A Systematic Guide to Writing a Research Paper Outline

Though it is challenging to write a research paper outline, it a normal part of a student’s academic life. All students ought to take a considerable amount of their time to design a well thought and successful research paper. Before starting your research paper outline, you have to take pre-writing steps. These early steps help design a top-quality research paper structure and form part of an excellent academic journey. Before you design a research paper structure, consider the following steps:

  • Choose an appropriate topic. To be able to write a successful paper, you must choose a relevant topic. Regardless of whether you choose the research topic alone or not, it should work towards your strengths and not your weaknesses. A good topic must be interesting to the author and should provoke or appeal to your readers.
  • Enumerate your argument. Once you have selected your topic, take time to think of the type of argument you intend to support. Understand the importance of the argument to you and others. You need to interrogate the aim of the thesis statement and how it can enhance the meaningful discussion to change the world.
  • Outline your audience. Most of the time, your supervisor will read your research paper; however, you need to know the potential readers of your paper in your field of study. Get to know if your supervisor will agree with your argument or will have a different argument. Once you understand your audience, you will get to know the tone of the language to use.
  • Do the research. The research paper is a product of thorough and proper research. You will interrogate many resources to get evidence to buttress your argument. To succeed, get the general information in support of the thesis statement, then dig deeper. Get to know the counter-arguments and the supporting evidence.
  • Order your reference. References are the material evidence in support of the research paper arguments and the experiments or research done. Prioritize them based on the relevance and importance of the thesis statement.

A systematic guide to writing a research paper outline


The introduction is an essential component to nearly all academic work since it determines if the reader will read the paper or drop it from the reading list. Therefore, the introduction should be informative, engaging, and intriguing. The following points make a great introduction:

  • Hook. It is the part that encourages readers to read the research paper; therefore, it should be provoking and interesting.
  • Outline your audience. Understand who will yearn to read your research paper.
  • Thesis statement. You need to state your arguments by making a simple and straightforward point without being dull.  


It is the key part of a research paper structure. The body has no limitations since it is the main and the most significant research paper section. The number of paragraphs is a factor of the volume of the entire research paper. In case you have many arguments to support your thesis statement, the bigger the research paper’s body. All the evidence in support of the research should come to the body section.


The conclusion section of the research paper summarizes all the arguments so that readers comprehend the key ideas and remember them for a longer period. The conclusion should be short but with relevant information to enable readers to comprehend the research. Therefore, the conclusion should have a summary of arguments and a recommendation for further study.


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