Great Research Paper Guides

Sample Outlines for Research Papers

Students have to write research papers as part of their academic and curricula requirements for their respective programs. As such, you have to understand how to write an effective research paper, and this includes everything related to writing such a paper.

One crucial aspect of writing a brilliant research paper entails developing an outline before you begin writing the piece. Creating the outline can prove beneficial in different ways, and the primary benefit entails making your writing easier and ensuring you don’t miss out on a crucial component of the research paper.

Some students lack ideas when it comes to creating an outline for a research paper. Consequently, it can lead to substandard research papers owing to the absence of specific components or the disjointed communication of ideas in the document. So how can a student learn to develop the correct outline for their research paper?

Research Paper Outline

The first step for any research work entails coming up with a unique topic. It has to form the basis upon which your entire study will revolve around. So, ensure that you have a subject before coming up with an outline.  So what role does a topic play in this context? The broader or narrower the subject, the more complex or less complex your discussions will prove. As a result, an outline will help you to break everything down and allow a logical flow of ideas in your research paper. Additionally, it will permit you to establish the limitation and scope of your paper early enough. It will then act as the springboard for your study outline.

An outline generally has three major sections, including the introduction, body, and conclusion sections. However, you have to confer with your instructor in writing some particular segments of the research paper, especially if they want these segments included.

  • Introduction. Your research paper’s introduction has to contain the thesis statement and the aim of the study. Additionally, you can consider incorporating the significance of picking that specific topic. Further, state the type of methodology you want to use in discussing your subject. Let your introduction orient your audience to the main points contained in the paper.
  • Body. Here, you have to present all of your arguments in supporting the thesis statement. Try and use three supporting arguments, especially whenever you take a position. So, begin with a loaded argument and follow it with a far stronger statement before concluding with the strongest as your concluding point.
  • Conclusion. The section summarises all the arguments you have put forth, and it helps in allowing you to state your ultimate position.

Sample Outline of a Research Paper


  1. Problem statement
  2. Term definition
  3. Theoretical framework
  4. Materials and methods
  5. Research type
  6. Respondents
  7. Questionnaire
  8. Hypothesis
  9. Literature review
  10. Limitation and scope
  11. Significance of the research


  1. Study background
  2. Data presentation and analysis
  3. Test of correlation


  1. Analytical summary
  2. Reworded thesis
  3. Recommendations
  4. References

The provided outline points to the crucial components you have to consider for your standard research paper, especially if you want it to stand out. The absence of such an outline can lead to an improper structure with everything jumbled up.


If you want to write a brilliant research paper, then you have to develop a proper outline. It, therefore, can help if you considered the above tips to create your outline. Such a decision will ensure that you score highly in your research paper.

Written by

Hello! I'm Josh, and I'm a college student. Research paper writing is a kind of a hobby for me, maybe because I love the things I study. I hope that my experience will help you to get better grades.

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