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Simple Guide to Write a Research Paper Outline

A research paper outline is an important point – by – point plan, which makes writing a research paper more straightforward. Before you start your  research paper, you need to:

  • Choose an appropriate topic
  • State your argument – have a thesis statement.
  • Define your audience – know your readers.
  • Conduct research
  • Organise your references

Writing a good research paper outline

A research paper outline consists of three main parts  -  introduction, body and conclusion. All these parts must have relevant contents, as explained below.

The introduction must contain the hook, your defined audience and thesis statement. The body must contain an argument to support the thesis. Also, the conclusion must include a summary of discussions and a call to action.

Introduction

The introduction is the preliminary page of any academic work. It must be fascinating, arresting and informative. The intro is what determines if your audience will continue to read your paper or not. As stated earlier, an introduction must have three main parts. They are:

  •  
  • As its name implies, it is the part that wins your readers over. It must be arresting and fascinating.
  • Define your audience: know who your readers are and explain to them why they are your target audience.
  • Thesis statement: make your argument known. Your thesis statement must answer the questions -“What are you writing about?" “What point do you want to prove or explain?” and “Why is it important?”. All these must be simple and clearly stated in your introduction.

Body

The body is a significant part of the paper outline. It occupies the most substantial part of any research paper because it has no volume limitation. All relevant information you have gathered from various resources that are related to your topic should show up in this part. Ensure all information given in your paper are accurate. You may want to use tables, and quote some authors, ensure you provide proper references and citations according to the accepted paper format.

Ensure there is a connection between the introduction and the body of your research paper. You should take into consideration the style and tone stated in the introductory part of your essay. However, do not use casual words while writing your paper.

Conclusion

This is the final part of the research work. It must summarise the arguments discussed in the previous sections of the paper. However, the conclusion should cover the central part that will help your readers to understand your work thoroughly, yet, it must not be too long.

Explained below are the parts of the conclusion:

  • Summary of arguments: in this concluding part, you need to restate your thesis and give a general overview of the cases used in your research paper.
  • Call to action: this part finally ends the research work. Ensure you give recommendations before concluding. Furthermore, give your readers a final message – it may be a call to action for future researchers to work on or a call to the discussion.

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