Outline for a Research Paper: Prompts and Advice

Making an outline for a research paper is really quite simple and making an effective outline will set the course for the rest of the work to follow. If you follow the steps and advice that you will find here in this article you will be set and ready to go.

  1. Before you start an outline you should know the topic of the paper. It should not be a broad topic but should be narrowed down to something specific within that topic that can be researched and proved or disproven as the case may be.
  2. Take your topic and make it into a thesis statement. This will be the first piece of information that goes into your outline. Your thesis statement should be clearly stated and contained to one or two paragraphs.
  3. Make each bullet point in your outline be a specific point that you hope to prove or disprove with your research. An effective outline will be done this way and you will find out why as we go on.
  4. The next to last part of your outline should be the summation or closing argument in your paper. This should sum up all of the information from the research and tell how it proves or disproves the thesis statement. This should be at the very least one paragraph.
  5. The last part of your outline should be a reference section. When you finish writing your paper this reference section will have a page all to itself and it will be labeled References. This is where you will list each and every one of the sources that you referenced in your paper.

When you are finished with your outline and are doing your research you will find out very quickly if the outline that you made was effective or not. An effectively written outline will be one that you can really just go bullet point by bullet point and just plug your research in as you go. It should be in such an order that the information flows smoothly together with each bullet point working off of the information in the one before it. If it does not do this then it is not an effective outline and hopefully you will learn from your mistake and do better on the next one. This is a process that you will have to learn in order to write any quality research paper.