Essay and research paper topics & ideas

How Do I Write An Outline For A Research Paper

     Writing an outline for a research paper can help you put your ideas together, while organizing what is going to be in your research paper.  This breakdown of the facts will make writing the research paper easier because all of the information is in front of you and you can just use that as a guide to your paper.

What An Outline Should Look Like

     There is no special way to write an outline and it can be done in many ways.  I’m going to show you the easiest way and you can edit it to the type of paper you are writing.

  • First you want the outline broken up into three numbered sections, intro, body, and conclusion. 
  •  Start with the intro, you want to outline what will be in the intro. (Note: All your research should be done before you start an outline but you can also use an outline for doing your research to stay organized).
  • Next you will outline what will be in the body of the research paper. 
  • Lastly, you will outline what will be in the conclusion of the research paper. 

Here is an example of an outline:

Topic: State topic here

  1.  Introduction
    • State the problem or thesis
    •  Why are you researching this
    • What makes this topic so important
  2.  Body
    • Evidence of research
    • Outcome of research
    • State what you learned from the research
  3.  Conclusion
    •  Restate the thesis
    • Summary of findings

Another way you can do it is:


  •     State the problem or Thesis
  • Thesis statement
  • Answer questions about thesis
  • Problem with research on topic

         These are just a general way that you can do your outline.  You can do subtitle after subtitle under the points you want to make in your research paper are made, that is up to you. The outline is only as good as you make it so if you have a lot of research and don’t know where to start an outline can help you narrow it down.  Outlines can also show you where your work could be lacking or where you have too much information.  This is just one of the many tools you should use when you are working on a research paper.