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Student Guide: Writing a Research Paper Outline

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❶Add layers if necessary.

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Introduction

Here are the points you need in your introduction: The outline headings are your main points. These ideas should be drawn directly from your thesis or controlling idea. Frankenstein champions emotion over reason Full sentence outline: In Frankenstein , Mary Shelley champions the use of emotion over reason. Write at least 2 subpoints for each main idea. These are the ideas that further explain your main point.

In an essay, they might be your reasons for making your argument. In a creative work, they might be parts of your plot point.

For example, a novel may have many subpoints. Similarly, a study guide will likely have several subpoints, as well. Add at least 2 supporting details for each subpoint. They might include direct quotes, statistics, facts, or examples. For a creative work, you might include essential details you must include in that scene, such as an internal conflict in your main character. Similar to subpoints, you may have more supporting details, depending on your purpose. A novel or study guide will likely have more supporting details.

Include more layers of your outline, if necessary. Most basic outlines will include 3 layers, but you may need more. If this is the case, you can continue creating sublevels using the formatting structure you chose, either alphanumeric or decimal.

For example, you might need more layers to provide more details. In the Frankenstein example above, you might include a 4th layer to write out your commentary about the quotes you used to support your point. Your subpoints might include the following: Write a concluding statement. Your outline should relate back to your thesis or main idea, address the purpose you set out to achieve and reflect your audience.

Revise your outline if ideas are missing or not fleshed out. In some cases, you may need to add more information, such as additional supporting details. The revision process allows you to do that. You might also want to rewrite sentences or phrases to make your ideas clearer. Check for typos, grammatical errors, and formatting flaws. This will ensure you get full credit for your work.

If not, go back and correct the areas that are lacking. Add layers if necessary. If you need to add additional sub-layers, use lowercase Roman numerals i, ii, iii, iv, etc. In most cases, three or four layers will be enough. Try to combine points first before you add a fifth. You might also include additional layers for a long creative work or a detailed study guide.

Then, dedicate each body paragraph to one of your claims, as well as the evidence that supports it. Make sure you break down your evidence in your body paragraphs. Not Helpful 0 Helpful 2. Yes, having an outline will help you familiarize yourself with the process of something.

It is your guide for your experiment, whatever kind is it. Having an outline is like planning. Not Helpful 17 Helpful How do I write an outline quickly when I am under time pressure during exams? Begin with reading the exam question quickly but thoroughly. As you read, jot down the major points that occur to you immediately. Not Helpful 23 Helpful You could plan out your characters and plot as well as different parts, like setting.

If you have a theme or moral add that too. It may be hard to write a lot, but take it slow and practice. Not Helpful 15 Helpful The outline is meant to be done as the first step of your paper, outline, etc. It gets your ideas down on paper, gets your mind-wheels turning, without having to deal with all of the fancy and tedious details that come with putting your ideas into complete sentences.

It helps to pour out your mind, organize your research, and structure your final vision before you do the actual writing. It also helps to "road-map" your writing when you get to that step. Not Helpful 11 Helpful Think about whatever you want to write about that happened in your life, and then make an outline in either chronological order or in order of what you think is important, based on your own writing ability.

Not Helpful 16 Helpful Make sure you follow the instructions exactly. Have a thesis statement, and make sure the body supports the thesis. Not Helpful 9 Helpful Not Helpful 3 Helpful 7. Not Helpful 1 Helpful 4. You should have 5 sections: At least 3reasons 5. Not Helpful 18 Helpful What are things to look for when writing an essay outline? Answer this question Flag as What should the length of the piece be? Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered.

Already answered Not a question Bad question Other. Quick Summary The easiest way to write an outline is to gather all of your supporting materials, like quotes, statistics, or ideas, before getting started. Did this summary help you? Tips Be concise and straightforward in your outline. You can use outlines as a memorization tool. Choose concise words to trigger a concept. You can use specialized software or a text editor template to structure an outline automatically.

For example, Microsoft Word lets you create an outline document, or format it your own way. Indent each level of your outline 0. Keep in mind that this might not work well if you write full sentences. Include it in your outline, and use sub-steps to summarize your counter-argument.

Warnings Your outline should not be your essay in a different form. Only write down the major assertions, not every single detail. Generally, you should avoid only having one point or sub-point on any outline level. Article Info Featured Article Categories: Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 3,, times. Did this article help you? Cookies make wikiHow better. By continuing to use our site, you agree to our cookie policy.

ZA Zoe Astra Apr I am doing my dissertation next year and I have to submit my outline plan now; however, my university only gave us a list of all the elements they want us to submit with no explanation or guidelines of how we are actually supposed to do them. I have been stressing out so much, as I had no idea what I was doing and I am also supposed to be revising for my exams.

This basically saved me from a stress-induced breakdown! KM Kember Miller Jan Therefore, a quick refresher on how to do an outline was in order. Senpai Oct 25, It is subject to revision, addition and canceling, without paying much attention to form.

In a formal outline, numbers and letters are used to arrange topics and subtopics. The letters and numbers of the same kind should be placed directly under one another. The topics denoted by their headings and subheadings should be grouped in a logical order. All points of a research paper outline must relate to the same major topic that you first mentioned in your capital Roman numeral. The purpose of an outline is to help you think through your topic carefully and organize it logically before you start writing.

A good outline is the most important step in writing a good paper. Check your outline to make sure that the points covered flow logically from one to the other.

Make the first outline tentative. What is the chief reason you are writing the paper? State also how you plan to approach your topic. Is this a factual report, a book review, a comparison, or an analysis of a problem? Explain briefly the major points you plan to cover in your paper and why readers should be interested in your topic. BODY — This is where you present your arguments to support your thesis statement. Remember the Rule of 3, i. Begin with a strong argument, then use a stronger one, and end with the strongest argument for your final point.

Explain why you have come to this particular conclusion. Organize all the information you have gathered according to your outline. Critically analyze your research data. Using the best available sources, check for accuracy and verify that the information is factual, up-to-date, and correct.

Opposing views should also be noted if they help to support your thesis. This is the most important stage in writing a research paper. Here you will analyze, synthesize, sort, and digest the information you have gathered and hopefully learn something about your topic which is the real purpose of doing a research paper in the first place.

You must also be able to effectively communicate your thoughts, ideas, insights, and research findings to others through written words as in a report, an essay, a research or term paper, or through spoken words as in an oral or multimedia presentation with audio-visual aids. Do not include any information that is not relevant to your topic, and do not include information that you do not understand.

Make sure the information that you have noted is carefully recorded and in your own words, if possible. Plagiarism is definitely out of the question. Document all ideas borrowed or quotes used very accurately. As you organize your notes, jot down detailed bibliographical information for each cited paragraph and have it ready to transfer to your Works Cited page. Devise your own method to organize your notes.

One method may be to mark with a different color ink or use a hi-liter to identify sections in your outline, e. Group your notes following the outline codes you have assigned to your notes, e. This method will enable you to quickly put all your resources in the right place as you organize your notes according to your outline. Start with the first topic in your outline. Read all the relevant notes you have gathered that have been marked, e.

Summarize, paraphrase or quote directly for each idea you plan to use in your essay. Use a technique that suits you, e. Mark each card or sheet of paper clearly with your outline code or reference, e.

Put all your note cards or paper in the order of your outline, e. If using a word processor, create meaningful filenames that match your outline codes for easy cut and paste as you type up your final paper, e.

Before you know it, you have a well organized term paper completed exactly as outlined. The unusual symbol will make it easy for you to find the exact location again. Delete the symbol once editing is completed. Read your paper for any content errors. Double check the facts and figures. Arrange and rearrange ideas to follow your outline.

Reorganize your outline if necessary, but always keep the purpose of your paper and your readers in mind. Use a free grammar and proof reading checker such as Grammarly. Is my thesis statement concise and clear?

Did I follow my outline? Did I miss anything? Are my arguments presented in a logical sequence? Are all sources properly cited to ensure that I am not plagiarizing? Have I proved my thesis with strong supporting arguments? Have I made my intentions and points clear in the essay? Re-read your paper for grammatical errors. Use a dictionary or a thesaurus as needed.

Do a spell check. Correct all errors that you can spot and improve the overall quality of the paper to the best of your ability. Get someone else to read it over. Sometimes a second pair of eyes can see mistakes that you missed. Did I begin each paragraph with a proper topic sentence? Have I supported my arguments with documented proof or examples? Any run-on or unfinished sentences? Any unnecessary or repetitious words?

Varying lengths of sentences? Does one paragraph or idea flow smoothly into the next? Any spelling or grammatical errors? Quotes accurate in source, spelling, and punctuation? Are all my citations accurate and in correct format? Did I avoid using contractions? Did I use third person as much as possible? Have I made my points clear and interesting but remained objective? Did I leave a sense of completion for my reader s at the end of the paper? For an excellent source on English composition, check out this classic book by William Strunk, Jr.


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Student Guide: Writing a Research Paper Outline. The outline for a Literary Essay will also help you. Anyway, the main parts are as follows: Introduction ; Body ; Conclusion; Seems not that hard, right?! But the fact is that each of the points encompasses a wide range of information for you to arrange in your research outline about animals.

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Sample Essay Outlines Why Write an Outline? An outline will help you organize your main ideas and determine the order in which you are going to write about them.

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Writing a Paper: Outlining Print Page Report a if you are having trouble revising a paper, making an outline of each paragraph and its topic sentence after you have written your paper can be an effective way justify the discussion of this topic by pointing out a connection to a current problem that your paper will help. An essay outline can even help you determine the length of each paragraph. Especially in cases where you are limited to a number of pages or assigned a word count, you can use an essay outline to break the structure into percentages or words.

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Jul 07,  · How to Write an Outline. Your thesis will help guide your outline as you create sections and subsections organizing your information. However, using full sentences can help you better understand your ideas. If you’re writing a paper based on your outline, then full sentences will give you a head start on your final paper%(12). Then you’ll get the chance to access some awesome essay outline templates to help you start writing a well-planned and strongly organized paper that wows your professor.