Creating An Outline For A Research Paper: The Complete Instruction

An outline will provide a clear and hierarchical picture of your research paper. This is considered as the most helpful way to organize your thoughts before beginning the paper. The basic outline format is where numbers and letters are interchanged and indented accordingly to indicate the level of importance. Here are tips that will make your outline outstanding.

Choose Your Main Idea or Topic

Identifying your topic or idea is a significant step in any writing process. It gives you an idea of what must be achieved by the end of your writing exercise. It also points at areas that will be covered when researching and compiling your paper. This will assist you in narrowing down the chapters and subtopics of your work.

List the Main Talking Points

This is a brainstorming session where central ideas are explored and the subtopics that fall under them. The structure or format for the main points depends on the instructions given. It could include several steps, a list, an argument, description, etc. This section needs to exhaust all the ideas that will go into the final paper. Avoiding limiting your thoughts since some of the ideas will eventually be discarded. Do not bother about the order since ideas crop up spontaneously.

Organize your Main Points

With all main points listed down, it is time to organize them in the order they will appear once the paper has been compiled. Choose the strongest idea to appear at the top. The order should also make it easier for your readers to follow the arguments and understand. To have resounding conclusion, reserve a strong point for the end.

Provide Flesh to Your Main Points

The main points or talking points will be hollow without supporting details. This is regarded as the flesh of your paper. Fleshing out the points means adding relevant content to support your main ideas. Your outline should include books and other sources that will be used to get these materials. It will make your compiling stage easier to handle.

Review and Make Adjustments

A good outline requires constant review and revision. The review will help you identify the points that received sufficient attention and those that did not. You will identify the areas or sections to enhance and those that could be ignored. Review the order and make adjustments where necessary. You will have produced a road map that will enable you to carryout the writing exercise in a smooth manner.

Use Tips That Will Work


Not all of us so creative to generate ideas on different topics and write great papers every night. Still, there are some classic methods to make a solid, well-written paper.

Rewriting Skills


Some students may think that their work is finished as soon as they write the paper. Still, a lot of work must be done before handing it in.


Edit and proofread your research paper before submission. Check for typos, word usage, grammar and punctuation. Your content should be polished and easy to read.


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