research paper outline

research paper outline

In many of your courses, you’ll be asked to write a traditional, thesis-based research essay. In this structure, you provide a thesis, usually at the end of your introduction, body paragraphs that support your thesis with research, and a conclusion to emphasize the key points of your research paper. You’ll likely encounter this type of assignment in classes in the humanities, but you may also be asked to write a traditional research paper in business classes and some introductory courses in the sciences and social sciences.
In the sample on this page, you’ll see a basic structure that can be modified to fit the length of your assignment. It’s important to note, in shorter research essays, each point of your outline might correspond to a single paragraph, but in longer research papers, you might develop each supporting point over several paragraphs.

The creation of an outline is an invaluable tool in the process of writing a research paper. It will give structure to the fledgling paper and allow you to better imagine what you will need to write. Breaking the paper down into small sections also makes the process of writing far less overwhelming.
C. Third Subtopic

Research paper outline
For research papers, a formal outline can help you keep track of large amounts of information.
To create an outline:

  • While cake and pie are both desserts, the structure, ingredients, and ease transportation sets pie apart from its main competitor.
  • An analysis of video game profit margins reveals one challenge facing game developers: the success of AAA games and the popularity of independent titles.
  • In the movies Shaun of the Dead and 28 Days Later, the opening sequence establishes the tone and theme of the film through non-diegetic sound, methodical pacing, and striking visuals.

A thesis is a one or two sentence statement that directly states what your paper is about. Your thesis is generally one of the harder sentences to write, especially for those new to writing research papers. You want the reader to know with this one statement what your stance on the topic is and what you intend to prove with your research. Some good examples of a thesis statement would be: