A Guide to How to Write an Outline for a Research Paper; Academic Writing

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A Guide to How to Write an Outline for a Research Paper; Academic Writing

The higher education system is ideal in a way that requires students to create research papers for almost every other submission. Research papers can be tricky to write for many students. How difficult they are for a student depends upon the level of skill and understanding the student possesses. Whether you are trying to create an academic writing assignment or a dissertation, you will have to invest time and energy to do it well.

Sometimes students have the command over the language but lack of subject-related understanding to create good research papers. In contrast, in some cases, the understanding is there but the language skills are lacking. The combination of both these skills makes a person able to write a good research paper. However, students should also ensure that they are working with efficiency. No matter how much work input you are investing in the job. If you were not working smartly then your research paper would not be very good. One of the first things that every student should make sure of is to create an outline. You should never try to write a research paper without writing an outline. Writing a research paper without an outline is like trying to build a home without an architectural plan.

Since outlining is such an important aspect of research paper writing, how can a student outline their papers the right way? With the help of our academic experts, we were able to create a guideline for outlining a research paper.

Choose the Topic Wisely

We are aware that this is not directly related to outlining but this is where most students fail. At times, your teachers will specifically give you a topic to work on. However, in any case, you can always find an approach of dealing with that topic that is your own. On the other hand, the fact is that in most cases students can pick the topic of research papers themselves. Do not pick a subject that you are not interested in. Sometimes, students pick a topic for reasons other than their interest in the topic. To impress the teacher, colleagues or for getting better grades they pick a certain topic. This is never a good approach. You should always pick a subject for one reason only because you genuinely want to work on it. When you are passionate about a subject then it will be easier for you to invest efforts into it.

Immerse Yourself in the Topic

To talk about a topic and let alone to write a research paper about it, one should have some authority over the topic. If you are writing a research paper based on a surface level read of the subject then it is a doomed undertaking. Read whatever material you can get your hands on, watch videos, and carry out field research. We are aware that students have a limited amount of time to create each research paper. You can still invest the maximum amount of time in research that you can afford. The point is to consider immersing yourself in the topic as an absolute necessity.


Once you have completed the two above-mentioned tasks, you can start working on the outline. An outline is a plan for your research paper. It is where you plan things out into a structure. So that you can visualize your research paper until the end before you start creating it.

You will find multiple variations of structure online. Research papers are arranged in different ways. However, the basic skeleton is always the same. It is based upon the idea of three main acts. These acts are the beginning, the middle, and the end. Here is a way through which you can create a solid outline for your research paper.



The initial part of your introduction is called the book. It is mostly that first paragraph or the two or three starting paragraphs. The hook of your research paper is super important because it is what gets your reader interested. Imagine you are watching a movie and the first two or three scenes are super boring. In most cases, you would surely not continue watching that movie. The hook of academic writing or dissertation assignment has to be engaging, enticing, and distinct. This is where you set the flow and tone of your research paper also. Therefore, make sure that you are putting in a good amount of thought into creating the hook.

Thesis Statement

A thesis statement can be defined as the theme, the purpose, the argument, and the root of your research paper. Writing a research paper without a thesis statement is a complete disaster. Have you ever encountered someone who tells a long drag of a story and by the end you are left wondering what was the point of all that? Writing a research paper without a thesis statement is going to leave your readers in the same situation. Once you have created the hook, make sure to state the thesis statement and make sure to state it clearly.


Research papers are not subjective pieces. Even if you are putting forward a personal opinion, it has to be supported by hard facts. There must have been other research papers that have been written on the topic of your focus. Once you have presented the thesis statement, you should put forward the past research that has been done on the topic. Provide literature review material for your readers to form the right perspective.


The body section of your academic writing and dissertations is where the majority of the action will take place. In most cases, this section of the research paper will make up for 50 to 70 percent of the total length. The body section mostly consists of multiple paragraphs. The number of paragraphs depends upon the overall length of the research paper. These paragraphs in the body section are going to put forward your arguments. This is where your conducted research will come to use. Every argument you will make here is supposed to be supported by facts. This all is being done for the ultimate purpose of proving the validity of the thesis statement.


The final section of your research paper is where you are naturally supposed to conclude things. You will provide a summarized/distilled version of your arguments. Besides, you will reinstate your thesis statement for the readers. Make sure that your conclusion is not very long. Simply provide a compact retelling of the main points of your story while providing a necessary closure.

Final Words

Whether you are working on an academic writing assignment or any other research paper, the importance of outline is paramount. Outlining the research paper should not be a choice but a necessity that has to be fulfilled. Invest some time outlining the material because it will make the other steps much easier. You will be able to handle other steps of research paper writing with convenience if you have outlined properly. By following the above-mentioned steps, you can easily create an outline for your research paper.

By | 2020-10-09T15:59:50+01:00 October 9th, 2020|Consultant, Education, Writing Services|0 Comments

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