Simple Manual on How to Write an Outline for a Research Paper
Some students may wonder why it is necessary to create an outline for research papers. There are numerous reasons, but generally speaking, it may be important to prepare an outline when the paper requires you to demonstrate the logical ordering or hierarchical relationships of information. When writing research work, the outline may be helpful in keeping track of volumes of information. In creative writing, the outline will be helpful in organizing the different plot threads and keeping track of the character traits. Some of the main reasons why you should create an outline for any academic writing include:
- It helps to prevent or reduce writer’s block by showing where you are heading and how you will get there.
- It helps you to stay focused, organized, and remain coherent all through the writing process.
- It provides you with a plan that can help you refine your writing in case you feel like your discussion is drifting into topics that are not related to your research problem.
How to Create the Outline
Once you have understood why it is important to create an outline when writing any academic paper, you can proceed to learning exactly how you should go about creating one. There are certain simple steps on how to write an outline for a paper. To begin with, start by determining the purpose of your paper. The next step involves determining the audience or readers you are writing for. Thirdly, you should create the thesis of your paper. After determining these things, you can now start creating the outline of your paper. At this stage, there are certain steps you should follow.
- Brainstorming: Start by listing all the ideas that you plan to include in the paper
- Organize: Try to group all related ideas or points into groups or sections
- Ordering: Ensure you arrange the material you have into subsections beginning with general ideas to specific ones.
- Label: Create your main headings and subheadings.
In summary, you should always keep in mind that creating the outline before you begin writing makes organizing your ideas, points and thoughts easier. It also helps you to ensure that you stay on track and don’t lose focus as you write your paper. You may decide to go with this suggested guide or not, but creating any type of outline, even simply listing your main ideas, will be very useful in the writing process.