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How to Write a Research Paper

Introduction

❶Note that the topics of A and B are of equal relevance. Many others, however, offer one exception to this guideline by allowing the main section headings to be short phrases while the remaining subpoints are written as full sentences.

Action Research Outline Template

Research Outline Template
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In other words, you should have at least two subheadings for every major heading. There is no limit on subheadings, but once you start forming a dozen or so subheadings under a single heading, you might find your outline looking cluttered and messy.

Identify the research problem. As you prepare to write your outline, you need to specifically identify the research problem you are trying to address. This will guide the entire formation of your outline and your paper. From this research problem, you will derive your thesis statement. A thesis statement is a single sentence that sums up the entire purpose or argument of your research paper. This thesis statement will usually be written above the outline itself or within the first "Introduction" heading of the outline.

Your research problem can also help you figure out a title. Identify your main categories. You also need to figure out what main points you plan on covering. All of these main points will be listed in your introduction and listed as part or all of you major headings for the body part of your paper. The main points are details that support or address your research paper. They should be very general in nature. Take a look at your research topic and determine the best possible order to deliver information.

You might end up using a chronological arrangement or a spatial arrangement, but as a general rule, you will go from general ideas to specific ones. Chronological arrangements generally only work if you have a topic that has some chronological history to it.

For example, if you were researching the history of modern medicine, it would make sense that your paper and outline follow a chronological order. If your research topic does not have a history, though, you will probably end up using a spatial structure. For instance, if you are researching the effects of television and video games on the adolescent brain, you probably would not follow the chronology of the research.

Instead, you might describe the different contemporary schools of thought on the issue or otherwise follow some other spatial arrangement of ideas. Establish your major headings.

Your first and last headings will be your "Introduction" and "Conclusions" sections, respectively. The other major headings will be represented by the main or major categories of your paper. In these instances, you can usually skip these two sections altogether, but you will need to write your thesis statement separately and above the outline. Know what to include in your Introduction.

Your "Introduction" heading will need to include your thesis, at minimum. You might also want to briefly list your main points and your hook. Note that these elements will usually be listed as subpoints, not as major headings. The major heading for the section will be "Introduction. Understand what the body of your outline will consist of.

Each main heading within the body portion of your outline will be labeled by a short phrase or sentence addressing a main category of your research paper. As with the actual paper itself, this portion of your outline will hold all the significant content. Arrange the Conclusions section.

A well-prepared thesis means well-shaped ideas. It increases credibility of the paper and makes good impression about its author. More helpful hints about Writing a Research Paper. An informal outline working outline is a tool helping an author put down and organize their ideas.

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.

The Introduction part is one of the most important ones. Because it presents the reader with the topic of your paper and it is like a hook that attracts the reader's interest. Here you are supposed to mention the top essential components like the thesis statement, the explanation of the topic some major points, general information , explanation of the core terms related to your study.

The Body part is the amplest one and consists of several paragraphs or subparts. Here you bring the arguments to support your statement. The methodology is what follows the introduction section. It gives the insight into the way you carried out the research and should include the investigation type and the questionnaire you have fulfilled.

Never forget about the aims of the investigation that should be also stated in the introduction. Make sure to include the literature overview. Here mention the literature you used as a backup to your hypothesis and theories.

This part will show how you can operate the terms, theory and existing evidence. Your main theme and the chosen literature should be adjacent.

Demonstrate how your input develops and distends the existing works. Data and analysis usually go after methods and literature. Here present your results and other variables that you have got in the process of the survey. Use tables or graphs if necessary to be more precise and structured. Keep in mind to tell the audience whether your outcomes bring a difference to the whole topic.

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Research Paper Outline Examples Once you've decided what topic you will be writing about, the next thing you should pay attention to is the scope of your paper or what you will be including in your discussion.

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The research paper outline is essential for any article or term paper. The outline may make a great difference on how your work is interpreted.

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Aug 23,  · Writing an outline for a research paper can seem like a time consuming task, and you may not understand the value of it if you have never written one before. Outlines can help you structure your research and your final paper in much more efficient ways, though, so it is a good idea that you learn how to write one%(62). The best you can do is to have an outline, so that you get the best results in the end. You may also see Thesis Outline Templates. The beauty of an outline template is that it makes your research work easier. At least, your outline will act as a guide to help you get your research planned even before you start.

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The outline structure is approximately the same whether you write a research outline on dreams or some topic distant from this one, like a research outline for PhD application. The structure is identical to the structure of the research paper itself. The research problem is the focal point from which the rest of the outline flows. Try to sum up the point of your paper in one sentence or phrase. It also can be key to deciding what the title of your paper should be.