Research paper outline

Posted by JosephSavage on April 26th, 2017

The basic structure of any essay begins with an outline but how to write a research paper outline can be confusing. In this article, I'd like to break it down into simple terms for you to understand and create the best essay you can



A really good essay needs a really good hook line that grabs the attention of the reader and makes them want to read further. Research paper hooks are generally a bit longer and consist of a controversial statement, anecdote or quotation related to the paper.

Research Question:

By the time you come to writing an outline you should have an idea of what you're going to research and this should be placed in your introduction.

Thesis Statement:

A thesis statement generally comes at the end of the introduction and is the answer to the question and the foundation of your paper.



The context to which your argument is going to take place is essential for the reader. you have to assume that they nothing of what you are about to write and therefore need the background to understand. In an outline, this only needs to be brief

Existing Arguments:

What are other people saying about the topic, how have they proved their points and how convincing where they all need to be addressed. If, in the course of your research you come up with any others be sure to include them in your outline.

Your Argument:

This is where you either agree or disagree with the points made by previous people in this field.

You should look at pictures, statistics, letters etc as primary sources on your topic to do this with and include them in your outline. Secondary literature can also be used to extend this material.

When creating an outline for a research paper you should include the main point and also how you intend to back them up.


Summary of Main Points:

This can be done in short bullet point form and should go over the main points as well as the existing arguments.

Why It Matters:

Throughout the process of a research paper outline, you will become very close to the material and you should explain why this matters to you and why it should matter to the reader.

Now you know the basic structure of an outline you can use it with any paper you need to write so what are you waiting for?