Write a formal outline for your research paper

Again, label them with letters or numbers to indicate the sequence. Try out at least two different sequences. You may find that your thesis suddenly snaps into focus, or that points that seemed unrelated in fact belong together, or that what you thought was a main idea is actually a supporting idea for another point. You can do this at every stage of the writing process, and especially at the organization stage.

Remember to include a thesis statement t at the start of the outline, and cite and list your sources.

Research Paper Outline Template with Simple Explanations

Skip to content. Home Research paper outline Research paper outline. Research Paper Sentence Outline The basic idea of a formal outline is that different types of letters or numbers I, A, 1, a, i represent different levels of the hierarchy of your paper, and sub-levels are indented below main levels. Cite your sources: list all authors used in each section in parentheses at the end of that section Attach a list of sources that includes all the sources used for the outline and no others. This list may differ from the one you submitted for the Preliminary Bibliography, if you have added new sources or eliminated old ones.

The method described below will produce a sentence outline. Writing the Sentence Outline Write out your thesis at the top of the page.

Finding, Selecting, and Reading Sources

Make a list of points you must prove to prove your thesis. What would someone have to agree with, in order to agree with the thesis? These will be the main sections of your paper. Like the thesis, these should be complete, declarative sentences —something you can either prove or disprove. On a new page, write your first main point. This is the thesis for that section of the paper. Make a list of the points you have to prove to prove that point.

Just as with the main points, these should be complete, declarative sentences—statements you can prove or disprove. These are your sub-points for that section. Repeat the process for each of your main points. Make your introductory paragraph s interesting. How can you draw your readers in? What background information, if any, do we need to know in order to understand your claim? STATE your claim at the end of your introductory paragraph s You have multiple options for opening an essay.

Some options include: Anecdote: A little story that frames what your essay is about. Scene: Give readers a look at some aspect of your topic. Ex: Paper on tropical rainforest deforestation opens with description of land stripped of trees. Profile: Introduce a person who is key to your topic. Ex: Case study.

Background: Provide important and surprising info about your topic. Quotation: Open with a great quote that frames or captures your topic. Dialogue: Open with a conversation between two people in your essay. Oneof these peoplecan be you. Question: Ask your readers the question that launched your research orquestions they themselves might raise.

Contrast: Compare two apparently dissimilarthings that highlight the problem or question your paper will explore. Announcement: Say what your paper is about; the thesis statement. New Discussion of an Old Topic: Explain why an old topic is worth examining again. Allusion: Refer to a work of art, music, literature, film, or to a religious, historical, or mythical person. Usually is one paragraph but it can be longer.

Your answer should be the topic sentence for this paragraph. Explain Topic Sentence: Do you need to explain your topic sentence? If so, do so here.

How to Write an Outline for a Research Paper of A+ Level?

Introduce Evidence: Introduce your evidence either in a few words As Dr. Explain Evidence: How should we read or interpret the evidence you are providing us? How does this evidence prove the point you are trying to make in this paragraph? Can be opinion based and is often at least sentences. This also serves as a transition to your next evidence paragraph or counterargument paragraphs.

Writing a Research Paper

Repeat above Note: You need as many Support paragraphs as required to reach page assignment minimumand to prove your point,but also keep in mind the Intro, Counterargument and Conclusion sections. Do not stretch or shorten any one area of the paper.


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Insert one or more of those arguments here and refute them. If your conclusion says almost the exact same thing as your introduction, it may indicate that you have not shownenough critical thinking during the course of your essay. Your conclusion should tell us why we should care about your paper. Why create an outline? There are many reasons, but in general, it may be helpful to create an outline when you want to show the hierarchical relationship or logical ordering of information. For research papers, an outline may help you keep track of large amounts of information.

For creative writing, an outline may help organize the various plot threads and help keep track of character traits. Many people find that organizing an oral report or presentation in outline form helps them speak more effectively in front of a crowd. Below are the primary reasons for creating an outline.

Remember: creating an outline before writing your paper will make organizing your thoughts a lot easier.