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How to Write a Research Paper Outline in English

There is no doubt that the outline is the backbone of your research paper. Because if you simply start writing your research paper, you may change things here and there which will eventually increase the amount of work that you have to do. Therefore, we recommend you make executable plans and brainstorm the content and the structure of your research paper. So, if you do not know how to write a research paper outline, here is an easy guide to help you learn to write a research paper outline quickly.

Why Research Paper Outline is Important?

A research paper outline is most useful when you actually start writing your research paper. It can not only help you in the first draft of your research paper but you can also use it before you hand in your research paper to check if you have covered all the details you planned in the beginning.

Moreover, it provides a fine structure to help you keep track of all the information you should include in your paper. Besides, it also makes sure that your ideas and thoughts are well organized to craft a strong research paper. To sum up, a research paper outline has the following advantages:

  • Organizes your ideas and thoughts
  • Provides a fine structure for your research paper
  • Makes sure that you do not forget even the smallest details
  • Helps you understand the flow of information
  • Gives your professor an idea of the final product

How to Write a Research Paper Outline in English

In the above section, we learned that writing a good research paper requires you to learn how to write a research paper outline first and why it is important. So, now that we know what is a research paper outline and why it is important, it is time to learn how to write a research paper outline. For that, follow the steps below.

Research Paper Outline Structure

Like any academic paper, the research paper outline follows the same traditional structure. It has an introduction, body, and conclusion. Similarly, in each section, we target the following things:


  • The hook
  • Selecting the target audience
  • The thesis statement


  • Arguements to describe and support your thesis


  • Summary
  • Call to action

Step 1: The Introduction

There is no doubt that the introduction is the most important part of any academic paper. It basically decides whether or not your reader will stick until the end. Besides, it needs to be concise. Therefore, most people find it hard to craft a strong introduction for their academic paper such as an essay, literature review, or personal statement.

Som the introduction of your paper should be engaging, informative, and intriguing. However, there should not be a lot of details yet because the need to read the whole paper diminishes. So, the more concise, the better it is.

The first part of the introduction is the “hook”. It is used to persuade your reader to read your academic paper. The length of the hook can vary from one sentence long to five sentences long which depend on the volume of your paper. So, it should be brief and provoking.

The second part of the introduction is dedicated to defining your target audience. So, you have to explain to your reader why they should read your paper and how it is relatable to them. Lastly, you write your thesis statement where you present your argument to your reader. So, you clearly define what you are going to discuss and its importance.

Typical Mistakes in Personal Statement Writing You Should Avoid

Step 2: The Body

The biggest part of your research paper outline is its body where you thoroughly explain all the details. In the outline of your paper, you add bullets for each heading and more sub-bullets for subheadings and points. The length of the body of your paper has no limitation. The main thing to remember is that it should be able to state your work.

So, all the findings you have found during your research will be added to the body of your outline. Add each idea to the main bullet point and add enough points and evidence as the sub-bullets to support your ideas. Also, remember that you should avoid stating something that you can not prove later.

Step 3: The conclusion

The last part of your research paper outline is the conclusion where you summarize the arguments you presented in the body of your paper. It is basically the restatement of your thesis and your main idea. The conclusion should not be very long, however, it should be able to describe or summarise everything smoothly enough. Moreover, your conclusion should do the following two things.

  • Give a summary of your paper. You can also restate your strongest arguement in this part. However, you do not any new idea and you should also avoid giving deep explanation.
  • Moreover, you should your paper with a call to action to provoke your reader. It can be either a call to take any action or to discuss something.

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