Writing A Research Paper Outline: A Complete Guide For Beginners

A research paper must represent your stance on the subject and reassure readers of its credibility and facts. Any research paper outline consists of step-by-step plan that helps writing your research paper in a structured way.


Creating a research paper outline is a bit complex yet normal part of the life of students. Every student has to put in great amount time in order to write a well-structured and detailed research paper outline.


You may have to write a few drafts steps before progressing to an outline. It will help bring together a full-proof outline which will get you good marks.


Things To Consider While Writing A Research Paper Outline


Research Paper Topic – Your research paper is nothing without a topic, choosing a topic for your paper can take some time.


Going with something that is relevant to your interest of area or any niche in which your comfortable with.


But make sure that the topic must be provoking meaning it should get the interest of reader and have enough information to support your paper.


As selecting a theme for your research paper outline is concerned, you’ll need to put some effort.


Argument: Take your time to find out what kind of argument you would like to support after selecting a topic.


Your reason behind backing the argument must be very clear on why you chose this argument out of others and does it matter to reader. And try figuring out what purpose does your argument possess?


Will it initiate a substantive debate that could create any change in the world? How can I draw on this claim for a research paper?


You are almost able to build a useful framework for an excellent research paper outline as soon as you have answers to these issues.


Know Your Audience – Well, for the most time it’s only the professor who reads your research paper you’ve written but does that mean you will write just for the professor.


No, you also have to consider the readers. Think whether or how your claim be accepted by the professor and readers, or will it form a counter-argument?


You must also understand what language will be best suitable for your paper and how comfortable can you be while explaining the paper in that language, will the use of satire/jargon be acceptable, or it’s better of you stick with normal tone?


Your research paper outline overall style and tone depending on the audience it is targeted.


Research – Without proper and detailed analysis, there is no research paper.


To gather convincing evidence that will back your claim, you need to investigate a lot of resources.


Second, you can list out few general information related to your topic and then dig deep in the details to validate the information.


Be very mindful with your research learn what counter-arguments can you research have and is it factual or just a false claim.


With this process you can be a master on the topic and get a clear picture of any pitfalls of your paper.


References for Research Paper – References are important when it’s about showing accountability of your claims and the research paper you have written. .


It will help if you select them primarily according to the significance and relevance of your thesis argument.


How to Write Research Paper Outline?


An outline is the very foundation of your research paper outline, having written an outline does great help when you’ll begin writing the paper why because you will have a pre described structure on what you have to write first, second, and next.


The outline is comprised of three core segments that is Introduction, main body, and conclusion. The more comprehensive your paper’s outline is the better your paper will be.


The following is a basic structure of how an outline looks:




A significant part of each scholarly work is the introduction. It’s an important point which will decide whether or not a reader will continue reading your paper. 


The introduction, but without giving away too much, should be intriguing, entertaining, and insightful.An outstanding presentation is made up of three key points:


Hook – A hook can vary from one to three sentences long, depending on your research paper’s total volume. This is the section that convinces readers to read the article.


A hook has to be creative and provoking – you need to make your readers get engage into your research paper outline.


Your Audience – You had to identify the audience for yourself in your pre-writing activities; you need to identify which type of audience would be more interested in reading your paper.


If you are aware of what’s your audience is, you’ll be able to get more readers, compared to those who are not yet cleared of who they want to target.


This creates a massive advantage to those with a target audience.


Statement – This is where you state the purpose of your paper. It must reflect of what you are going to talk about in the paper and why does it matter. In a nutshell the statement must be clear and concise.


Main Body


The body is the primary part of the outline of the research paper outline you are writing. It has no cap on length since it is the paper’s most extensive and main section.


The number of paragraphs for this part depends on the total volume of the research paper outline requested: the more reasons you need to justify, the greater the body there should be.


All the proof that you discovered during the study should go here. You state each principle and have sufficient evidence.


Do not say anything that you don’t have a way to prove! Any argument you make has to be backed up with facts. Following the appropriate paper format, do not forget about relevant references and proper citations.


You should list counter-arguments to your thoughts and explain why they are not correct. Opposing facts demonstrate your profound knowledge of the subject and that you have completed a detailed analysis.


This will show your devotion to the demanding duties and build a reasonably impressive academic reputation. Without being too dull in the process, make sure to describe everything clearly.




For readers to absorb the central concept and retain it for a long time, the research paper outline  final section must summarize the claims.


To make the whole paper sink into the readers’ mind, the conclusion should not be long but should include all the critical sections.


Summary – You state your strongest points again in this short segment.


There is no need to provide either of them with an in-depth description of your ideas or evidence. Nonetheless, the claims you used in the research paper outline will have to be given a general outline.


Call To Action – This is the very end of your research paper outline, and it’s meant to provoke your readers.


It would help if you chose what your final message to readers should be, whether it is a call to a conversation or an intervention.




Note that the research paper’s main aim is to demonstrate your ability to work on your own and show the depth of your expertise on different topics. Creating a good outline is key to further writing your research paper.


Make sure you take notes while studying, not be afraid to ask for assistance and read additional resources.

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