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Step 6: Research Outline

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❶Did I leave a sense of completion for my reader s at the end of the paper?

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Introduction

The outline should be an overview of your entire paper in bullet points. Write your body paragraphs. Although it may seem counter-intuitive, writing your introduction first may be more difficult to accomplish than starting with the meat of your paper.

Starting by writing the main points focusing on supporting your thesis allows you to slightly change and manipulate your ideas and commentary.

Support every statement you make with evidence. Supply ample explanations for your research. The opposite of stating opinions without facts is stating facts with no commentary. Although you certainly want to present plenty of evidence, make sure that your paper is uniquely your own by adding commentary in whenever possible.

Avoid using many long, direct quotes. Although your paper is based on research, the point is for you to present your own ideas. Unless the quote you intend on using is absolutely necessary, try paraphrasing and analyzing it in your own words instead. Use clear segues into adjacent points in your paper. Your essay should flow well, rather than stopping and starting in a blunt fashion. Make sure that each of your body paragraphs flows nicely into the one after it.

Now that you have carefully worked through your evidence, write a conclusion that briefly summarizes your findings for the reader and provides a sense of closure. Start by briefly restating the thesis statement, then remind the reader of the points you covered over the course of the paper. Slowly zoom out of the topic as you write, ending on a broad note by emphasizing the larger implication of your findings. First of all, the conclusion is easier to write when the evidence is still fresh in your mind.

The introduction is, in many respects, the conclusion written in reverse: Avoid repeating exact phrases that you already used in the conclusion. All research essays must be documented in certain ways in order to avoid plagiarism. Depending on the topic of your research and your field of study, you will have to use different styles of formatting. MLA, APA, and Chicago are the three most common citation formats and determine the way in-text citations or footnotes should be used, as well as the order of information in your paper.

This format requires in-text citations. APA format is used by researchers in the social sciences field, and requires in-text citations as well. Chicago formatting is used mainly for historical research papers and uses footnotes at the bottom of each page rather than in-text citations and works cited or references page. Edit your rough draft. Although it is tempting to simply read over your essay and use the spell-check tool, editing your paper should be a bit more in-depth.

Have them edit for basic grammatical and spelling errors as well as the persuasiveness of your essay and the flow and form of your paper. If you edit your own paper, wait at least three days before returning to it.

Studies show that your writing is still fresh in your mind for days after finishing, and so you are more likely to skim over basic mistakes that you would otherwise catch. If they suggest that you rewrite a section of your paper, there is probably a valid reason for their request. Take the time to edit your paper thoroughly. Create the final draft. When you have edited and re-edited your paper, formatted your work according to the subject matter, and finalized all the main points, you are ready to create the final draft.

Go through your paper and fix all mistakes, rearranging information if necessary. Adjust the font, line spacing, and margins to meet the requirements set by your professor or profession. If necessary, create an introduction page and a works cited or references page to bookend your paper. The completion of these tasks finalizes your paper! Make sure to save the paper in multiple places, for extra security and print out your final draft.

Sample Environmental Research Paper. Sample Research Paper Outline. Does making a research paper require me to invent something new or it is just about gathering information? It can be for the both, whether you invent something new to implement or you gather some sort of data based valuable information and synthesize it.

Not Helpful 11 Helpful The introduction should set out what you intend to discuss and prove in the research paper, and outline the approaches per topic or heading section. It is also nice to open the topic and lead into it in an interesting way that helps the reader to want to read on. Not Helpful 18 Helpful To be honest there is no rule book or a set of formulas which will give you the best or better topic.

Once you have a number of topics in hand you need to evaluate as to which topic interests you and your audience more. Not Helpful 10 Helpful See Make a Questionnaire for the method needed. Not Helpful 15 Helpful You can publish a research paper through established journals or you can use open source online publishing sites, such as SSRN or Researchgate. If your research paper is long enough, you could also publish it as a small book or an ebook, and disseminate it via book sales sites and stores.

Not Helpful 16 Helpful If you are numbering the pages, then yes, the second and third pages should be numbered. Yes, but it is best to write a research paper without contractions. If you must use them, make sure they are spelled correctly and used in the right places. Not Helpful 9 Helpful I believe that the questionnaires are attached in the appendix section of the paper with the survey forms, raw data, documentations and other tables. Not Helpful 3 Helpful Long enough to strongly answer your thesis.

If you can cover it in 10 pages wonderful. If you need to utilize 50 pages that is great too. If you are forcing a specific number of pages than your work may come off as too repetitive or poorly written.

You don't want to over exhaust the topics or include unless information just to get a page count. Not Helpful 12 Helpful How can I write correct English words for other languages such as Thai? There should be a standardized way of writing Thai words in English. If there is more than one convention, you can choose one and state which one you're going to use in the preface to your paper.

Not Helpful 7 Helpful 9. Does doing research need to have a site visit or questionnaire? Can i just refer to the rules or classification society? Answer this question Flag as Can I write a paper based on a hypothetical condition? The condition may never come true but it is interesting. My research paper is on a specific animal species and I need to answer given areas. Should I use a headline above the paragraphs when I address these?

How is essay writing used in the academic setting? Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Already answered Not a question Bad question Other. Quick Summary To write a research paper, start by researching your topic at the library, online, or using an academic database.

Did this summary help you? Tips Be sure to get your assignments done on time. Do not wait until the last minute to do so. Look for the important themes, questions and key issues when researching. Try to home in on what you really want to explore rather than having too many broad ideas in the paper. Make sure that the information matches the topic and is accurate.

Article Info Featured Article Categories: Featured Articles Research Papers In other languages: Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 3,, times. Did this article help you? The vast majority of scientific reports can be broken down into the following constituent parts. Although the title is the shortest page of your report, it is often the most difficult to write.

It is important to make clear to a researcher everything that needs saying but without the title being overlong and unwieldy. It does not have to be the first section written because, in many cases, the final title will not occur to you until you have finished writing the report.

Nowadays, most research establishments have a database to search titles by keyword so try to make sure that your title contains these. 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. In your discussion you should seek to discuss your findings, and describe how they compared and differed from the results you expected.

In a nutshell, you are trying to show whether your hypothesis was proved, not proved or inconclusive. You must be extremely critical of yourself in this section; you will not get marked down for mistakes in experiment design or for poor results, only for not recognizing them.

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. These people will tear your report apart if you do not recognize its shortcomings and flaws.

Very few experiments are per cent correct in their design and conception so it is not really important what your results were, only that you understand their significance. Usually you will have had some promising results and some that did not fit with what you expected.

Discuss why things may have gone wrong and what could be done to refine the results in future. Suggest what changes in experimental design might improve the results; there is no right or wrong in science, only progress.

Finally, you can discuss at the end ideas for further research, either refining the experiment or suggesting new areas. Even if your paper was a one off, somebody may come along and decide that they find your research interesting and that they would like to continue from where you left off. This is really just a more elaborate version of the abstract.

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The broader your topic is, the more difficult it is to discuss the full details. This is why you should establish early on the scope and limitations of your paper which will provide the foundation for your research paper outline. Basically, your outline will constitute three main sections: the Introduction, the Body and the Conclusion.

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Research Paper Outline Structure Tips. The outline structure is approximately the same whether you write a research outline on dreams or some topic distant from this one, like a research outline for PhD application. The structure is identical to the structure of the research paper itself.

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Looking for help on how to write a research paper outline? This guide explains how to format, structure, and write a research outline. For a standard research paper of pages, your outline should be no more than four pages in length. It may be helpful as you are developing your outline to also write down a tentative list of references.

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