Our Blog

for young researchers & writers

How Does a Proper Research Paper Outline Look Like

If your goal is to successfully complete a well-written and organized research paper, you’ll need to ensure you have a great outline. The outline of your paper will act as the foundation that holds everything together and adds a flow of logic for readers to follow.

ABSTRACT AND TITLE

Your paper should start off with a revealing title and an all-encompassing section of information called the abstract. Sometimes this section is written AFTER the rest of the paper for clarity.

THE INTRODUCTION: PROBLEM AND IMPORTANCE

Every great research paper begins with a compelling and captivating introduction. You want to engage your readers and pull them in by offering interesting facts or present reasons why your topic is relevant or important. Make sure to:

  • Clearly describe the problem or question
  • Define any terms and specify how these terms will be more or less meaningful in your paper
  • Give an overview of the type of investigation you'll be doing, your method, and what hypothesis you are hoping to solve
  • Reiterate the importance of your project, how it can help future studies and why the reader should care

THE BODY: BACKGROUND, METHODS, AND RESULTS

The body of your paper will allow you to show your process of gathering information, present your data, and make an analysis of your original hypothesis. It should be full of relevant literature reviews and clear, concise points. You'll need to include:

  • Clear and relevant background information to help the reader understand the focus of your study
  • A presentation of your methodologies
  • An analysis of your data with a results section

THE CONCLUSION: DISCUSSION AND SUMMARY

The end of your outline should include a conclusion that pulls everything together. This is your chance to compare your findings and reiterate your point or argument. Your conclusion will require:

  • A discussion covering your results and any issues in your experimental design
  • Ideas and implications for future studies
  • A final summary to help remind your reader of your paper's significance and conclusions

REFERENCES, APENDICES, AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The outline of your paper should end in sections with full citations for your references, appendices for raw data and acknowledgments for anyone who helped you with your project.

REMEMBER: YOUR OUTLINE IS YOUR GUIDE

A proper paper outline will include a useful introduction, a well-sourced body, and a memorable conclusion. Each section will have more specific details depending on the goals of your paper

Writing Help

#