Research Paper Writing 101: How to Create Your Outline

Do you struggle with your research paper writing?

If you’re an undergraduate, your research can contribute to important projects. As a result, you want to ensure that you write the best research paper that’ll contribute to an exciting project.

But one of the biggest challenges that come with writing a research paper is creating an outline. An outline helps you structure your research paper and makes it much easier to write.

Here’s how to create an outline for your research paper writing:

Create an Abstract

The first portion of your outline is to create an abstract. The abstract is a brief summary of what the research paper is about and the argument you wish to make.

The abstract should be 4-6 sentences long and should be direct and succinct. Your reader should gain an understanding of what they can expect in the research paper.

For example: “American literature has had a profound influence on Akira Kurosawa’s film career.”

Writing Your Introduction

In your introduction, you want to outline how you’ll create a hook that’ll entice your reader. The introduction is likely one of the hardest parts of writing a research paper.

This is because you’ll have to find a way to engage the reader in the first two sentences of the introduction. You have to convince them that your research paper is worth reading.

Make notes in your outline of how you can present your argument. You want to take notes on how you can create a sense of suspense in the introduction.

How to Outline Your Body

The body is the bulk of your research paper and perhaps the hardest to define in an outline.

In most cases, you’ll be given 3 paragraphs for your body before you jump to the conclusion. You want to create an outline for each of these 3 paragraphs.

With your outline, you want to describe the goal of each paragraph in the body. Each paragraph should end with a summation of a topic before moving on to the next paragraph.

For example:

  • Paragraph 1: Akira Kurosawa was influenced by American crime novels
  • Paragraph 2: He managed to adapt these novels to a Japanese context
  • Paragraph 3: Some of the best examples of his films based on American novels are…

With each paragraph, you want to start by making an argument. By the end of the paragraph, you should solidify your case.

Outline the Conclusion

The final piece of your outline is to outline the conclusion. This should be short, with 5-7 sentences as the standard.

Reintroduce your initial argument and then determine the salient points that back up what you’ve argued in your research paper.

You should also hire a research paper proofreading service before submitting it to your professor.

Start Your Research Paper Writing

Now you know how to start your research paper writing by making a great outline.

Start your outline by describing how you’ll write your abstract. In your introduction, you’ll prepare your argument.

Make sure you outline each of your paragraphs in your body. You want to also outline what salient points you’ll want to mention in your conclusion.

You can find more articles about writing on our website.

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