The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Good Research Paper Outline

Have you been assigned college research essay? Don’t know where to get started? The first step you should make is writing a research paper outline. Crafting a good research essay outline is of utmost importance because it performs two significant functions. It helps writers organize thoughts on their topic and structure all pieces of relevant information correctly.

A well-written outline is also aimed at making navigation through your work easier. Readers can check their plan and find key points he/she are interested in most. You can’t get lost if you provide a good roadmap, which is the key role of an outline.

What is an outline for a research paper? It is a solid basis, a foundation for the whole work. A well-structured plan is a key to success! However, you should understand that there are certain rules you can follow when writing an informative essay outline. Have no idea on what you should include in your essay outline? Our research paper service can help you with requirements for outline writing below.

How to Write MLA\ APA Paper Outline?

MLA and APA are the two most frequently used writing standards for middle/high school papers as well as for college papers. Each style has its own distinctive features and peculiarities. MLA is one format for humanitarian classes while APA is used for assignments in social sciences. When writing an research paper in MLA, keep in mind that citation rules differ from other styles here. You should include the date after the publisher without parentheses while APA style guide says that you must use parentheses.

Differences concerning spelling of an author’s name as well. In APA, you can write initials and the last name in full while MLA requires spelling the full name. There are also differences in the capitalization rules. When composing an assignment in MLA, don’t forget to write all words with capital letters and underline the title. APA research paper outline title should be in italics and only the first word is capitalized. Use Roman numerals for headings and subheadings in MLA outline.

Which Elements Should You Include in Your Research  Outline?

How to write an outline for a research paper? It doesn’t matter what topic you have chosen for your research, your plan should consist of these following elements:

  • Title. It is the so-called face of your paper. You must choose an impressive title, which won’t be longer than 60 characters. An optimal way for creating a really good title is to finish the work first and only after thinking of your title, which can hook readers and express your key idea. Your title page should also include information about the writer. You must write the date when the assignment is submitted, name of the person who has completed it, and name of the supervisor.
  • Abstract. The next page of your work should include a short summary of all parts. What should you cover in an abstract? It is simple. Just tell what your assignment is about, what problems you have investigated and which results you have got. Remember that it must be useful information, which should be expressed in 150-250 words.
  • Contents. Every student knows that if he/she is assigned a task that consists of several pages, then they must  include a list of contents for easier navigation.
  • Introduction. Here, your task is to provide readers with an explicit understanding of what you are going to discuss. Tell why you consider said chosen topic actual nowadays, what makes it interesting for  modern readers. Write a powerful thesis statement that will catch readers’ attention.
  • Methods. When composing a research essay, you need to share which techniques you have used to achieve your goal. Your methodology section should be useful for readers. If readers wants to replicate it, he/she will be able to turn to your experience.
  • Results. You should include one section where all findings are interpreted. There are several ways to present research results. The most effective one uses tables, which will help visualize your findings.
  • Conclusion. Finally, you are reminding readers of the thesis statement that you have provided in your paper’s beginning. Your task is to restate it and to include a brief overlook of your whole paper. Also, you can include your ideas on  possible further research on said topic.
  • References. Write a list of sources you have used for essay writing. Take into account that bibliography formatting may differ. You may be assigned to write either standard list of references or an annotated bibliography.

An Example of a Research Essay Outline

Have a look at this research paper outline example:

  1. Introduction
  1. Topic: Drug addiction as a social problem
  2. Issue: Drug Addiction among teenagers
  3.  Thesis: Drug abuse today is seen as an extreme social problem that belongs to global problems.
  1. Why does egoism determine someone’s proclivity to drug addiction?
  1. If someone does not find life purpose, if there is no place for spiritual and moral values in his/her life, their risk of being dependent on drugs is high.
  2. A predisposition for filling spiritual emptiness with instant pleasures is developing.
  3. A man adapts to the realities of the modern world through satisfaction of emotional and bodily needs, while forgetting about  needs of the soul.
  1. What causes addiction?
  1. The main cause of any social problems is an “immaturity of society”, which is expressed in the fact that people become consumers.
  2. Spiritual and moral attitudes are lost. Everything contributes to development of addictions, including drug addiction.
  3. The main task of modern society is to foster mature personalities, able to cope with life’s difficulties independently, without resorting to drugs and other pleasures.
  1. What measures should be taken for eliminating the number of drug-addicted teenagers?
  1. For  proper development in society, it is necessary from an early age to determine the abilities and vocation of every person, giving him/her an opportunity for finding a worthy sense of life.
  2. Promoting healthy lifestyles and the actualization of spiritual and moral values in modern society will allow forming optimal attitudes that will resist the desire to try  drugs.

Use above sample as an example of a college research paper outline when working on your informational research essay and you will definitely succeed! Also, you can buy a research paper from our service!


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