How to Write an Outline of a Research Paper

If you are writing a research paper one of the most important steps is the outline. Many students avoid the outline altogether or skim through it without giving it proper time and effort. This results in an elaborate and difficult writing process which could have been made all the easier had the outline been properly constructed.

The purpose of the outline is to create the structure of your research paper. Your goal in creating the outline is to ensure your research paper has a logical flow to every argument and that every argument you have includes supporting evidence.

Some students prefer to create an outline that is sentence structured. This means that every section and subsection of the paper has a sentence beneath the caption explaining what will be included in that paragraph. Beneath that description is a sentence containing the fact or evidence that will be used to support each argument. Other students prefer the bullet point method which uses the same structure but in lieu of full sentences for every section and subsection there are mere bullet points that may be fragmented. With a properly constructed outline you can see which arguments you have and which of those arguments have the necessary evidence. If any section is lacking you will see it straight away in the outline and that will give you the opportunity to find more evidence or change the argument before you put in the effort of writing.

If you are unsure of what topic to use for your research paper consider the topics below. Do not hesitate to alter or revise these topics to better fit your assignment. Make sure to use them as a starting point.

  • Write a paper about whether states with gun laws in favor of carrying weapons have higher or lower crime rates than states which do not have gun carry laws
  • Discuss the impact that the Manhattan project had on the world
  • Research how stealth technology can actually shield airplanes from radar
  • Research the cause of tornados
  • Discuss the reasons why Martin Luther protested the Catholic Church
  • Write about how a search engine actually works
  • Look into current capabilities for genetic engineers
  • Discuss what events led to the fall of the Roman Empire
  • Review the obstacles that scientists face when breaking the sound barrier
  • Write about the way in which the black plague affected Europe and what influence Dante‚Äôs Inferno had on bringing people back to the church