Writing A Strong Outline For Your Research Paper Easily: Tips & Tricks

Creating a strong outline is essential to writing a great research paper. Unfortunately, not every student takes the time to create an outline, and there are even some students that don’t know where to even begin. So we’ve put together these tips and tricks to help you create a strong outline easily:

Determine Your Layout and Length

The very first step to building a great outline is to know what your professor is looking for in terms of layout and length. Check your research paper prompt for any word or page count requirements, and also take note of all the things that need to go into your work.

For Simplicity Use a Basic Structure

Each discipline will require you to include different elements, but generally you can expect to use the following components in each one:

  • Abstract
  • Specifically in science-related research papers, the abstract is the most important part of this kind of document because anyone who is researching your topic will probably want to just read a short 200-word summary of your research, findings and your conclusions. You’re basically given somebody a snapshot of what your research paper contains, from which they can decide if it’s helpful to them or not.

  • Introduction
  • This section should briefly outline the reasons (or madness) behind your work. What made you want to do it in the first place? What other works exist and how is yours different. Think of this as a kind of history of the things that led up to your experiment and ultimately your findings.

  • Equipment and Methodology
  • This section describes the equipment and methodology you use to do your research. For instance, in a science research paper you will want to explain the specific tools, location, times, etc. that had an effect on your work. The idea is that anyone else should be able to replicate your work simply by starting with the same information.

  • Results
  • Think about how you’ve arrived to your results: what tests, facts or figures came from your work and have brought you to these specific outcomes. It’s a good idea to include graphs or tables rather than describe all of your figures in details. You can summarize each in a few sentences so that your reader knows how to decipher the information.

  • Conclusions
  • Lastly, be sure to include a section for your conclusions, which can be thought of as an extended version of your abstract. Summarize and synthesize your findings. Show the reader what all of the information you have presented means to both your particular research as well as any research that may grow from it.