Research Paper Writing Help: Outline Format

Without a doubt every student will have a research paper assignment to complete. Many students will put off starting a research writing assignment because they do not even know where they should begin. Because most students have a lack of familiarity and experience with academic writing, they will jump to the belief that they are unable to write in this way.

There is no simple shortcut when writing a research paper. There are however certain steps you can take that will make the writing process more tenable.

A Place to Begin

Success always comes with a proper understanding of the assignment you have been given. Every college student knows that they could be given assignments in every class that involve the writing of a research paper and yet not one of these papers will look the same. Different guidelines, instructions, expectations, and formats could be assigned and all referred to as a research paper.

Regardless of the assignment specifics, the best way to start writing any type of research paper is with an outline.

The Importance and Reason for an Outline

Outlines are helpful when you want to demonstrate a tiered relationship or the plausible ordering of information. Having an outline for your research paper will help to organize the large quantities of information, facts or figures your research produces.

Creating an outline will:

  • Assist in the writing process
  • Effectively organize ideas
  • Logically present your research
  • Demonstrate the connection between concepts in your paper
  • Form an systematic synopsis of your research paper

The ‘How To’ of Outlines

The best way to start an outline is to determine the purpose of your paper and who you are writing it for. As a student this first step will most likely reflect the nature of the assignment you have been given and the expectations set by the professor for your research paper.

Even within the given parameters of the assignment your professor has given, you must still develop the thesis of your paper. Start with a list of the thoughts, ideas and information you think is important to include.

Next organize and arrange your research information into related groups and subsections that move from the general to the specific, while also creating appropriate headings. What you now have is an outline. Writing your research paper following the outline you created will be beneficial to your writing process.