the structure of an outline for a research paper is concerned, it remains the same whether you are writing a paper for your college or for your Ph.D. studies. One thing you need to be careful about that the outline must be related to the topic you are working on. Making an outline for a research paper isn’t an easy job, but you can seek guidance from this guide, or you can ask some professionals. If you have decided that you will write your research paper by yourself, this guide will provide you all the critical details regarding the outline of your research paper.

The research paper outline template consists of

  1. Abstract
  2. Introduction
  3. Body
    A. Literature overview
    B. Research methods
    C. Analysis
    D. Results Perspectives
  4. Conclusion
  5. Bibliography

Let’s study all those points in detail to make this guide more useful for you.  


It is an instruct summary of your research paper. You need to write no more than five to six sentences in an abstract to highlight all of the content of your paper. As far as an abstract is concerned, it is a single paragraph that must not exceed 200-250 words, and it has to be right after your title page. Make sure to add only the required information regarding your topic, material and methodology, participants, and outcomes of your research paper. Be very selective while writing your abstract. This is the first thing your audience will read.  


This is one of the most decisive parts of a research paper. This is so crucial because this topic will give an idea about the nature of your topic, and this section could make or break point as far as your audience is concerned. In your introduction, you are supposed to write your thesis statement to hook your readers. After the perfect definition of your topic, a bit of explanation of your topic is also required to make it look more appealing. If your topic has some related terminologies that need to be defined and explained, make sure to do it.  

Your goal should be too aware of your reader with your topic on the basis of your introduction. After reading your introduction, the reader will be able to know your topic. Once you catch the attention of your reader, you have a good enough chance of getting successful in your research paper.  

Body of your research paper

The body of your research paper is the lengthiest part of your research paper. It may consist of several paragraphs. There isn’t a number or range available for your body paragraphs. Write until you think the topic has covered successfully. In your body paragraphs, you need to explain all the nitty-gritty of your topic along with supporting pieces of evidence. At first, you should write an argument to support your thesis statement. After that, you need to write about the methodology which will tell the audience how you have carried your research.  

Don’t forget to write your review of the literature. You must have found data from some genuine sources, and in this section, you are supposed to mention the sources you have used to support your thesis. When you are writing a review of the literature, make sure to get it adjacent to your main theme. Explain the existing work and let your readers know about the significance of your topic.  

After writing your methods and literature, you need to write your data and analysis. In this section, you should present your results and discussions. In this segment, you can prove your points with the help of some scientific proofs and experiments. If you think some tables and graphs can make your research paper look more impactful, go for tables and graphs. When you write about the outcomes, make your audience believe that how your outcomes have improved this world as far as your topic of interest is concerned. Make sure to state the drawbacks as well as advantages of your research.  

The final part of a research paper is the conclusion that is written at the last of your research paper. One of the common most mistakes students make is they try to add some new pieces of information in their conclusion. It must not have a single shred of new information but the work you have done. You can add your thesis statement again in your conclusion section. In order to make your conclusion more satisfying, formulate some prospects for the future.

Template Of MLA Research Paper Outline

When you are writing a research paper, you need to follow a certain and specific format. The format may be MLA, APA, or anything like those. When you follow one particular format, you write according to that format, which makes everything familiar to the readers. By following MLA format, you can do amazing research without worrying much about the style.

  • On the first page, you need to write the names of both student and professor. The class and date must be there on the first page of your MLA paper.
  • At the upper right corner, there have to be page numbers in the form of a header.
  • When you are writing a research paper in MLA format, you need to write all of your titles in Italics.
  • In MLA format, complete list along with endnotes are supposed to write before your cited work.
  • You are supposed to mark all of your subheadings with Arabic numbers when you are following MLA format.

Tips For Creating A Good MLA Outline Format

  • If you want to write a research paper following MLA format, you need to remember the requirements for citations like a book, journals, articles, or videos, etc.
  • You don’t need to feature title pages as far as MLA format is concerned. If your supervisor has given you some requirements and instructions, make sure to follow them.
  • To write a research paper that tick all the boxes in terms of MLA format, make sure to read all the guidelines and instructions, and don’t forget to double-check before you submit your research paper.
Useful Ways Of Writing A Research Paper Outline

Before Writing A Research Paper Outline

Select a suitable topic

If you are assigned to write a research paper, you need to select an appropriate topic. When you are choosing your topic, make sure to keep in mind your strengths and weaknesses. The success of your research paper depends greatly on the selection of your topic, which is why you should choose an exciting and provoking topic. Ask your professor or any other professional to seek guidance and never take your topic for granted. The research you are going to do will be depending on the nature of your topic.  

Write your arguments

After the selection of a topic, spend a fair bit of time to make sure which sort of arguments can do the job for your research paper. When you are selecting your arguments, ask yourself the questions like “why it is important?” and “how it will convince mu audience?”. You need to write arguments that can change the world in terms of your field. When you have answers to all possible questions, make sure to write your arguments that can back your data.  

Know your audience

This is a point most of our students ignore. If your professor is the one who is going to read your paper, make it understandable, keeping in mind your supervisor. If a large number of people will read your paper, you need to be sure about your audience. People of the same interest will read your research paper. The language you are using in your research paper has to be understandable to your audience. Whether the use of jargon can do the job or a simple language can work for you, the decision in all yours. You need to read the nature of your audience and take steps according to their feasibility.  

Conduct your research

You cannot write your research paper without conducting sound research. If you want to conduct credible research, make sure to consult multiple sources before adding any piece f information in your research paper. When you do a reasonable amount of research, you will be able to support your topic with trustworthy proofs.  

Firstly, try to add general information that can support your thesis without any unambiguousness. When you are done with the first part, dig deeper. By digging deep, you will be able to get the knowledge that will make your research paper a success story.  

Cite your sources

It is mandatory to add references at the end of your research work. In real, references are your proof that the data you have added in your research is reliable. References are also proof that you have conducted your research on a topic. Add your references according to their relevance and importance.

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