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How to Create a Structured Research Paper Outline | Example
Published on August 7, 2022 by Courtney Gahan . Revised on November 29, 2022.
A research paper outline is a useful tool to aid in the writing process , providing a structure to follow with all information to be included in the paper clearly organized.
A quality outline can make writing your research paper more efficient by helping to:
- Organize your thoughts
- Understand the flow of information and how ideas are related
- Ensure nothing is forgotten
A research paper outline can also give your teacher an early idea of the final product.
Table of contents
Research paper outline example, how to write a research paper outline, formatting your research paper outline, language in research paper outlines.
- Definition of measles
- Rise in cases in recent years in places the disease was previously eliminated or had very low rates of infection
- Figures: Number of cases per year on average, number in recent years. Relate to immunization
- Symptoms and timeframes of disease
- Risk of fatality, including statistics
- How measles is spread
- Immunization procedures in different regions
- Different regions, focusing on the arguments from those against immunization
- Immunization figures in affected regions
- High number of cases in non-immunizing regions
- Illnesses that can result from measles virus
- Fatal cases of other illnesses after patient contracted measles
- Summary of arguments of different groups
- Summary of figures and relationship with recent immunization debate
- Which side of the argument appears to be correct?
Follow these steps to start your research paper outline:
- Decide on the subject of the paper
- Write down all the ideas you want to include or discuss
- Organize related ideas into sub-groups
- Arrange your ideas into a hierarchy: What should the reader learn first? What is most important? Which idea will help end your paper most effectively?
- Create headings and subheadings that are effective
- Format the outline in either alphanumeric, full-sentence or decimal format
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There are three different kinds of research paper outline: alphanumeric, full-sentence and decimal outlines. The differences relate to formatting and style of writing.
An alphanumeric outline is most commonly used. It uses Roman numerals, capitalized letters, arabic numerals, lowercase letters to organize the flow of information. Text is written with short notes rather than full sentences.
- Sub-point of sub-point 1
Essentially the same as the alphanumeric outline, but with the text written in full sentences rather than short points.
- Additional sub-point to conclude discussion of point of evidence introduced in point A
A decimal outline is similar in format to the alphanumeric outline, but with a different numbering system: 1, 1.1, 1.2, etc. Text is written as short notes rather than full sentences.
- 1.1.1 Sub-point of first point
- 1.1.2 Sub-point of first point
- 1.2 Second point
To write an effective research paper outline, it is important to pay attention to language. This is especially important if it is one you will show to your teacher or be assessed on.
There are four main considerations: parallelism, coordination, subordination and division.
Parallelism: Be consistent with grammatical form
Parallel structure or parallelism is the repetition of a particular grammatical form within a sentence, or in this case, between points and sub-points. This simply means that if the first point is a verb , the sub-point should also be a verb.
Example of parallelism:
- Include different regions, focusing on the different arguments from those against immunization
Coordination: Be aware of each point’s weight
Your chosen subheadings should hold the same significance as each other, as should all first sub-points, secondary sub-points, and so on.
Example of coordination:
- Include immunization figures in affected regions
- Illnesses that can result from the measles virus
Subordination: Work from general to specific
Subordination refers to the separation of general points from specific. Your main headings should be quite general, and each level of sub-point should become more specific.
Example of subordination:
Division: break information into sub-points.
Your headings should be divided into two or more subsections. There is no limit to how many subsections you can include under each heading, but keep in mind that the information will be structured into a paragraph during the writing stage, so you should not go overboard with the number of sub-points.
Ready to start writing or looking for guidance on a different step in the process? Read our step-by-step guide on how to write a research paper .
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The Writing Process
Making expository writing less stressful, more efficient, and more enlightening, search form, you are here.
- Step 2: Plan and organize
Sample Detailed Outline
"Organize. Organize. Organize." —U.S. Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize-winner Al Gore
Below is an example of a detailed outline. (It is for a research paper, but the principles and structure apply to any paper.) Notice the hierarchical use of the roman numeral system . Such a hierarchy is key to organizing your thinking and your argument and keeping track of the relationships between your ideas.
quote from movie like Independence Day to get readers’ attention SOURCE: IMDB.com
world preparing to welcome with festivities and open arms the aliens coming to Earth from Andromeda galaxy
Thesis (complete sentence!): Although the aliens seem friendly and say they come in peace, Earth’s number one priority should be to build a defense shield before they arrive.
On March 15, 2016, we discovered not alone in universe: irregular but repeating signal discovered from nearby Andromeda. SOURCE: NYTimes , 3/16/16
Different scientists have decoded the message differently
Commonly accepted interpretation friendly:
“Greetings, people of Earth. We have detected and watched your reports (e.g., The Big Bang Theory ) documenting typical life on Earth. We are currently on our way to Earth to begin our friendship and will arrive in Earth year 2020. Prepare yourselves for a glorious future [unclear signals].” (SOURCE: Michaels, “Aliens Are Our Friends,” People )
still parts of the message undecoded (SOURCE?
all scientists agree: Aliens arriving in 2020 (Source: Fredericks, Wall Street Journal )
Argument: there are signs that message is a warning and that aliens are planning to attack
Prof. Alan Guthman, Harvard Center for Astrophysics, makes case (SOURCE: Guthman, “We Do Not Come in Peace”)
With only one message to work with, we have little clue of tone of message
If we interpret three different patterns in signal differently, tone much different: “Attention, Earthlings. We have observed your unusual lives. We are coming to Earth to…[unclear]. Prepare yourselves for life under our control.”
With all the videos we broadcast into space, an alien race would assume that we are hostile and act accordingly
Logic: Even if these aliens are friendly, it is better to be safe than sorry and protect ourselves
FIND: Estimates of the number of intelligent races in the nearby universe and the probability that at least one of them is hostile and technologically advanced
Argument: Estimates show that workable shield surrounding Earth can be constructed by 2020
If nations of Earth collaborate, we can build shield that will block incoming ships and weapons fire (SOURCE. Teller, “Shielding the Earth,” Physics Rev. Letters )
Will cost huge amounts of $$, but:
if spread out among many countries, affordable FIND. Estimates of costs
We can’t afford NOT to build it
Argument: Building shield will both stimulate global economy and result in very useful new technologies
FIND! Evidence on how previous projects—moon landing, the International Space Station, emergency stimulus packages—created
jobs –find stats!
new products & companies
FIND! I don’t have concrete evidence for this, but I remember hearing how the moon landing and international space station resulted in the creation of new, useful technologies
Counterargument: If we build shield and they detect it, it could signal that we are hostile and provoke the aliens to attack
Missile defense shields on Earth have often provoked international tensions. SOURCE: M. Pritchard, “If You Build It, They Will Attack.” ( Boston Globe )
FIND source that shows that
such tensions do not necessarily lead to attack and
any intelligent race will understand need for others to be prepared to defend themselves.
Counterargument: We are probably not able to build shield that would work against such a technologically advanced race
non-sequitor. fact that it may not work does not mean that it won’t and that we should not try to protect ourselves.
We have no way of knowing the intensions of a group we have never met on the basis of one message.
The only sensible approach is to try to defend ourselves, especially when there will be benefits for trying such as jobs and new technologies.
- As I learned in Las Vegas, “Never risk what you cannot afford to lose.” Can we afford to risk our children’s lives?
Click here to create a detailed outline from your freewrite/brainstorm using GoogleDocs.
Research Paper Outline/Structure with Examples
A research paper outline also referred to as research paper structure, is an important writing tool that a student or a professional writer can apply in their writing process. It contains the blueprint or skeleton of the research paper, detailing the structure to follow when inserting information to make a research paper.
In essence, a well-crafted outline makes writing your research paper fast, efficient, and seamless. It does so by helping you organize the ideas and thoughts, organize the flow of information and related concepts, and ensure that every part of the research paper is addressed.
In some cases, teachers ask students to prepare research paper outlines to have a perspective of how the final product will be. It is common practice with almost all graduate-level supervisors, especially when you target to publish your research paper in an online journal.
What is a research paper outline?
A research paper outline is a skeleton or blueprint of a research paper, enlisting the potential contents of different parts of the research paper that you are to write. The outline serves to organize the written ideas about a given research topic in a logical order in a manner that helps you to visualize the final research paper.
Outlines help organize the main ideas based on a topic, headings, subheadings, and supporting details. They also help decide what points come first and which ones come last depending on their order of importance and impact on the writing process.
Writing an outline helps visualize your final research paper, which makes it easier to refer to the structure each time you face a challenge with a given part. Besides, with an outline, you can work on any part of the research paper independently without fearing that you will disturb the flow or confuse yourself.
The basic format of a research paper outline entails the introduction, body, and conclusion. You should write a research paper outline before starting to write your research paper. Some instructors can assign it as an independent assignment that culminates into the research paper.
A typical research paper has between two to four layers. The first two layers are the most basic and generalized, while the subsequent levels contain more specific and detailed information about the research topic, as would appear in the research paper.
Tips for Perfecting your Research Paper Outline
For you to write an effective research paper outline, it is vital that you consider the factors we list below.
- Ensure that you maintain consistency in formatting your outline . If you choose a specific format, ensure that you maintain it all through. For instance, you cannot mix approaches. Also, ensure that the outline levels are reflected in your outline.
- Organize the information such that higher levels of your outline are general while the subsequent levels are detailed and well labeled.
- If your professor requires the outline, include the relevant citations (in-text) and reference list.
- Every main idea must have two or more supporting subtopics . If you notice there is none, do extra research to gather enough information to support the ideas.
- Ensure that you properly coordinate the points so that there is a correlation between the subheadings with the subpoints
- It is beneficial to write from general to specific when writing an outline. Separate the general and specific points. For instance, the subheadings should be general, while the sub-points become more specific as you descend the levels.
- Ensure that you break down the information into subpoints . Although there is no limit to the number of subsections, you can use, ensure that there is a good flow of information that can structure a good paragraph once you begin writing.
How to Format a Research Paper Outline
Of course, there is the MLA, APA, Harvard, or Chicago formatting style. However, in terms of formatting an outline, there are three strategies that you might use: using full sentences, using decimals, and using alphanumeric.
When using the decimal for your outline, you will use a numbering system that entails the use of decimal points to note the level of the point. For instance, you will use 1.0, 1.1, 1.1.2, 1.2.1, etc.
In this case, you will be writing your text in short rather than full notes.
Here is an illustration
- The extent of the problem (statistic)/hook
- Background of the problem
- Organization of the research paper
Full-sentence or Three Level Outline format
If you opt to use the full-sentence format for your outline, you will be writing your text in full sentences, sometimes with citations rather than in short points.
- PTSD is a mental health condition caused by terrifying life events.
- The paper addresses the history of the issue, cause, extent of the problem, and possible solutions.
Alphanumeric or the Four-level outline format
In the alphanumeric outline format, which is by far the most commonly used outline format in colleges and universities, you will use Roman numerals, capital letters, Arabic numerals, and lowercase letters to organize information depending on their levels for a good flow.
The test is written mainly in short notes instead of full sentences
Here is an illustration:
- Types of pandemic disease
- History of the pandemic disease since the 1900s
- Thesis statement: Our nation’s response to the threat of pandemic disease creates a clear objective to support the two pillars of the National Security Strategy and defeat America’s enemies.
- Subpoint of subpoint 1
- Subpoint of subpoint 2
- Federal Government
- State and local government actions
- Conclusion: Can the National Security Plan for pandemic disease support and protect the
citizens of the United States.
Research Paper Outline Examples
Now, to further break down what we have so far discussed, let us look at some examples of outlines for research papers. These can serve as templates for your next research paper outline. You can choose any format that you are comfortable with, depending on the topic and type of research paper you are writing.
Sample 1: Basic Research Paper Outline
Topic: Role of Valium in Opiate Replacement Treatment Approaches:
- Statistics of the use of opiates and their impacts on society
- Significance of valium as an opiate replacement treatment
- Thesis statement
- History of valium
- Psychopharmacology of valium
- Current trends and issues
- Societal concerns or issues relating to diazepam
- Significance of the topic to the counseling profession
- Future implications
Sample 2: Scientific Research Paper Outline
- Proper hook
- Background statement
- Statement of the problem
- Statement of intent
- Significance of the study
- Statement of hypothesis or research question
- Theoretical framework
- Past research on the topic/ review of related literature
- The identified gap in the literature
- Sampling strategy/method
- Data collection tools
- Dependent and independent variables
- Controlled variables
- Graphs, figures, and tables
- Numerical and non-numerical data
- Restate the problem
- Describe the findings
- State if your findings support the hypothesis or not
- Explanation of the research given past studies
- Problems and sources of error
- Significance of the findings
- Analytical summary
- Reworded thesis
- Recommendations for future research
Sample 3: Typical Research Paper Outline
Topic: Labor Shortage in Healthcare Industry
- The extent of labor shortage
- A snapshot of labor shortage in the USA
- Causes and consequences of labor shortage
- How labor shortage should be addressed, and why it is a matter of concern
- Voluntary turnover of healthcare workers
- The limited capacity of educational programs
- Poor working conditions and compensation
- High burnout, dissatisfaction, and fatigue
- Better alternatives
- Brain drains
- Increased demand for healthcare due to chronic diseases
- Mortality and morbidity rates
- Limited patient care
- Reduced patient safety
- Improper patient to healthcare workers ratio
- High levels of dissatisfaction
- Overcrowded healthcare settings
- Increased wait times
- Inefficient healthcare management
- Better perks, compensation, and working environment
- Funding and supporting students
- Attract, recruit, and retain a young workforce
- Creating gender-balanced workforce
- Embracing diversity
- Embracing technology
- Developing new balanced care models
- Summary of the causes, effects, and remedies for healthcare workforce shortage.
- Summary of the implications of the proposed recommendations and who should implement what
What next after writing a Research Paper Outline?
In most cases, when assigned to submit a research paper outline and then a research paper, you need to keep your references for use when writing your research paper upon approval of your research outline.
Upon approval of the outline, you need to conduct in-depth research, read widely, and begin writing the first draft of your research paper. As you conduct the research, build on the outline and provide evidence, examples, and explanations to bolster your thesis. Check out our research paper writing guide for more details.
Immediately you are done writing the first draft, ensure that you verify that you have tackled all the parts of a research paper. You then need to rest and only edit your research paper when you are sober enough.
When you resume to edit, check for the formatting (MLA, APA, Harvard, or Chicago), check and correct all the errors (grammar, language, and spelling), and ensure that the in-text citations are correct and that a corresponding reference list is provided at the end of your paper.
With everything polished, you now have yourself a final research paper. Ensure that it has an abstract and title page and then submit for grading. Then, you can pat yourself on the back for doing it wonderfully. However, you can buy custom research papers from our website. We will have it written from scratch with a guarantee of 100% originality, high quality, and timely delivery.
How to Write a Research Paper Outline In 7 Steps
A research paper outline is a supporting document that lists all the topics to include in a paper in the intended order, usually divided by paragraphs. The typical outline of a research paper also consists of other details like subtopics and evidential sources to help the writer stay organized. Some even have individual sentence topics and early ideas for phrasing.
Want to know how to write a research paper outline? This guide explains step by step what to include and how to write one yourself, including research paper outline examples.
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What is a research paper outline?
The outline is an integral part of how to write a research paper . The main purpose of a research paper outline is to structure the topics, data, and all other inclusions in the paper (like direct quotes) so you stay organized and don’t forget anything.
Conventionally, writers compose outlines after choosing a thesis statement and sourcing research evidence, but before writing the first draft . Making structural changes is far more efficient in the outlining phase than after you write the first draft; you can remove certain topics early on without wasting time writing them and add new topics before the drafting phase so you can write everything all at once.
The typical outline of a research paper is broken up into sections and paragraphs , listing each paragraph’s topic and the related evidence or data to include therein. The depth of detail can change depending on your writing style or the requirements of the paper, as we explain below.
Are there different kinds of research paper outlines?
In short, you decide what details to include in your research paper outline, although the requirements of the assignment influence what’s necessary. For example, a basic college research paper outline for a one-page assignment might contain only a list of four or five paragraph topics, whereas a formal research paper for a scientific study might outline each sentence in all five parts of a research paper: introduction, review of literature, methods, results, and discussion.
Research paper outlines can be one level, two level, and so on, depending on their intricacy. One-level outlines display just the section headings or main topics, while four-level outlines get very detailed with paragraph and sentence breakdowns.
There are three popular formats for research paper outlines: alphanumeric , full sentence , and decimal . Below, we’ll explain the details of each and illustrate their differences with the research paper outline examples, focused on the same topic: “Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James: Who’s the Best Basketball Player?”
Alphanumeric research paper outline
Alphanumeric is the most common outline format—with main topics listed as Roman numerals, subtopics as capital letters, specific points for each subtopic as Arabic numerals, and further details for individual points as lowercase letters.
You would write the information in quick blurbs—just a few words—instead of complete sentences.
Alphanumeric research paper outline example
I. Michael Jordan
A. Career Highlights
1. Six NBA Championships
a. Six NBA Finals MVP
2. US Olympics Basketball Team
a. 1984 Gold Medalist
b. 1992 Gold Medalist
3. Fourteen NBA All-Star Game selections
a. Three NBA All-Star Game MVP Awards
1. Record-holder scoring average
a. Regular season (30.12 points per game)
b. Playoffs (33.45 points per game)
2. Other accolades
a. 1996 Space Jam
b. Owner of Charlotte Hornets
II. LeBron James
1. Four NBA Championships
a. Four NBA Finals MVP
a. 2008 Gold Medalist
b. 2012 Gold Medalist
3. Eighteen NBA All-Star Game selections
a. LeBron James Family Foundation
b. Social activism
a. 2021 Space Jam
b. First player to accumulate $1 billion as an active player
III. Analysis and Discussion
A. Of course, Michael Jordan is better
Full-sentence research paper outline
Full-sentence research paper outlines have the same organization as alphanumeric outlines—with main topics listed as Roman numerals, subtopics as capital letters, subtopic points as Arabic numerals, and details for each point as lowercase letters.
However, the significant difference is that you would write the information in incomplete sentences instead of quick blurbs. The advantage is that your outline is more specific and easier to share with colleagues when working as a team. The disadvantage is that it takes a little longer to write.
Full-sentence research paper outline example
I. Michael Jordan is often considered the greatest basketball player of all time.
A. Jordan’s career in basketball is full of accomplishments and accolades.
1. During his career, Jordan won six NBA Championships.
a. Jordan was named NBA Finals MVP all six times he was eligible.
2. Jordan twice played for the US Olympics Basketball Team.
a. Jordan’s first Olympics was in 1984 when he won the gold medal.
b. Jordan won a second gold medal as part of the 1992 “Dream Team.”
3. Jordan was selected to play in the NBA All-Star Game fourteen times.
a. Jordan won the NBA All-Star Game MVP Award three times.
B. Jordan’s legacy encompasses achievements on and off the court.
1. Jordan still holds a couple of significant records in the NBA.
a. Jordan holds the record for the highest average of points per game during the regular season (30.12 points per game).
b. Jordan also holds the record for the highest average of points per game in the playoffs (33.45 points per game).
2. Jordan has notable success even when not playing basketball.
a. Jordan starred in the original 1996 film Space Jam.
b. Today, Jordan owns the Charlotte Hornets.
II. LeBron James is often considered Jordan’s strongest rival for the greatest basketball player.
A. James’s career mimics, and in some cases surpasses, that of Jordan’s career.
1. During his career, James won four NBA Championships.
a. James was named NBA Finals MVP all four times he was eligible.
2. Like Jordan, James twice played for the US Olympics Basketball Team.
a. James won the 2008 gold medal as part of the US basketball team.
b. James won the gold medal again in 2012.
3. James was selected to play in the NBA All-Star Game eighteen times.
a. James won the NBA All-Star Game MVP Award three times.
B. James has a rich life outside of basketball as well.
1. More than Jordan, James is known for his philanthropic work.
a. James started the LeBron James Family Foundation charity.
b. James fearlessly took public stances on controversial social issues.
2. Aside from charity, James has a few other distinctions from his lifetime.
a. James starred in the 2021 Space Jam remake.
b. James is the first NBA player to accumulate $1 billion as a player.
III. Considering the highlights of both athletes’ careers, who is better?
A. Of course, Michael Jordan is better.
Decimal research paper outline
Decimal research paper outlines forgo the alphanumeric system and instead use a system of numbers with increasing decimal points—with main topics listed as whole numbers (1 or 1.0), subtopics with one decimal point (1.1), points under a subtopic with two decimal points (1.1.1), and further details with three decimal points (184.108.40.206).
Each new piece of information uses the subsequent number (1.1.1, 1.1.2, etc.), so you always know where you are in the outline. You would write the content for each line in quick blurbs, just like the original alphanumeric formal.
Decimal research paper outlines are the most thorough but can get complicated. They’re recommended for writers who prefer technical precision or for lengthy outlines with many topics and subtopics.
Decimal research paper outline example
1 Michael Jordan
1.1 Career Highlights
1.1.1. Six NBA Championships
1.1.2 US Olympics Basketball Team
1.1.3 Fourteen NBA All-Star Game selections
1.2.1 Record-holder scoring average
1.2.2 Other accolades
2 LeBron James
2.1 Career Highlights
2.1.1 Four NBA Championships
2.1.2 US Olympics Basketball Team
2.1.3 Eighteen NBA All-Star Game selection
2.2.2 Other accolades
3 Analysis and Discussion
3.1 Of course, Michael Jordan is better
7 steps to follow when outlining a research paper
1 choose your thesis and gather sources.
Your outline is not the first step in writing a research paper. Before that, you first need to choose a thesis and then gather primary and secondary sources to back it up.
Your thesis is essentially what the research paper is about. Your thesis is given to you in some assignments, but sometimes, as with independent research, you’ll have to develop one on your own.
Once you’ve settled on a thesis, you’ll need evidence to support it. Collect all the relevant sources and data early on so that you know what to write about. Researching often reveals new aspects of your topic that you hadn’t known about before. It may dispel any misinterpretations you have—better to find out you’re wrong sooner rather than later. For help on how to cite your sources, use our free Citation Generator .
Keep in mind that the outline is just one part of writing a research paper. If you want to read more advice, take a look at our full guide on how to write a research paper .
2 Make a list of all the topics, subtopics, and points you want to cover
Go through your research and note each topic, subtopic, and supporting point. Be sure to keep related information together. Remember that everything you discuss in your paper should relate to your thesis, so omit anything that seems tangential.
If you’ve highlighted any specific passages or quotes from your sources, feel free to include them too. They aren’t necessary for all research paper outlines, but they save you time when you’re in the middle of writing your first draft.
3 Choose the best type of research paper outline for the assignment
Choose the type of research paper outline that best matches your topic, the assignment’s length, and the complexity of your paper. Simple papers only require simple outlines, but more advanced topics with lots of research can benefit from more detailed outlines.
Consider whether you’re sharing your outline with other team members or whether you’re writing it solo. Likewise, consider the length and amount of topics. The decimal format can help organize long papers, but feel free to stick with alphanumeric if it makes you comfortable.
4 Consider the structure and sequence of your topics
Before actually writing the research paper outline, think long and hard about the order in which you present your topics. What is the most logical sequence? What structure would communicate most clearly to your readers, who may be unfamiliar with these topics?
Keep in mind that some topics only make sense if they come after other topics. Before presenting new findings or revelations, you may want to add background or contextual information first. All other factors being equal, a chronological sequence is often the most logical structure.
5 Create the framework for your outline
Rather than writing your research paper outline entirely at once, start with just the framework. Try putting the main topics in order without yet including any subtopics or supporting points.
Starting with the framework gives you a clear look at the backbone of your research paper. Now would be a good time to rearrange the order if there’s a problem or add a new topic if you find something is missing. It’s never too late to go back and conduct more research to flesh out the areas you feel are lacking.
6 Add in more details
After you’re satisfied with the framework, go ahead and add the details. Most research paper outlines benefit from including the paragraph structure , so feel free to add lines about your topic sentence, development/support sentences, and conclusion for each paragraph.
If you want to get meticulous, you can add a few notes about sentence structure . Be careful of getting too detailed, though—otherwise, you’re writing a first draft instead of an outline!
7 Revise to improve structure
Finally, check your completed outline to see if there’s room for improvement. This is your last chance before you begin the first draft.
Double-check that all your topics are presented in the optimal order for your reader. Also, look over your research notes again to see if you’ve forgotten anything. Once your outline is the way you want it, it’s time to begin writing your research paper.
Research paper outline FAQs
What is a research paper outline.
A research paper outline is a supporting document that defines the structure of a research paper. The author creates the outline before the first draft to stay on track when writing .
How is a research paper outline structured?
Research paper outlines are generally divided into sections, paragraphs, and individual sentences or points. The amount of detail in a research paper outline varies depending on the writer’s style, the assignment requirements, and the complexity of the topic.
What are the different formats of research paper outlines?
Three popular formats for research paper outlines are alphanumeric , full sentence , and decimal .
Formatting your research paper outline There are three different kinds of research paper outline: alphanumeric, full-sentence and decimal outlines. The differences relate to formatting and style of writing. Alphanumeric Full-sentence Decimal An alphanumeric outline is most commonly used.
Sample Detailed Outline "Organize. Organize. Organize." —U.S. Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize-winner Al Gore Below is an example of a detailed outline. (It is for a research paper, but the principles and structure apply to any paper.) Notice the hierarchical use of the roman numeral system.
Sample 1: Basic Research Paper Outline Topic: Role of Valium in Opiate Replacement Treatment Approaches: Introduction Statistics of the use of opiates and their impacts on society Significance of valium as an opiate replacement treatment Thesis statement Body History of valium Psychopharmacology of valium Current trends and issues
Research outline example 1 The example below provides a basic template for five-paragraph research papers. I. Introduction Introductory sentence Supporting sentence, citation or quote Supporting sentence, citation, or quote Thesis—Most often, a thesis contains three points. II. Body Paragraph I
There are three popular formats for research paper outlines: alphanumeric, full sentence, and decimal. Below, we’ll explain the details of each and illustrate their differences with the research paper outline examples, focused on the same topic: “Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James: Who’s the Best Basketball Player?” Alphanumeric research paper outline