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Student Guide: Writing a Research Paper Outline

How to Write a Research Paper?

❶This section of your report is where you will document all the painstaking research into the background of your experiment. Everybody who has written a dissertation or thesis has had to give a presentation to a room full of fellow students, scientists and professors and give a quick synopsis.

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Writing a good research paper outline

This is doubly important if your research is likely to be published on the internet. The authors section should include your name, as the main writer of the report, alongside the name of your supervisor. In the case of working as part of a team, you should usually include the other members of your group here. The abstract is the most crucial part of the report because anybody searching for your research on a database or in a journal will usually read only the abstract.

Therefore, it must summarize your research, results and conclusions in less than words. Sometimes it is good to think of it as a sample of your research rather than a review ; it should inform the researcher that your article contains the information they need. There are a few ideas on how to write your abstract but the best advice is that you look at some journals relevant to your research and try to format your abstract in a similar way. This section and is merely a breakdown of sections and subsections by page number.

For a short and straightforward paper it may not be necessary to include a contents page. This is not mandatory for a research paper. This section of your report is where you will document all the painstaking research into the background of your experiment. The main thing to bear in mind, when writing the introduction , is that a scientist who is unfamiliar with your exact subject matter may be reading the article.

It is important, therefore, to try and give a quick and condensed history of the research leading to your experiment, with correct citations. You should also give a little background on why you chose to do this particular experiment and what you expect to find.

For this portion of your report you must describe the methods used when performing the experiment. This should include, if relevant, the location and times of sample collection, what equipment was utilized, and the techniques used. The idea behind the methodology section is that another researcher can exactly replicate your experiments without having to guess what equipment and what techniques should be used.

Scientific articles are peer reviewed and this includes the possibility that other researchers may try to replicate your results. There have been many high profile scientific breakthroughs over the years whose results were unable to be repeated; these experiments were disregarded. For field studies you should give an exact map reference and time as well as including a map in the appendix. If you used complex machinery or computer programs in the course of your experiment, to avoid breaking the flow of your report, you should give only the main information and refer to the exact technical specifications in the appendix.

These should be a quick synopsis of the facts, figures and statistical tests used to arrive at your final results. You should try to avoid cluttering up your report and insert most of your raw data into the appendix. It is far better to stick with including only tables and graphs that show clearly the results. Do not be tempted to insert large numbers of graphs and figures just for the sake of it; each figure and graph should be mentioned, referred to and discussed in the text. Try to avoid putting in tables and graphs showing the same information; select the type that shows your results most clearly.

It is usually preferable to use graphs and relegate the tables to the appendix because it is easier to show trends in graphical format. Figures and graphs should be clear and occupy at least half a page; you are not a magazine editor trying to fit a small graph into an article.

All such information must be numbered, as diagrams for graphs and illustrations, and figures for tables; they should be referred to by this number in the body of the report. You do not need to put the full breakdown of the calculations used for your statistical tests; most scientists hate statistics and are only interested in whether your results were significant or not. Relegate the calculations to the appendix.

The results section of your report should be neutral and you should avoid discussing your results or how they differed from or compared with what was expected. This information belongs in the next section. This is the pivotal section of your hard work in obtaining and analyzing your results. The conclusion to the research paper follows the same alphanumeric format. The topics outlined in this section does not extensively cite new research or expert opinion, but rather sums up the main ideas discussed in the paper to further prove the point the paper sought to make.

It also ends with a statement or quote that gives the reader information for further consideration. Regardless of the section, there are certain qualities that each part of the research paper outline should have. These include parallelism, equal relevance and multiple headings.

Parallelism means that if a title starts with a verb, all the other titles in the outline should start with a verb. Thus, in an outline about buying a car, the first title or topic of the body paragraph might be:.

Note that the topics of A and B are of equal relevance. One is not more specific than the other. More detailed information should be described in the subheadings to each of the A and B headings. Also, outlines should have multiple headings. Note again the example above. Under Look for New Cars Online there are two general subheadings.

There should always be at least two subheadings for each topic. Besides the alphanumeric outline, a research paper outline may use decimal points. This can make it easier to see how one idea in a paragraph relates to another.

Below is an example of a decimal outline the same type of indention pattern as the body paragraph outline follows here:. A published writer since , Somer Taylor has authored two fiction books through PublishAmerica and has written for various websites.

Types of Outlines for Writing Papers. What Is a Research Paper Outline? The conclusive part of the research paper has to summarize the arguments so the readers digest the main idea and remember it for a long time. Remember that the main purpose of the research paper is to show your abilities to work by yourself and demonstrate the range of your knowledge on various topics.

Creating a good outline is essential in a further composing of your research paper. Make sure to take notes when conducting a research, do not be afraid to ask for assistance and read additional resources.

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Essay Editing Service Essay Revision. Before writing an research paper outline: Select an appropriate topic. Selecting a topic is a crucial factor for a successful research paper. Whether you select a topic yourself or not, it should work to your strengths and not weaknesses. An appropriate topic should be interesting to you and appeal to or provoke readers. After selecting a topic, take some time to figure out what kind of argument you want to support.

You need to understand why it is important to you and why it might be important to others. Ask yourself — what is the aim of my thesis statement?

Can it provoke a meaningful discussion that might change the world? How can I build a research paper on this argument? As soon as you have answers for these questions, you are almost ready to create a good outline for a successful research paper.

Of course, most of the time only your professor will read a research paper you have created. However, you need to understand readers of your paper. Will the professor support your argument or will he have a counterargument? When defining your audience, you will comprehend what type of language is better to use: The overall style and tone of your research paper depend on the audience it is aimed at.

There is no research paper without proper and thorough research. You will have to investigate a lot of resources in order to find effective evidence to support your argument. Firstly, you will have to find general information to support your thesis statement, then you will have to dig deeper. You will have to be aware of any counter arguments and evidence supporting them.

What is a Research Paper?

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Writing a Research Paper. This page lists some of the stages involved in writing a library-based research paper. Although this list suggests that there is a simple, linear process to writing such a paper, the actual process of writing a research paper is often a messy and recursive one, so please use this outline as a flexible guide.

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The following outline is for a page paper discussing the link between educational attainment and health. Review the other sections of this page for more detailed information about each component of this outline! D. Gaps in the Research: Outlining Your Outline as a Way to Write Every Day (blog post) Writing Center blog post.

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Tutorial to the research paper outline. It helps you through the steps of writing a research paper. Good writing is essential for any article or term paper. Research Paper Outline Examples Once you've decided what topic you will be writing about, the next thing you should pay attention to is the scope of your paper .

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What is an outline for a research paper and how to write an outline for a research paper? The primary thing is to provide a clear definition. An academic project outline is an action plan a student prepares not to get lost during the process of writing, and this piece reflects the main points of the text. A research paper outline is a helpful point-by-point plan, which makes your research paper writing easier. However, before proceeding to an outline you will have to take some pre-writing steps. They will be helpful in composing the best quality outline and, as a result, a great academic work.