Easy Tips on How to Do an Outline for a Research Paper


When you are tasked with a research paper, there can be a lot of research, writing, notes, textbooks, scans, slides, etc… Keeping them all organized can be difficult. Thankfully, you can create an outline before you sit down to write your paper, and the outline will ensure that things get organized and stay that way.

The outline serves as a place for you to note the main arguments, supporting ideas, and evidence. It is where you play around with the order, see what parts are missing evidence, look for pieces that just don’t fit. It is your chance to find an argument order and paper style that just works. You might want to use full sentences, or conversely, you can use bullet points. Either way you can stay organized with an outline.

Once you have the outline in place, you are ready to follow these writing tips below.

Writing Tips

  • Tip #1: Follow some of these tips for writing good papers during your tenure in academics. A research paper is one in which you are trying to show the fact that you are able to do research and you can formulate a meta-analysis of the work that you have done. Some of the most simple papers are literature reviews where you will look around everything that has already been published to come up with something new or to back up an idea that you have.
  • Tip #2: When you are going to sit down to write a paper you will have to make sure that the content and the style of that paper match the assignment. You need to be fully aware that your reader may not understand what you are working on and you will have to break it down for them in simple terms. You do not have to make a paper that is composed of entirely original thoughts, but you should present the thoughts in as unique a way as you can.
  • Tip #3: Use the academic style when writing. Avoid vague comments, any phrasal verbs, description, formal vocab, colloquial speech, etc. The five paragraph essay is the standard essay that kids learn in school. The essay itself usually has three parts. An introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Examples of this type of essay can give you a good deal of insight into how you should structure your essay.