How To: Outlining a Research Paper Note for students: This document was prepared by Dr Amy Stuart for a class in which she requires a research paper related to air quality.
For a standard research paper of 1520 pages, your outline should be no more than four pages in length. It may be helpful as you are developing your outline to also write down a tentative list of references. The research paper outline is essential for any article or term paper. The outline may make a great difference on how your work is interpreted.
The following outline shows a basic format for most academic papers. No matter what length the paper needs to be, it should still follow the format of having an introduction, body, and conclusion. A research paper outline is a plan written by the author to avoid being stuck in the middle of the process. Call it an action plan. This part reveals the primary ideas of the study. Once a writer is done with the list of research paper topics to explore, it is necessary to dedicate some time to the outline development.
This is why you should establish early on the scope and limitations of your paper which will provide the foundation for your research paper outline. Basically, your outline will constitute three main sections: the Introduction, the Body and the Conclusion.