How to Write an Outline for a Research Paper

How to Write an Outline for a Research Paper

Outlining is one way of preparing for your research papers - it guides you through the composing process. By outlining your work, you will be in a better position to draft them without losing or forgetting anything. It will assist you in ordering your thoughts coherently and systematically. In this way, you will enable your readers to read easily because they will enjoy a systematic flow of your ideas and thoughts.

This guide shows how to write an outline for a research paper. As the discourse unfolds, your ability to write such papers will advance to the next level. Welcome to this insightful discussion, and good luck in improving your skill!

How to Write an Outline for a Research Paper: Important Considerations

Before outlining your essay, you ought to consider a few critical issues related to how to write an outline for a research paper properly. By incorporating this knowledge into your outlining process, you will always make it easier and enjoyable to work with. Here are some of them:

  • No best approach

You should note that no rigid rule dictates the best approach to write your plan. This means that you can choose a topic or sentence outlining depending on what suits your formatting needs best. Stick to your chosen model.

  • Flexibility

After choosing your most suitable outlining format, you have to leave room for flexibility. This means that if your writing project’s focus changes mid-way, you can add new sections. You will need to adjust your format to fit that new focus.

  • Your outline’s length

Your outline length is another factor to consider when outlining your papers. If you are composing a standard 15 to 20-page project, your outlining must not exceed four pages. This means that it should not exceed 15 percent of your paper’s total length.

  • The order

Lastly, how you order your points and ideas matters. You may structure your main points in a chronological fashion if your assignment so demands.

How to Write a Research Paper: Steps to Follow When Outlining Your Project

So, what concrete steps are vital for the completion of this part of writing work? Here is a systematic guide to drafting your scientific paper plan without hassles.

  • Identifying the paper’s problem

The first step in outlining of your writing project is identifying your assignment’s problem. You can do this by writing a summary of your project’s central focus. This way, it will be easy to determine its final title.

  • Identifying the main categories

Identifying key categories is the next step you should take. Determine the major ideas you will discuss and order them based on their importance.

  • Creating the initial category

This category should give your readers a clear and background of the underlying theory behind your assignment.

  • Draft subcategories

Lastly, you have to create subcategories that will support your main idea. They can be as many or as few as the amount of information you need to include in your assignments.

How to Write a Detailed Outline for a Research Paper: A Perfect Sample

To inspire you in an effort to master how to write a detailed outline for a research paper, this section of our discussion will give you a sample format on how best to do that. Remain with it to discover more on insights that will guide you through the process.


The introduction of your paper’s plan will include the following key components:

  • A definition, description, and history if that is necessary;
  • A statement of purpose;
  • Information sources such as research methods and materials;
  • Working definitions where they’re necessary;
  • Limitations of the report if that’s needful;
  • The scope of coverage that includes a sequence of major topics in the body.


It will include the following information:

  • First major topic A;
  • First subtopic of A;
  • Second subtopic of A;

This part of your plan can go on depending on your assignment’s length.

  • Second major topic B, etc.

The list goes on depending on your assignment’s length.



This closing section should adhere to the following:

  • It should not overlap but allow each topic to address a separate idea;
  • It has to be coherent;
  • It needs clear and informative headlines.

Take this sample as your universal guide and save time outlining your papers from start to finish.

With the above information imprinted on your mind, we hope you will have an easy time outlining your future tasks in this area. If you need further assistance in this area or you need to order any other papers from us, our doors are open. Contact us today for help, and our experts will draft a plan and render any other related services to support you amid the stress of exams and approaching submission deadlines.