How to write a college research paper outline in 4 steps


An outline can be a great way to help you with your paper. It can act as a step-by-step guide on how to write your essay. This is a wonderful way to start the essay. With an outline you don’t have to guess at what your next move will be, you will already know what to do next. They are real time savers and it goes a long way to making the paper even better.

What to do

  • Gather your notes
  • Outline the intro
  • Outline the body paragraphs
  • Outline the conclusion

Gather your notes

Your notes will be what your outline is made up of. They are an important part of the process. While researching take good notes on everything that you want to go into the paper and write them down clearly so you can access them later. This will be a huge help to you. People underestimate the value of good note taking.

Outline the into

The introduction is where you introduce your topic and tell the reader what you will be talking about in the paper. Make bullet points for each thing you want to mention. You don’t need to write down whole sentences, just ideas. Then, when it comes time to write your into you don’t have to look at books or the computer, you have all of your ideas in one place.

Outline the body paragraphs

The body of the paper is where most of your major information lives. It is where you explain what you have researched and what you found out about it. Again, for each paragraph you will make notes in bullet point form to remind you what you want where. Each paragraph should have its own theme. The paragraphs are there to separate your ideas from one to the next. Once you have all of your ideas down on paper it will be that much easier to recall them when writing.

Outline the conclusion

The conclusion ends the paper by making your points clear. It is a very important part. Use bullets to write ideas for what you would like to be in this section. Later you can look at it for reference instead of lengthy notes.

The benefit of the outline is to concentrate your ideas in the right places and make them easy to recall later. It is a nice way to make writing easier for you. An outline well done can make the writing go faster and make for a much better paper. It is much like the paper’s blueprint. It will give it structure and make it a better read.



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