How Can You Create a Well Planned Research Paper Outline
You are staring at the blank document, meaning to start writing your research paper . After months of experiments and procuring results, your PI asked you to write the paper to publish it in a reputed journal. You spoke to your peers and a few seniors and received a few tips on writing a research paper, but you still can’t plan on how to begin!
Writing a research paper is a very common issue among researchers and is often looked upon as a time consuming hurdle. Researchers usually look up to this task as an impending threat, avoiding and procrastinating until they cannot delay it anymore. Seeking advice from internet and seniors they manage to write a paper which goes in for quite a few revisions. Making researchers lose their sense of understanding with respect to their research work and findings. In this article, we would like to discuss how to create a structured research paper outline which will assist a researcher in writing their research paper effectively!
Publication is an important component of research studies in a university for academic promotion and in obtaining funding to support research. However, the primary reason is to provide the data and hypotheses to scientific community to advance the understanding in a specific domain. A scientific paper is a formal record of a research process. It documents research protocols, methods, results, conclusion, and discussion from a research hypothesis .
Table of Contents
What Is a Research Paper Outline?
A research paper outline is a basic format for writing an academic research paper. It follows the IMRAD format (Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion). However, this format varies depending on the type of research manuscript. A research paper outline consists of following sections to simplify the paper for readers. These sections help researchers build an effective paper outline.
1. Title Page
The title page provides important information which helps the editors, reviewers, and readers identify the manuscript and the authors at a glance. It also provides an overview of the field of research the research paper belongs to. The title should strike a balance between precise and detailed. Other generic details include author’s given name, affiliation, keywords that will provide indexing, details of the corresponding author etc. are added to the title page.
Abstract is the most important section of the manuscript and will help the researcher create a detailed research paper outline . To be more precise, an abstract is like an advertisement to the researcher’s work and it influences the editor in deciding whether to submit the manuscript to reviewers or not. Writing an abstract is a challenging task. Researchers can write an exemplary abstract by selecting the content carefully and being concise.
An introduction is a background statement that provides the context and approach of the research. It describes the problem statement with the assistance of the literature study and elaborates the requirement to update the knowledge gap. It sets the research hypothesis and informs the readers about the big research question.
This section is usually named as “Materials and Methods”, “Experiments” or “Patients and Methods” depending upon the type of journal. This purpose provides complete information on methods used for the research. Researchers should mention clear description of materials and their use in the research work. If the methods used in research are already published, give a brief account and refer to the original publication. However, if the method used is modified from the original method, then researcher should mention the modifications done to the original protocol and validate its accuracy, precision, and repeatability.
It is best to report results as tables and figures wherever possible. Also, avoid duplication of text and ensure that the text summarizes the findings. Report the results with appropriate descriptive statistics. Furthermore, report any unexpected events that could affect the research results, and mention complete account of observations and explanations for missing data (if any).
The discussion should set the research in context, strengthen its importance and support the research hypothesis. Summarize the main results of the study in one or two paragraphs and show how they logically fit in an overall scheme of studies. Compare the results with other investigations in the field of research and explain the differences.
Acknowledgements identify and thank the contributors to the study, who are not under the criteria of co-authors. It also includes the recognition of funding agency and universities that award scholarships or fellowships to researchers.
8. Declaration of Competing Interests
Finally, declaring the competing interests is essential to abide by ethical norms of unique research publishing. Competing interests arise when the author has more than one role that may lead to a situation where there is a conflict of interest.
Steps to Write a Research Paper Outline
- Write down all important ideas that occur to you concerning the research paper .
- Answer questions such as – what is the topic of my paper? Why is the topic important? How to formulate the hypothesis? What are the major findings?
- Add context and structure. Group all your ideas into sections – Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion/Conclusion.
- Add relevant questions to each section. It is important to note down the questions. This will help you align your thoughts.
- Expand the ideas based on the questions created in the paper outline.
- After creating a detailed outline, discuss it with your mentors and peers.
- Get enough feedback and decide on the journal you will submit to.
- The process of real writing begins.
Benefits of Creating a Research Paper Outline
As discussed, the research paper subheadings create an outline of what different aspects of research needs elaboration. This provides subtopics on which the researchers brainstorm and reach a conclusion to write. A research paper outline organizes the researcher’s thoughts and gives a clear picture of how to formulate the research protocols and results. It not only helps the researcher to understand the flow of information but also provides relation between the ideas.
A research paper outline helps researcher achieve a smooth transition between topics and ensures that no research point is forgotten. Furthermore, it allows the reader to easily navigate through the research paper and provides a better understanding of the research. The paper outline allows the readers to find relevant information and quotes from different part of the paper.
Research Paper Outline Template
A research paper outline template can help you understand the concept of creating a well planned research paper before beginning to write and walk through your journey of research publishing.
1. Research Title
A. Background i. Support with evidence ii. Support with existing literature studies
B. Thesis Statement i. Link literature with hypothesis ii. Support with evidence iii. Explain the knowledge gap and how this research will help build the gap 4. Body
A. Methods i. Mention materials and protocols used in research ii. Support with evidence
B. Results i. Support with tables and figures ii. Mention appropriate descriptive statistics
C. Discussion i. Support the research with context ii. Support the research hypothesis iii. Compare the results with other investigations in field of research
D. Conclusion i. Support the discussion and research investigation ii. Support with literature studies
E. Acknowledgements i. Identify and thank the contributors ii. Include the funding agency, if any
F. Declaration of Competing Interests
Download the Research Paper Outline Template!
Have you tried writing a research paper outline ? How did it work for you? Did it help you achieve your research paper writing goal? Do let us know about your experience in the comments below.
Downloadable format shared which is great. 🙂
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Writing Research Papers
- Research Paper Structure
Whether you are writing a B.S. Degree Research Paper or completing a research report for a Psychology course, it is highly likely that you will need to organize your research paper in accordance with American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines. Here we discuss the structure of research papers according to APA style.
Major Sections of a Research Paper in APA Style
A complete research paper in APA style that is reporting on experimental research will typically contain a Title page, Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, and References sections. 1 Many will also contain Figures and Tables and some will have an Appendix or Appendices. These sections are detailed as follows (for a more in-depth guide, please refer to " How to Write a Research Paper in APA Style ”, a comprehensive guide developed by Prof. Emma Geller). 2
What is this paper called and who wrote it? – the first page of the paper; this includes the name of the paper, a “running head”, authors, and institutional affiliation of the authors. The institutional affiliation is usually listed in an Author Note that is placed towards the bottom of the title page. In some cases, the Author Note also contains an acknowledgment of any funding support and of any individuals that assisted with the research project.
One-paragraph summary of the entire study – typically no more than 250 words in length (and in many cases it is well shorter than that), the Abstract provides an overview of the study.
What is the topic and why is it worth studying? – the first major section of text in the paper, the Introduction commonly describes the topic under investigation, summarizes or discusses relevant prior research (for related details, please see the Writing Literature Reviews section of this website), identifies unresolved issues that the current research will address, and provides an overview of the research that is to be described in greater detail in the sections to follow.
What did you do? – a section which details how the research was performed. It typically features a description of the participants/subjects that were involved, the study design, the materials that were used, and the study procedure. If there were multiple experiments, then each experiment may require a separate Methods section. A rule of thumb is that the Methods section should be sufficiently detailed for another researcher to duplicate your research.
What did you find? – a section which describes the data that was collected and the results of any statistical tests that were performed. It may also be prefaced by a description of the analysis procedure that was used. If there were multiple experiments, then each experiment may require a separate Results section.
What is the significance of your results? – the final major section of text in the paper. The Discussion commonly features a summary of the results that were obtained in the study, describes how those results address the topic under investigation and/or the issues that the research was designed to address, and may expand upon the implications of those findings. Limitations and directions for future research are also commonly addressed.
List of articles and any books cited – an alphabetized list of the sources that are cited in the paper (by last name of the first author of each source). Each reference should follow specific APA guidelines regarding author names, dates, article titles, journal titles, journal volume numbers, page numbers, book publishers, publisher locations, websites, and so on (for more information, please see the Citing References in APA Style page of this website).
Tables and Figures
Graphs and data (optional in some cases) – depending on the type of research being performed, there may be Tables and/or Figures (however, in some cases, there may be neither). In APA style, each Table and each Figure is placed on a separate page and all Tables and Figures are included after the References. Tables are included first, followed by Figures. However, for some journals and undergraduate research papers (such as the B.S. Research Paper or Honors Thesis), Tables and Figures may be embedded in the text (depending on the instructor’s or editor’s policies; for more details, see "Deviations from APA Style" below).
Supplementary information (optional) – in some cases, additional information that is not critical to understanding the research paper, such as a list of experiment stimuli, details of a secondary analysis, or programming code, is provided. This is often placed in an Appendix.
Variations of Research Papers in APA Style
Although the major sections described above are common to most research papers written in APA style, there are variations on that pattern. These variations include:
- Literature reviews – when a paper is reviewing prior published research and not presenting new empirical research itself (such as in a review article, and particularly a qualitative review), then the authors may forgo any Methods and Results sections. Instead, there is a different structure such as an Introduction section followed by sections for each of the different aspects of the body of research being reviewed, and then perhaps a Discussion section.
- Multi-experiment papers – when there are multiple experiments, it is common to follow the Introduction with an Experiment 1 section, itself containing Methods, Results, and Discussion subsections. Then there is an Experiment 2 section with a similar structure, an Experiment 3 section with a similar structure, and so on until all experiments are covered. Towards the end of the paper there is a General Discussion section followed by References. Additionally, in multi-experiment papers, it is common for the Results and Discussion subsections for individual experiments to be combined into single “Results and Discussion” sections.
Departures from APA Style
In some cases, official APA style might not be followed (however, be sure to check with your editor, instructor, or other sources before deviating from standards of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association). Such deviations may include:
- Placement of Tables and Figures – in some cases, to make reading through the paper easier, Tables and/or Figures are embedded in the text (for example, having a bar graph placed in the relevant Results section). The embedding of Tables and/or Figures in the text is one of the most common deviations from APA style (and is commonly allowed in B.S. Degree Research Papers and Honors Theses; however you should check with your instructor, supervisor, or editor first).
- Incomplete research – sometimes a B.S. Degree Research Paper in this department is written about research that is currently being planned or is in progress. In those circumstances, sometimes only an Introduction and Methods section, followed by References, is included (that is, in cases where the research itself has not formally begun). In other cases, preliminary results are presented and noted as such in the Results section (such as in cases where the study is underway but not complete), and the Discussion section includes caveats about the in-progress nature of the research. Again, you should check with your instructor, supervisor, or editor first.
- Class assignments – in some classes in this department, an assignment must be written in APA style but is not exactly a traditional research paper (for instance, a student asked to write about an article that they read, and to write that report in APA style). In that case, the structure of the paper might approximate the typical sections of a research paper in APA style, but not entirely. You should check with your instructor for further guidelines.
Workshops and Downloadable Resources
- For in-person discussion of the process of writing research papers, please consider attending this department’s “Writing Research Papers” workshop (for dates and times, please check the undergraduate workshops calendar).
- How to Write APA Style Research Papers (a comprehensive guide) [ PDF ]
- Tips for Writing APA Style Research Papers (a brief summary) [ PDF ]
- Example APA Style Research Paper (for B.S. Degree – empirical research) [ PDF ]
- Example APA Style Research Paper (for B.S. Degree – literature review) [ PDF ]
- Writing Research Paper Videos
APA Journal Article Reporting Guidelines
- Appelbaum, M., Cooper, H., Kline, R. B., Mayo-Wilson, E., Nezu, A. M., & Rao, S. M. (2018). Journal article reporting standards for quantitative research in psychology: The APA Publications and Communications Board task force report . American Psychologist , 73 (1), 3.
- Levitt, H. M., Bamberg, M., Creswell, J. W., Frost, D. M., Josselson, R., & Suárez-Orozco, C. (2018). Journal article reporting standards for qualitative primary, qualitative meta-analytic, and mixed methods research in psychology: The APA Publications and Communications Board task force report . American Psychologist , 73 (1), 26.
- Formatting APA Style Papers in Microsoft Word
- How to Write an APA Style Research Paper from Hamilton University
- WikiHow Guide to Writing APA Research Papers
- Sample APA Formatted Paper with Comments
- Sample APA Formatted Paper
- Tips for Writing a Paper in APA Style
1 VandenBos, G. R. (Ed). (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.) (pp. 41-60). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
2 geller, e. (2018). how to write an apa-style research report . [instructional materials]. , prepared by s. c. pan for ucsd psychology.
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How to Write a Research Paper Outline with Examples
You sometimes have to submit an essay outline or a research proposal checklist for a research project before you do most of the actual research to show that you have understood the assignment, defined a good research question or hypothesis, and contemplated the structure of your research paper. You can find various templates and examples for such outlines, which usually begin with “put your thesis statement/research question at the top” and then ask you to decide whether to add your supporting ideas/points in “alphanumeric,” “decimal,” or “full-sentence” style.
That is certainly one useful (if not overly formalized) way of using outlining to prepare to draft an academic text. But here we want to talk about how to make an outline after you have done a research project or thesis work and are not quite sure how to put everything together into a written thesis to hand in or a research paper manuscript to submit to a journal.
What is a research paper outline?
Creating a research project outline entails more than just listing bullet points (although you can use bullet points and lists in your outline). It includes how to organize everything you have done and thought about and want to say about your work into a clear structure you can use as the basis for your research paper.
There are two different methods of creating an outline: let’s call these “abstract style” and “paper style.” These names reflect how briefly you summarize your work at this initial point, or show how extensive and complicated the methods and designs you used and the data you collected are. The type of outline you use also depends on how clear the story you want to tell is and how much organizing and structuring of information you still need to do before you can draft your actual paper.
Table of Contents:
- Abstract-Style Outline Format
- Paper-Style Outline Format
Additional Tips for Outlining a Research Paper in English
Abstract-style research paper outline format.
A research paper outline in abstract style consists, like the abstract of a research paper , of short answers to the essential questions that anyone trying to understand your work would ask.
- Why did you decide to do what you did?
- What exactly did you do?
- How did you do it?
- What did you find?
- What does it mean?
- What should you/we/someone else do now?
These questions form the structure of not only a typical research paper abstract but also a typical article manuscript. They will eventually be omitted and replaced by the usual headers, such as Introduction/Background, Aim, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions, etc. Answering these key questions for yourself first (with keywords or short sentences) and then sticking to the same structure and information when drafting your article will ensure that your story is consistent and that there are no logical gaps or contradictions between the different sections of a research paper .
If you draft this abstract outline carefully, you can use it as the basis for every other part of your paper. You reduce it even more, down to the absolute essential elements, to create your manuscript title ; you choose your keywords on the basis of the summary presented here; and you expand it into the introduction , methods , results , and discussion sections of your paper without contradicting yourself or losing the logical thread.
Research Paper Outline Example (Abstract style)
Let’s say you did a research project on the effect of university online classes on attendance rates and create a simple outline example using these six questions:
1. Why did you decide to do what you did?
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many university courses around the world have been moved online, at least temporarily. Since students have been saving time on commuting, I wondered if attendance rates have increased overall.
2. What exactly did you do?
I compared attendance scores for courses that were taught both before (offline) and during (online) the COVID-19 pandemic at my university.
3. How did you do it?
I selected five popular subjects (business, law, medicine, psychology, art & design) and one general course per subject; then I contacted the professors in charge and asked them to provide me with anonymized attendance scores.
4. What did you find?
Attendance did not significantly change for medicine and law, but slightly dropped for the other three subjects. I found no difference between male and female students.
5. What does it mean?
Even though students saved time on traveling between their homes and the campus during the COVID-19 pandemic, they did not attend classes more consistently; in some subjects, they missed more classes than before.
6. What should you/we/someone else do now?
Since I do not have any other information about the students, I can only speculate on potential explanations. Next, I will put together a questionnaire to assess how students have been coping with online classes and how the experiences from this time can benefit university teaching and learning in general.
Note that you could have made the same outline using just keywords instead of full sentences. You could also have added more methodological details or the results of your statistical analysis. However, when you can break everything down to the absolute essentials like this, you will have a good foundation upon which to develop a full paper.
However, maybe your study just seems too complicated. So you look at these questions and then at your notes and data and have no idea how to come up with such simple answers. Or maybe things went in a completely different direction since you started writing your paper, so now you are no longer sure what the main point of your experiments was and what the main conclusion should be. If that is how you feel right now, then outlining your paper in “paper style” might be the right method for you.
Paper-Style Research Paper Outline Format
The purpose of a paper-style outline is the same as that of an abstract-style outline: You want to organize your initial thoughts and plans, the methods and tools you used, all the experiments you conducted, the data you collected and analyzed, as well as your results, into a clear structure so that you can identify the main storyline for your paper and the main conclusions that you want the reader to take from it.
First, take as much space as you need and simply jot down everything in your study you planned to do, everything you did, and everything you thought about based on your notes, lab book, and earlier literature you read or used. Such an outline can contain all your initial ideas, the timeline of all your pilots and all your experiments, the reasons why you changed direction or designed new experiments halfway through your study, all the analyses you ever did, all the feedback and criticism you already got from supervisors and seniors or during conference presentations, and all the ideas you have for future work. If this is your thesis or your first publication, then your first outline might look quite messy – and that is exactly why you need to structure your paper before trying to write everything up.
So you have finally remembered all you have done in your study and have written everything down. The next step is to realize that you cannot throw all of this at the reader and expect them to put it together. You will have to create a story that is clear and consistent, contains all the essential information (and leaves out any that is not), and leads the reader the same way the abstract outline does, from why over what and how to what you found and what it all means .
This does not mean you should suppress results that did not come out as intended or try to make your study look smoother. But the reader does not really need to know all the details about why you changed your research question after your initial literature search or some failed pilots. Instead of writing down the simple questions we used for the abstract outline, to organize your still messy notes, write down the main sections of the manuscript you are trying to put together. Additionally, include what kinds of information needs to go where in your paper’s structure.
1. Introduction Section:
What field is your research part of?
What other papers did you read before deciding on your topic?
Who is your target audience and how much information do your readers need to understand where you are coming from?
Can you summarize what you did in two sentences?
Did you have a clear hypothesis? If not, what were the potential outcomes of your work?
2. Methods Section:
List all the methods, questionnaires, and tests you used.
Are your methods all standard in the field or do you need to explain them?
List everything chronologically or according to topics, whatever makes more sense. Read more about writing the Methods section if you need help with this important decision.
3. Results Section:
Use the same timeline or topics you introduced in the method section.
Make sure you answer all the questions you raised in the introduction.
Use tables, graphs, and other visualizations to guide the reader.
Don’t present results of tests/analyses that you did not mention in the methods.
4. Discussion/Conclusion Section:
Summarize quickly what you did and found but don’t repeat your results.
Explain whether your findings were to be expected, are new and surprising, are in line with the existing literature, or are contradicting some earlier work.
Do you think your findings can be generalized? Can they be useful for people in certain professions or other fields?
Does your study have limitations? What would you do differently next time?
What future research do you think should be done based on your findings?
5. Conclusion Statement/Paragraph:
This is your take-home message for the reader. Make sure that your conclusion is directly related to your initial research question.
Now you can simply reorganize your notes (if you use computer software) or fill in the different sections and cross out information on your original list. When you have used all your jotted notes, go through your new outline and check what is still missing. Now check once more that your conclusion is related to your initial research question. If that is the case, you are good to go. You can now either break your outline down further and shorten it into an abstract, or you can expand the different outline sections into a full article.
If you are a non-native speaker of English, then you might take notes in your mother language or maybe in different languages, read literature in your mother language, and generally not think in English while doing your research. If your goal is to write your thesis or paper in English, however, then our advice is to only use your mother language when listing keywords at the very beginning of the outlining process (if at all). As soon as you write down full sentences that you want to go into your paper eventually, you can save yourself a lot of work, avoid mistakes later in the process, and train your brain (which will help you immensely the next time you write an academic text), if you stick to English.
Another thing to keep in mind is that starting to write in full sentences too early in the process means that you might need to omit some passages (maybe even entire paragraphs) when you later decide to change the structure or storyline of your paper. Depending on how much you enjoy (or hate) writing in English and how much effort it costs you, having to throw away a perfectly fine paragraph that you invested a lot of time in can be incredibly frustrating. Our advice is therefore to not spend too much time on writing and to not get too attached to exact wording before you have a solid outline that you then only need to fill in and expand into a full paper.
Once you have finished drafting your paper, consider using professional proofreading and English editing service to revise your paper and prepare it for submission to journals. Wordvice offers a paper editing service , manuscript editing service , dissertation editing service , and thesis editing service to polish and edit your research work and correct any errors in style or formatting.
And while you draft your article, make use of Wordvice AI, a free grammar checker that identifies and fixes errors in punctuation, spelling, and grammar in any academic document.
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How to Create a Structured Research Paper Outline | Example
Published on August 7, 2022 by Courtney Gahan . Revised on August 15, 2023.
A research paper outline is a useful tool to aid in the writing process , providing a structure to follow with all information to be included in the paper clearly organized.
A quality outline can make writing your research paper more efficient by helping to:
- Organize your thoughts
- Understand the flow of information and how ideas are related
- Ensure nothing is forgotten
A research paper outline can also give your teacher an early idea of the final product.
Table of contents
Research paper outline example, how to write a research paper outline, formatting your research paper outline, language in research paper outlines.
- Definition of measles
- Rise in cases in recent years in places the disease was previously eliminated or had very low rates of infection
- Figures: Number of cases per year on average, number in recent years. Relate to immunization
- Symptoms and timeframes of disease
- Risk of fatality, including statistics
- How measles is spread
- Immunization procedures in different regions
- Different regions, focusing on the arguments from those against immunization
- Immunization figures in affected regions
- High number of cases in non-immunizing regions
- Illnesses that can result from measles virus
- Fatal cases of other illnesses after patient contracted measles
- Summary of arguments of different groups
- Summary of figures and relationship with recent immunization debate
- Which side of the argument appears to be correct?
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See an example
Follow these steps to start your research paper outline:
- Decide on the subject of the paper
- Write down all the ideas you want to include or discuss
- Organize related ideas into sub-groups
- Arrange your ideas into a hierarchy: What should the reader learn first? What is most important? Which idea will help end your paper most effectively?
- Create headings and subheadings that are effective
- Format the outline in either alphanumeric, full-sentence or decimal format
There are three different kinds of research paper outline: alphanumeric, full-sentence and decimal outlines. The differences relate to formatting and style of writing.
An alphanumeric outline is most commonly used. It uses Roman numerals, capitalized letters, arabic numerals, lowercase letters to organize the flow of information. Text is written with short notes rather than full sentences.
- Sub-point of sub-point 1
Essentially the same as the alphanumeric outline, but with the text written in full sentences rather than short points.
- Additional sub-point to conclude discussion of point of evidence introduced in point A
A decimal outline is similar in format to the alphanumeric outline, but with a different numbering system: 1, 1.1, 1.2, etc. Text is written as short notes rather than full sentences.
- 1.1.1 Sub-point of first point
- 1.1.2 Sub-point of first point
- 1.2 Second point
To write an effective research paper outline, it is important to pay attention to language. This is especially important if it is one you will show to your teacher or be assessed on.
There are four main considerations: parallelism, coordination, subordination and division.
Parallelism: Be consistent with grammatical form
Parallel structure or parallelism is the repetition of a particular grammatical form within a sentence, or in this case, between points and sub-points. This simply means that if the first point is a verb , the sub-point should also be a verb.
Example of parallelism:
- Include different regions, focusing on the different arguments from those against immunization
Coordination: Be aware of each point’s weight
Your chosen subheadings should hold the same significance as each other, as should all first sub-points, secondary sub-points, and so on.
Example of coordination:
- Include immunization figures in affected regions
- Illnesses that can result from the measles virus
Subordination: Work from general to specific
Subordination refers to the separation of general points from specific. Your main headings should be quite general, and each level of sub-point should become more specific.
Example of subordination:
Division: break information into sub-points.
Your headings should be divided into two or more subsections. There is no limit to how many subsections you can include under each heading, but keep in mind that the information will be structured into a paragraph during the writing stage, so you should not go overboard with the number of sub-points.
Ready to start writing or looking for guidance on a different step in the process? Read our step-by-step guide on how to write a research paper .
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A Complete Guide on Components of A Research Paper In 2023
Want to know the components of a research paper, don’t worry you are at the right place. Here in this post we will tell you a complete guide on the components of a research paper. A research paper is a written document that is created by a researcher, in which they present their findings on a particular topic. The primary aim of a research paper is to communicate the results of a study or investigation to an audience in a clear and concise manner.
A well-written research paper follows a specific structure that helps the reader to understand the content easily. In this article, we will discuss the components of a research paper that are necessary to create a successful and effective document.
What is a Research Paper?
Table of Contents
A research paper is a written document that presents the findings of a study or investigation conducted by a researcher or group of researchers.
The purpose of a research paper is to communicate the results of the study to a specific audience, such as academics, practitioners, or policymakers, in a clear and concise manner.
Research papers are often used to contribute to the knowledge in a particular field or to provide solutions to a particular problem. They are typically based on primary or secondary research and may involve various methods, such as surveys, experiments, case studies, or literature reviews.
Research papers follow a specific structure and formatting guidelines and are often published in academic journals, conferences, or other scholarly publications.
This will be clear once we will understand the components of a research paper.
Significance of Research Paper
Research papers have significant importance in various fields and disciplines. Some of the key significance of research papers are:
Advancing knowledge: Research papers contribute to the advancement of knowledge by providing new insights, perspectives, and discoveries in a particular field. They often build upon previous research and provide a foundation for future studies.
Validating theories: Research papers provide empirical evidence that supports or refutes existing theories, which helps to establish their validity or accuracy.
Providing solutions: Research papers may provide practical solutions to real-world problems or challenges in various fields, such as healthcare, education, or business.
Enhancing critical thinking: Research papers require critical thinking and analysis, which helps researchers develop their analytical skills and improve their ability to evaluate information objectively.
Improving decision-making: Research papers can provide decision-makers, such as policymakers or business leaders, with evidence-based insights and recommendations to inform their decisions.
Establishing credibility: Research papers help researchers establish their credibility and reputation within their field by demonstrating their expertise, knowledge, and contributions to the field.
Understanding of the components of a research paper will give a better overview of its significance.
Components of A Research Paper – That You Must Know
Here is the complete list of the components of a research paper that you must know:
The title of a research paper is the first thing that readers see. It should be clear, concise, and informative. A good title should provide the reader with an idea of what the paper is about. The title should also be relevant to the research topic and capture the attention of the reader. The title should be centered on the page and in bold letters.
The abstract is a brief summary of the research paper. It is usually a paragraph or two that provides a summary of the study’s purpose, methods, results, and conclusions. The abstract should be informative, clear, and concise. It should include the research question, the methodology used, the findings, and the conclusions drawn from the study. The abstract should be written in a way that is easy to understand for readers who may not have a background in the field.
The introduction is the first section of the research paper. It provides background information on the research topic and establishes the context for the study. The introduction should provide an overview of the research question, the purpose of the study, and the significance of the research. It should also include a brief review of the literature on the topic and a statement of the hypothesis or research question.
4. Literature review
The literature review provides an overview of the existing research on the topic. It summarizes and synthesizes the relevant literature to establish the need for the current study. The literature review should include a critical analysis of the literature, highlighting any gaps in the research that the current study will address. It should also provide a theoretical framework for the study.
The methodology section describes the methods used in the study. It provides a detailed description of the study design, sample selection, data collection, and data analysis procedures. The methodology should be written in a way that is clear and concise, allowing other researchers to replicate the study.
The results section presents the findings of the study. It should be written in a way that is clear and easy to understand. The results should be presented in a logical and organized manner, using tables, graphs, and charts where appropriate. The results should also be discussed in relation to the research question and the literature review.
The discussion section interprets the results and draws conclusions based on the findings. It should relate the results to the research question and the literature review. The discussion should also highlight the implications of the findings for future research in the field. It should be written in a way that is clear and concise, presenting the key points of the study.
The conclusion provides a summary of the research findings and the implications of the study. It should also provide recommendations for future research in the field. The conclusion should be written in a way that is clear and concise, leaving a lasting impression on the reader.
The references section provides a list of all the sources cited in the research paper. The references should be formatted according to the guidelines provided by the journal or publication.
The appendices section contains any additional information that is relevant to the study but not included in the main body of the paper. This may include raw data, additional tables or graphs, or survey instruments used in the study.
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How To Effectively Write A Research Paper?
After understanding the components of a research paper, let us determine the proper way of writing a research paper which can be a challenging task. But, there are some key steps you can take to help ensure that you write an effective paper. Here are some tips on how to write a research paper:
1. Choose a topic
Select a topic that is interesting and relevant to your field of study. Make sure that your topic is specific and well-defined, and that there is enough research available on the topic to support your paper.
2. Conduct research
Once you have chosen a topic, conduct thorough research using a variety of sources, including books, scholarly articles, and online databases. Make sure that you take detailed notes on the sources you consult, including the author, title, and publication date.
3. Create an outline
Organize your research into a logical structure by creating an outline for your paper. This will help you to ensure that your paper is well-organized and flows logically.
4. Write a strong introduction
Your introduction should grab the reader’s attention and provide background information on your topic. It should also clearly state your research question or thesis statement.
5. Develop your argument
Use the body of your paper to develop your argument and provide evidence to support your thesis statement. Make sure that you use clear and concise language and avoid jargon or overly technical terms.
6. Use proper citation
Make sure that you cite all of your sources properly using the appropriate citation style for your field of study. This will help you to avoid plagiarism and ensure that your paper is credible and well-researched.
7. Revise and edit
Once you have completed a draft of your paper, take the time to revise and edit it thoroughly. Make sure that your paper is well-organized, free of grammatical errors, and that your argument is clear and compelling.
A research paper is a complex document that requires careful planning and attention to detail. Each component of a research paper plays a crucial role in communicating the findings of the study to the audience. The title, abstract, introduction, literature review, methodology, results, discussion, conclusion, references, and appendices are all necessary components of a research paper.
The title and abstract provide a brief summary of the research topic and the key findings of the study. The introduction and literature review establish the context for the research and highlight the need for the study. The methodology section provides a detailed description of the methods used in the study, and the results section presents the findings in a clear and organized manner. The discussion section interprets the findings and draws conclusions, while the conclusion provides a summary of the study and recommendations for future research.
The references section and appendices provide additional information that supports the findings of the study. Proper formatting of these components is crucial to ensure that the research paper adheres to the guidelines provided by the journal or publication.
In summary, a well-written research paper follows a specific structure that includes several components. Each component plays an essential role in communicating the findings of the study to the audience. By paying careful attention to each component of the research paper, researchers can create an effective document that contributes to the field’s knowledge and advances future research.
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Research Paper Outline – How to create a good one
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- 1 Research Paper Outline: Definition
- 3 Structure
- 5 APA Outline
- 6 MLA Outline
- 7 In a Nutshell
Research Paper Outline: Definition
A research paper outline is a simple structure of what you will include in each part of your research paper . The research paper structure should help to reduce the stress of writing the entire paper since you will only be tackling one section at a time. A good research paper structure should also help you avoid leaving out points or making mistakes in the paper.
Research paper outlines can make your work a lot easier since they show you what to include in every part of the research paper. After reading this guide, you will be able to create a research paper outline. We have included a sample of a research paper structure.
What are the parts of the research paper outline?
A research paper outline should include all of the essential parts of a research paper . The essential parts are generally the introduction, the main section, and the conclusion. The introduction should contain a hook, a thesis statement, and it should define the research topic. The body should contain your arguments in support of the thesis. In the conclusion, you should summarize your arguments and add a call to action.
What is the format of the research paper outline?
For the research paper outline, there are many strategies that you can use. Which one you choose, depends on your research paper topic , and your lecturers’ instructions. The research paper outline is most commonly formatted with letters and (or) numbers. Usually, the format of a research paper outline starts with Roman numerals for the main topics (I., II., III., …). For subtopics, uppercase letters are often used (A., B., C., …). For detailed parts of your subtopics, use Arabic numbers (1., 2., 3., …). And if there are any subparts, you can use lowercase letters for them (a., b., c., …).
What should be included in a research paper outline?
Your research paper outline should simply show what you will include in each section of your research paper. For example, the introduction , body paragraphs and conclusion. You should show the main ideas that will be covered in each of the specific sections. The research paper outline should follow the layout of the actual study, and each part should contain points that are relevant to the corresponding section.
What's the difference between MLA and APA research paper outlines?
MLA stands for the Modern Language Association and APA stands for the American Psychological Association. They are both methods for formatting research papers. The main differences are in the referencing styles and the cover pages . Which method you are required to use, will depend on your area of research. Areas in humanities usually require you to use MLA, whereas scientific research usually requires APA formatting.
What are the steps before writing the research paper outline?
Before writing your research paper outline, you need to have completed the research phase. This means that you should have decided on your research topic and your research question . You need to have already written at least a draft thesis statement. You can’t create a research paper outline, if you don’t know which areas within your research topic are going to be covered.
A research paper outline should have the following parts:
Your research paper outline should be well divided. First, you will determine what you will include in the abstract . This part basically works as a brief summary of your entire paper, and in the research paper outline, you should include the key points to include in this section.
The next part of your research paper outline will be the introduction . This part hooks the reader to the paper and should contain some key details. As you create your research paper outline, make sure you include the thesis statement , the core terms in the paper, and major points tackled in the paper.
The body part of your research paper outline should have the most information. This part of the research paper outline should contain different sections. Immediately after the introduction, you should show what you will include in your methodology. You should make notes on the methods used to carry out the research. You should then note the literature you used as a backup to your hypothesis and theories. In the research paper outline, you should mention the main theme of your study, along with how you intend to expand on the chosen literature.
Supporting points for each argument
After this part, your research paper outline should show the data and analysis section of the study. Note your results and other variables that you got in the study and indicate your preferred method of presenting the data. This could be with tables, graphs, etc.
A summary of the research findings and conclusions should also be included in this part of the research paper structure. Determine whether the findings make a difference to existing studies. Also, note the drawbacks of the research and its advantages.
To make your work easier, you can use this format and add the details of your own research paper structure. Note that this format may need to be changed depending on the type of research and the writing style requested. The following is an example of a research paper outline:
When writing the research paper with the APA format, you should consider the particularities of this style. First, remember that the papers include separate cover pages, and the cover page includes the title, author’s name, school name, and running head. The header on every next page has a number and title. With this format, the abstract has to be followed by keywords. The list of cited sources is titled as ‘References’. You should note these items in the research paper outline to make sure you don’t get anything wrong.
As you complete your research paper outline for an MLA paper, you should remember that the citation styles differ based on the type of source. For example, a book will be cited differently from a video or magazine article. With MLA format, you will also not need to worry about title pages, unless your instructors indicate that they need a title page. In the research paper outline, the titles and emphasis points should all be written in italics. Before writing your cited works, you should consider making a list of the endnotes. The subheadings should be marked with Arabic numbers.
In a Nutshell
- Research paper outlines can make your work easier and will ensure that you don’t miss anything out of your paper.
- Research paper outlines differ based on the formating style used. APA research paper outlines will be slightly different from the MLA research paper outlines.
- A research paper outline should have an introduction, body, and conclusion.
- You should make brief notes on your main points and arguments in the research paper structure and refer to them when writing the paper itself.
Discover more useful articles:
This article shows how to create a table of contents - with examples:
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In this article we give you information about thesis format:
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Research Paper Outline Examples
Below are examples of research paper outlines. Creating an outline is the first thing you should do before starting on your research paper.
This article is a part of the guide:
- Example of a Paper
- Write a Hypothesis
- Example of a Paper 2
Browse Full Outline
- 1 Write a Research Paper
- 2 Writing a Paper
- 3.1 Write an Outline
- 3.2 Outline Examples
- 4.1 Thesis Statement
- 4.2 Write a Hypothesis
- 5.2 Abstract
- 5.3 Introduction
- 5.4 Methods
- 5.5 Results
- 5.6 Discussion
- 5.7 Conclusion
- 5.8 Bibliography
- 6.1 Table of Contents
- 6.2 Acknowledgements
- 6.3 Appendix
- 7.1 In Text Citations
- 7.2 Footnotes
- 7.3.1 Floating Blocks
- 7.4 Example of a Paper
- 7.5 Example of a Paper 2
- 7.6.1 Citations
- 7.7.1 Writing Style
- 7.7.2 Citations
- 8.1.1 Sham Peer Review
- 8.1.2 Advantages
- 8.1.3 Disadvantages
- 8.2 Publication Bias
- 8.3.1 Journal Rejection
- 9.1 Article Writing
- 9.2 Ideas for Topics
Once you've decided what topic you will be writing about, the next thing you should pay attention to is the scope of your paper or what you will be including in your discussion . The broader your topic is, the more difficult it is to discuss the full details. This is why you should establish early on the scope and limitations of your paper which will provide the foundation for your research paper outline.
Basically, your outline will constitute three main sections: the Introduction, the Body and the Conclusion. But to make sure your paper is complete, consult your instructor for specific parts they wants to be included in your research paper . Sample outlines for research papers will follow. But first, let’s discuss the main sections of your paper and what information each should cover.
The introduction should contain your thesis statement or the topic of your research as well as the purpose of your study. You may include here the reason why you chose that particular topic or simply the significance of your research paper's topic. You may also state what type of approach it is that you'll be using in your paper for the entire discussion of your topic. Generally, your Introduction should orient your readers to the major points the rest of the paper will be covering, and how.
The body of your paper is where you will be presenting all your arguments to support your thesis statement. Remember the “Rule of 3” which states that you should find 3 supporting arguments for each position you take. Start with a strong argument, followed by a stronger one, and end with the strongest argument as your final point.
The conclusion is where you form a summary of all your arguments so you can arrive at your final position. Explain and reiterate why you've ended up with the said conclusion.
As mentioned earlier, here are some sample outlines for research papers:
Thesis Topic: A Study on Factors Affecting the Infant Feeding Practices of Mothers in Las Pinas City
- Statement of the Problem
- Definition of Terms
- Theoretical Framework
- Type of Research
- Review of Related Literature
- Scope and Limitations
- Significance of the Study
- Benefits of Breastfeeding
- WHO Recommendations
- The International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes
- The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative
- The Innocenti Declaration on the Protection, Promotion and Support of Breastfeeding
- National Situationer
- The Milk Code
- BFHI in the Philippines
- Milk Code Violations
- Formula Feeding
- Factors Influencing the Decision Regarding Infant Feeding Method
- Area Situationer
- Socio-economic Demographic Profile of Mothers
- Information Regarding Current (Youngest) Infant
- Exclusive Breastfeeding
- Mixed Feeding
- Previous Infant Feeding Practices
- Maternal Knowledge
- Correlation Tests
- Analytical Summary
- Thesis Reworded
Topic: Asbestos Poisoning
- Definition of Asbestos Poisoning
- Symptoms of Asbestos Poisoning
- Effects of Asbestos Poisoning
- How to Deal with Asbestos Hazards
Topic: Shakespeare Adapted from AResearchGuide.com .
- Life of Anne Hathaway
- Reference in Shakespeare's Poems
- Romeo and Juliet
- The Tempest
- Much Ado About Nothing
- Richard III
- Other Poems
- Last Two Plays
- Concluding Statement
- Psychology 101
- Flags and Countries
- Capitals and Countries
Explorable.com (Jan 6, 2009). Research Paper Outline Examples. Retrieved Nov 08, 2023 from Explorable.com: https://explorable.com/research-paper-outline-examples
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Getting started with your research paper outline
The outline is the skeleton of your research paper. Simply start by writing down your thesis and the main ideas you wish to present. This will likely change as your research progresses; therefore, do not worry about being too specific in the early stages of writing your outline.
- Levels of organization for a research paper outline
A research paper outline typically contains between two and four layers of organization. The first two layers are the most generalized. Each layer thereafter will contain the research you complete and presents more and more detailed information.
The levels are typically represented by a combination of Roman numerals, Arabic numerals, uppercase letters, lowercase letters but may include other symbols. Refer to the guidelines provided by your institution, as formatting is not universal and differs between universities, fields, and subjects. If you are writing the outline for yourself, you may choose any combination you prefer.
First level of organization
This is the most generalized level of information. Begin by numbering the introduction, each idea you will present, and the conclusion. The main ideas contain the bulk of your research paper 's information. Depending on your research, it may be chapters of a book for a literature review , a series of dates for a historical research paper, or the methods and results of a scientific paper.
II. Main idea
III. Main idea
IV. Main idea
Second level of organization
The second level consists of topics which support the introduction, main ideas, and the conclusion. Each main idea should have at least two supporting topics listed in the outline.
If your main idea does not have enough support, you should consider presenting another main idea in its place. This is where you should stop outlining if this is your first draft. Continue your research before adding to the next levels of organization.
- A. Background information
- B. Hypothesis or thesis
- A. Supporting topic
- B. Supporting topic
Third level of organization
The third level of organization contains supporting information for the topics previously listed. By now, you should have completed enough research to add support for your ideas.
The Introduction and Main Ideas may contain information you discovered about the author, timeframe, or contents of a book for a literature review; the historical events leading up to the research topic for a historical research paper, or an explanation of the problem a scientific research paper intends to address.
- 1. Relevant history
- 2. Relevant history
- 1. The hypothesis or thesis clearly stated
- 1. A brief description of supporting information
- 2. A brief description of supporting information
Fourth level of organization
The fourth level of organization contains the most detailed information such as quotes, references, observations, or specific data needed to support the main idea. It is not typical to have further levels of organization because the information contained here is the most specific.
- a) Quotes or references to another piece of literature
- b) Quotes or references to another piece of literature
- Tips for writing a research paper outline
Tip: The key to creating a useful outline is to be consistent in your headings, organization, and levels of specificity.
- Be Consistent : ensure every heading has a similar tone. State the topic or write short sentences for each heading but avoid doing both.
- Organize Information : Higher levels of organization are more generally stated and each supporting level becomes more specific. The introduction and conclusion will never be lower than the first level of organization.
- Build Support : Each main idea should have two or more supporting topics. If your research does not have enough information to support the main idea you are presenting, you should, in general, complete additional research or revise the outline.
- Research paper outline template
By now, you should know the basic requirements to create an outline for your paper. With a content framework in place, you can now start writing your paper . To help you start right away, you can use one of our templates and adjust it to suit your needs.
- My research paper outline is complete: what are the next steps?
After completing your outline, you should:
- Title your research paper . This is an iterative process and may change when you delve deeper into the topic.
- Begin writing your research paper draft . Continue researching to further build your outline and provide more information to support your hypothesis or thesis.
- Format your draft appropriately . MLA 8 and APA 7 formats have differences between their bibliography page, in-text citations, line spacing, and title.
- Finalize your citations and bibliography . Use a reference manager like Paperpile to organize and cite your research.
- Write the abstract, if required . An abstract will briefly state the information contained within the paper, results of the research, and the conclusion.
- Frequently Asked Questions about a research paper outline
An outline is used to organize written ideas about a topic into a logical order. Outlines help us organize major topics, subtopics, and supporting details. Researchers benefit greatly from outlines while writing by addressing which topic to cover in what order.
The most basic outline format consists of: an introduction, a minimum of three topic paragraphs, and a conclusion.
You should make an outline before starting to write your research paper. This will help you organize the main ideas and arguments you want to present in your topic.
- Consistency: ensure every heading has a similar tone. State the topic or write short sentences for each heading but avoid doing both.
- Organization : Higher levels of organization are more generally stated and each supporting level becomes more specific. The introduction and conclusion will never be lower than the first level of organization.
- Support : Each main idea should have two or more supporting topics. If your research does not have enough information to support the main idea you are presenting, you should, in general, complete additional research or revise the outline.
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How to Make an Outline for Research Paper: Detailed Guide
Are you struggling to write a paper outlines? Don't worry - we're here to help. In this blog post, we'll give you a step-by-step guide to creating an outline for your essay. We'll also provide some tips and examples to help you start writing. So what are you waiting for? Let's get started!
However, if you have no time or desire to work on a paper, our online essay writers can create the best outline for a research paper. Find out more about our research paper help .
Goals and Benefits of a Research Paper Outline
When beginning any academic paper, it is important to have a clear understanding of what the finished product should look like. The same is true when starting to plan and write an outline for an essay. This guide will detail what an outline for an essay is, how to create one, and tips on how make it useful in the scientific paper.
What is an outline and why does it matter? A research paper outline is a plan written by the author to avoid stucking in the middle of the process. Call it an action plan. This part reveals the primary ideas of the study. Once you are done with the list of research paper topics to explore, it is necessary to dedicate some time to the outline development before you begin writing.
What is the difference between learning how to write a paper outline and how to make a table of contents for research papers? Well, an outline is not that detailed, and there is no need to put numbers of pages next to each section. An outline allows the amalgamation and review of the study. A writer will not repeat their words; he will stick to the logical flow with the help of an outline. Also be sure to learn how to cite a research paper .
The assignment's prompt may not say to write an outline. However, if a project is more than 1000 words in length , a professor utilizes a research paper outline by default. For example, a 5-paragraph essay requires an outline. It will not be possible to develop a 10,000-word coursework or dissertation without having a plan. An outline structure depends on the type of academic assignment and its format.
A paper outline also has a goal – to help keep the writer on track while writing and ensure that all key points are included. To achieve this goal, the following elements are typically included in an essay outline: thesis, main ideas, and supporting evidence/details in the body paragraph. The thesis statement is usually placed at the end of the introductory paragraph and provides a brief overview of what will be discussed in the essay body paragraphs. Each topic sentence corresponds with a main point that supports the thesis statement and introduces the evidence/details and supporting topics that will be used to further explain this point.
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How to Format a Paper Outline
There are various ways to format an essay outline, but one common method is listing Roman numerals for each main point followed by capital letters for sub-points and Arabic numerals and lowercase letters for sub-sub-points (e.g., I. A. 1.). No matter which format you choose, there are a few essential tips to keep in mind when writing your outline:
- Be sure to include all required elements (e.g., thesis, topic sentences, etc.).
- Keep your language concise yet clear – avoid using too much jargon or technical language that could lose your reader’s attention.
Make sure everything flows smoothly from one point to the next – logical order and transitions will help ensure your argument makes sense overall.
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MLA Research Paper Outline
MLA is the easiest and most frequently met research paper format, so we should start explaining how to write an outline for a research paper on this example. The Modern Language Association proposed this guide a long time ago. It is used to cite works by the students and professionals from the following fields:
- Comparative literary analysis
- Cultural studies
- History & Anthropology
- English Composition
- Foreign language & literature
- Literary criticism
Use MLA outline when working on the papers from these fields. Start with the primary headings (“Intro” and “Method”) using the upper-case Roman numerals. If the paper is long, with many different subsections, the student should use letters and numbers for the various levels of subheadings.
In a draft of a paper outline, arrange the things in the proper order. Do not go into details until starting the final version of the research paper outline. This part defines how the writer will come up with other integral parts (example: Literature Review).
Here are some tips on how to write a great MLA research paper outline:
- Start with a catchy introduction Your introduction should make your readers want to read more. Try to start with something interesting or provocative, such as a quote or an anecdote.
- Make sure your main argument is clear and concise Your main idea should be the main point of your essay. It should be arguable, and it should be clear what evidence you will use to support it. Be sure to include your thesis in your outline so that you don't forget it when you're writing your final paper.
- Organize your ideas clearly Each section of your paper outline should have a clear purpose, and each point should support your main idea. Make sure that each section flows logically into the next one. If you get stuck, try using a mind map or other brainstorming tool to organize your ideas before you start writing your outline. The main idea should be kept through the whole text.
- Use specific examples and evidence to support your points Specific examples and evidence will make your essay more convincing. Be sure to make an additional research and include detailed information so that your reader can understand what you're trying to say. But don't include so much detail that your essay becomes bogged down in minutiae. Complete additional research to add the relevant information.
- Make sure everything ties together logically When you're finished writing your outline, check to make sure that everything ties together logically. All the ideas should flow smoothly into the next one, and the overall structure of your essay should make sense. If something doesn't seem quite right, go back and revise your outline until it feels right
Need more info? Check our full guide - HOW TO CITE A RESEARCH PAPER USING MLA FORMAT
Mastering APA Research Paper Outline
An APA is a most frequently used format when it comes to writing a paper, and it is more complicated than MLA. The American Psychological Association has established it. Students and professionals use APA essay format in these fields:
- Social sciences
- Healthcare & nursing
The representatives of other fields apply APA paper format from time to time too. We have prepared a tasty infographic with an APA outline example, which is based on the 6th edition of the manual.
Let’s view that structure in details.
A Detailed Outline
There are several critical elements you should consider in your research paper:
It is the opening section to introduce the major details. The length of the recommended title is 60 characters. On the whole, do not miss this information in the title page:
- Your full name
- Professor’s name
- Peers who took part in the investigation (if any)
- Submission date
A summary is an integral part of the research paper. In college, they call it an abstract. The length of such text should not exceed 250-300 words (1/3 of an A4 page), and a student should include the basic findings, their significance, and a brief conclusion.
Experts recommend painstaking the entire research into the investigation’s background. Try to explain why the chosen problem is necessary to analyze and discuss. Mention the results you expected to obtain during the working process, and state a hypothesis that should enclose the introduction (it would be the thesis). Also, don’t forget to mention the thesis statement or the topic of your research.
List the tools, equipment, & techniques used to carry out a study. This section should make it possible to replicate the investigation step-by-step. The goal of the section is to allow other scientists interested in the same research question to continue the investigation.
In most cases, master paper writers combine results and discussion in one huge section. They are interrelated. Start with sharing the findings of the study. Go on interpreting the meaning of the results for the society and provide a short synopsis of the main components: figures and statistical examinations. While adding any visual elements for understanding (graphs, images, etc.), place the numbers next to each of them to provide details in the last section — Appendix.
In the Conclusion part, it is necessary to include:
- A summary of the results
- Paraphrased thesis statement
- Value of the research paper
- Ways to implement the findings
- Some forecasts
Based on the chosen paper format, develop a full list of references. Each time you cite something, write the source’s details on a separate piece of paper. It will speed up the process at the end. Don't forget to read about expository essay and how to write it correctly.
Things to Remember
- An outline is like an action plan which guides you through the writing process.
- You need to write an outline if your assignment is more than 1000 words in lenght.
- Basically, the outline contains three main sections: the Introduction, the Body and the Conclusion.
- The outline format depends on the type of academic assignment (MLA, APA).
- Before developing a research paper outline, read the latest version of the manual according to the chosen format of the research paper.
Research Paper Outline Example
Also, check free research paper outline template example: Developing an Attention-Grabbing Resume! The example is written according to APA writing style guidelines - the rules of the game maybe be different for other formats.
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Need Help with Creating an Outline?
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