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Research Paper Outline Writing: Basic Concepts

Before we start our discussion on the main topic, it is necessary to answer the major question. What is a research paper outline? In a few words, it is a plan that helps you structure the text. Using an outline, you are sure to mention all the important details and discuss substantial topics. 

When using an outline, you easily follow the flow of the text. The ideas are coherently discussed. You write everything in a proper manner. If you want to write a good research paper, the outline should be a priority.

Writing a research paper, you should investigate the information. You can’t simply get inspired by the ideas and cope with the task. Imagination is important. But you should also stick to real facts. This is why you can’t rely on your intuition. 

If you don’t follow a coherent and well-organized plan, you can mess up with the paper. Therefore, it is better to work on the outline beforehand. This way, you will ensure a stable foundation for your writing. 

How to write an outline? This question is to be discussed in the article. But let us tell you about the most essential aspect of research outline writing. The plan should be divided into coherent parts and correspond strictly to your topic and the main goal of the paper. 

Now let’s move on and see how to manage the task. There are several things to note. So, read the points carefully. 

Easy and Coherent Ways to Write a Research Paper Outline 

Lots of students are worried about the outline writing. It seems the most difficult part for them. Therefore, they simply ignore the most essential task. But that’s the wrong approach to the task. 

If you want to handle the assignment successfully, you need a plan. It will help you create strong relationships with the reader. It will also be useful if you are obsessed with the number of ideas to be discussed. 

research paper outline
research paper outline

It isn’t that complicated to write an outline. All you need is to follow the steps and pay attention to the basic structural parts of the paper. 

Title Page

Many students start with the title page. Though, it isn’t necessary in many cases. There is no need to start your outline with a title, because writing a title page is essential. Therefore, you will never forget about it. 

Usually, students receive specific guidelines from their universities to write a title page. The requirements may differ depending on the university. This is why giving recommendations to write a title page can be useless. 

It has to show your name, discipline, and the topic. You should also mention the name of your supervisor and structure these figures correctly. 

The main difference is the way to structure the text. Formatting elements may differ considerably. This is why it is better to ask for the requirements of your professor. 


Now we move on to the first structural element of the paper. What is an abstract? It is an overview of the paper. Most of the time, students write this part when the paper is over. It helps to coordinate their thoughts and write a coherent summary. 

But the abstract is put at the beginning of the paper. What should you know when writing a paper? You need to be brief. It will be a mistake if you tell too much. You need to simply overview the information and give hints. 

But discussing the examples in the abstract is a bad idea. The reader may simply lose interest in your paper. 


The introduction is the most crucial part of the paper. Why so? Here you introduce the topic to the reader. What should you discuss in the first part of the paper?

  • Interest the reader with a hook.
  • Include the topic of the paper. 
  • Define basic terms that can be vague for the reader. 
  • Shed light on paper main ideas. 
  • Tell in more detail about your choice. 
  • What are different background factors that influenced your choice? 

These are the main points to be discussed in the introduction. You should carefully research these points and include them. They will help you elaborate on a well-organized paper. 

You don’t need to start working on the ideas straight from the beginning. You will have a Body section to discuss the main points. But if you have any additional things to mention, it is better to do in the introduction. 


This is how your introduction ends. You can’t forget about a thesis. It is a substantial part of the writing. A thesis is a sentence or two that focuses on the main idea of the paper. Here you tell the reader about the basic concepts to be discussed in the research writing. 

Some students prefer to work on the thesis when they complete the main part. Some students simply change the thesis while writing body paragraphs. You can choose between these 2 strategies. 

Main Paragraphs

The next part is the main paragraphs. Here you will deal with several sub-paragraphs. Let’s discuss them in more detail:

  • Literature review. The first thing you should deal with. What is a literature review? Here you need to research the information. This is one of the most time-consuming parts of research paper writing. By investigating the literature on your topic, you can discuss the ideas of previous authors. You can also get inspired to write your paper. The main focus here is to research the sources and find as many useful facts as possible. 
  • Significance. You can’t go without the significance of the writing. Your task is to show the value of your research. It’s really necessary to clarify why your paper is worth reading. You can compare it to other papers or present your reasons. 
  • Methodology. The word is quite intricate. But in reality, all you need is to enumerate the methods used in the research. There are lots of methods you can use. And your task to list them and explain the main aspects. 
  • Findings and analysis. This part is also crucial for the whole paper. Here you tell the reader about your findings. You should also point out a clear analysis. You need to analyze the work and the main points of your paper. Usually, each idea is discussed separately. 

A research paper outline usually consists of these points. These are the main things to include in the body paragraphs. If you want your writing to sound good and complete, try to follow the list and mention all the necessary details. 


When you are done with writing the basic part, you need to finish the paper. A coherent conclusion is a finishing touch to your paper. It should cover the whole paper and discuss its basic structural components. 

Rephrase your thesis and discuss the ideas one more time. You need to draw the attention of the reader to important aspects. Don’t use new facts in conclusion. It will only distract your reader. 


And now we finally move to the last part of the research paper outline. Many students underestimate the importance of the References part. But it is a crucial element of the assignment. If you ignore it, you can get fewer points for the task.

In references, you need to list the sources that were used in the research. Make sure you format them correctly. There are different formatting styles. You should choose the style that your university accepts. And after all, we can congratulate you on finishing your research paper outline.  

Let’s Sum It Up  

As you can see, working on the outline isn’t difficult. It is necessary to follow the structure and be careful when discussing the ideas. Why do so many students worry about the outline? The answer is clear. 

research paper outline example
research paper outline example

Most of the students haven’t a proper guide to working with. Using our guidelines, you will easily cope with the task. The process of writing is simple. There are several structural components to mention. 

First, you should work on the introductory part. Also, don’t forget about the thesis. Then you proceed to the main part and include all the necessary elements. And then you finish it all with the conclusion and references. 

What if I Need Help?

Many students don’t need the guidelines. The reason why they need some help with their paper is simply lack of time. But they still need to submit the paper. What to do in such cases? 

The answer is quite obvious. You need to ask for expert online help. We offer fast and high-quality online assistance for students. We are here to cope with your research paper outline on time. If you feel insecure about your writing skills, make sure to ask for our help. 

We can manage different types of tasks. Either you need to work on the essay or manage a dissertation, we will help you. 

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