How to Draft an Outline for a Research Paper 

Essential of an Outline for a Research Paper 

Academic writing involves many steps, and in the middle of it is outlining. Academic writing is divided into three broad categories, and the outline category makes up a substantial part of the writing process. The purpose of an outline is to direct the learner on what to write and how to write. It also assists in the organization of ideas and the sequential flow of information. 

An outline plays a crucial role in the writing process because it provides the learner with a framework for the research paper. Moreover, the learner can use the outline to check whether the proposed study makes sense. Therefore, an outline is vital in the research paper writing process. 

What Role Does an Outline Play? 

A research paper follows a particular structure, and an outline provided in the study helps in the process of writing the research paper. Below are the various parts of a research paper outline:

  1. Title page-it is the first page of a research paper. It contains the title, name of the author, course, name of the student, and the date of submission. The title page can be yellow in colour to differentiate it from other schoolwork.
  2. Abstract-a summary of the entire research paper that contains the study’s major points and conclusion.
  3. Introduction-it is the first section of the abstract that gives an overview of the entire research paper to interested readers. It starts with a capsule statement and ends with a thesis statement. 
  4. Literature review-it is a section that highlights pertinent studies that relate to the topic of study. It provides a summary of previous studies and shows their contribution to the current study.
  5. Methodology-it is a section that explains the techniques used in the research study. It states the approaches, the materials, the data collection process, and the analysis methods.
  6. Results –it is a subsection of the findings that discusses the findings in detail. The data analysis includes methods used in collecting the data and the findings. 
  7. Discussion –it discusses the findings and provides suggestions for future studies.
  8. Conclusion- it is the final part of a research paper that provides the writer with the overall significance of the study and whether the findings are valid.

Functions of an Outline in a Research Paper 

In a research paper, the outline plays a role in:

  1. Organizing ideas 
  2. Paraphrasing ideas
  3. Reviewing sources 
  4. Planning the writing 
  5. Assessment of sources 
  6. Helping the writer in noting points to cite in the research paper

Other benefits of an outline include: