Hints for Creating an Efficient Outline for Your Research Paper

When creating a research paper, you can’t forget about an outline. Once you have chosen a topic and gathered information and materials, you can organize all that into a good plan. You need an outline because it will help you flow from stage to stage of your paper work smoothly. Your draft of your future composition will include these parts.

The Structure of an Outline

This is a basic structure of your plan. Each part will have smaller points in order to sound more detailed and logical. What points exactly you will add depends on the subject of your research and the questions you want to discuss.

  1. Introduction.
  2. State the topic of your research and the purpose of your study. Explain the significance of the theme you chose. Generally, in this part of your plan you briefly introduce all the main points of your piece of writing.

  3. Main body.
  4. Present all the arguments to support your research statement. Remember you need three to five arguments. You also have to support each argument with your data.

  5. Conclusions.
  6. Summarize your arguments and state your conclusions. Explain why you have arrived at your results.

Components of an Effective Outline

  1. Parallelism.
  2. You have to build your work on similarities. This means that all the headings and subheadings will have the same structure and verbs will be in the same tense.

  3. Coordination and subordination.
  4. The headings should present the most important thoughts and tasks. The subheadings should specify the ideas represented in the headings. All the headings should be equal in importance.

  5. Division.
  6. Divide each heading into at least two subheadings.

The Value of a Good Outline

Keep in mind that a cleverly planned outline makes the whole process of your investigation easier. This is not only because of the logical aspect of the work, but also because you will be able to manage your time properly.

  • A good plan will help you to create a perfect research paper.
  • It will support you during the discussion and will show what you need to address next.
  • It will organize your work in a coherent flow of ideas.
  • It will keep you from straying away from the main topic.
  • It will simplify the task of writing your paper because of the smaller blocks in your research.
  • It will help organize various ideas of the same question and see how those ideas cooperate with each other.