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Research Paper Outline

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Obtain teacher approval for your topic before embarking on a full-scale research. If you are uncertain as to what is expected of you in completing the assignment or project, re-read your assignment sheet carefully or ASK your teacher. Select a subject you can manage.

Avoid subjects that are too technical, learned, or specialized. Avoid topics that have only a very narrow range of source materials. For general or background information, check out useful URLs , general information online , almanacs or encyclopedias online such as Britannica. Use search engines and other search tools as a starting point. Pay attention to domain name extensions, e. These sites represent institutions and tend to be more reliable, but be watchful of possible political bias in some government sites.

Network Solutions provides a link where you can find out what some of the other extensions stand for. Be wary of the millions of personal home pages on the Net. The quality of these personal homepages vary greatly. Learning how to evaluate websites critically and to search effectively on the Internet can help you eliminate irrelevant sites and waste less of your time. The recent arrival of a variety of domain name extensions such as. Many of the new extensions have no registration restrictions and are available to anyone who wishes to register a distinct domain name that has not already been taken.

For instance, if Books. Check out online resources, Web based information services, or special resource materials on CDs:. Check out public and university libraries, businesses, government agencies, as well as contact knowledgeable people in your community. Bookmark your favorite Internet sites. Printout, photocopy, and take notes of relevant information. As you gather your resources, jot down full bibliographical information author, title, place of publication, publisher, date of publication, page numbers, URLs, creation or modification dates on Web pages, and your date of access on your work sheet, printout, or enter the information on your laptop or desktop computer for later retrieval.

If printing from the Internet, it is wise to set up the browser to print the URL and date of access for every page. Remember that an article without bibliographical information is useless since you cannot cite its source. Most research papers normally require a thesis statement. If you are not sure, ask your teacher whether your paper requires it. A thesis statement is a main idea, a central point of your research paper.

The arguments you provide in your paper should be based on this cenral idea, that is why it is so important.

Do some critical thinking and write your thesis statement down in one sentence. Your research paper thesis statement is like a declaration of your belief. The main portion of your essay will consist of arguments to support and defend this belief. It is impossible to create a thesis statement immediately when you have just started fulfilling your assignment.

Before you write a thesis statement, you should collect, organize and analyze materials and your ideas. You cannot make a finally formulated statement before you have completed your reseach paper. It will naturally change while you develop your ideas. Stay away from generic and too fuzzy statements and arguments.

Use a particular subject. The paper should present something new to the audience to make it interesting and educative to read. Avoid citing other authors in this section. Present your own ideas in your own words instead of simply copying from other writers. If you have time and opportunity, show it to your instructor to revise.

Otherwise, you may estimate it yourself. A well-prepared thesis means well-shaped ideas. It increases credibility of the paper and makes good impression about its author. More helpful hints about Writing a Research Paper. An informal outline working outline is a tool helping an author put down and organize their ideas. It is subject to revision, addition and canceling, without paying much attention to form. In a formal outline, numbers and letters are used to arrange topics and subtopics. The letters and numbers of the same kind should be placed directly under one another.

The topics denoted by their headings and subheadings should be grouped in a logical order. All points of a research paper outline must relate to the same major topic that you first mentioned in your capital Roman numeral. If you break report writing down into its constituent parts, it is not as complex as it seems and there is no reason to be worried.

Scientific reports, for the vast majority of disciplines, are all structured in the same way; if you follow this structure then you cannot go far wrong. It is useful to note that every scientific discipline, every university and even supervisors can have their own preferred methods of constructing reports; with this in mind, do not be afraid to ask for advice on the best research paper format for your report.

For most assessed reports you will be told how long it should be, generally by the number of words. This is generally only a guide and is not set in stone; in most cases this limit does not include appendices and citation pages.

If you plan to write for a specific journal , a good advice is to check the research paper outline of some of the articles to get a better idea on how to write your article. Here are a few outline samples. If your report is complex and strays over this limit, there should be no problem, as long as you have not repeated yourself or filled your work with irrelevant information.

It is good practice to bear in mind that the appendix is there for any information that you feel could be omitted from the report without affecting the clarity. Your report can be shorter than the advised word limit if everything that needs to be included is there.

For longer reports, it is useful to break each section down into subsections, to make your report more reader friendly and easier to navigate. 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.

Progress to a three-level outline. A three-level outline is even more complex, but if done right, it can help you to structure your research paper even more thoroughly. You use Roman numerals, capital letters, and standard numbers for this version. Next to each third-level subsection, you should address the topic of a paragraph that falls under the corresponding second-level section or main idea above it. Use a four-level outline, when necessary. These outlines are about the most complex you would expect to need for a research paper, and if you choose this structure, you will use Roman numerals, capital letters, standard numbers, and lowercase letters for your levels.

The fourth-level subheadings should address supporting statements, citations, or ideas within each paragraph listed in the third-level sections. Every heading and subheading should maintain a structure that is parallel to the other headings within its level.

Parallelism also refers to parts of speech and tense. If a heading starts with a verb, then the other headings must also start with a verb. Moreover, that verb must also be in the same tense usually present tense. The information provided by your first major heading should be equal in importance to the information offered in your second major heading.

The same can be said of sentences in subheadings, as well. Your major headings should identify major tasks or ideas. Your subheadings should elaborate on the points addressed in your major headings. The information in your headings should be general and the subheadings should be more specific. For instance, if you were writing about memorable experiences from your childhood, "Memorable Childhood Experiences" would be the heading and the subheadings might look something like, "Vacation at 8 years old," "Favorite birthday party," and "Family trips to the park.

Each major heading should be divided into two or more parts. In other words, you should have at least two subheadings for every major heading. There is no limit on subheadings, but once you start forming a dozen or so subheadings under a single heading, you might find your outline looking cluttered and messy. Identify the research problem.

As you prepare to write your outline, you need to specifically identify the research problem you are trying to address. This will guide the entire formation of your outline and your paper. From this research problem, you will derive your thesis statement. A thesis statement is a single sentence that sums up the entire purpose or argument of your research paper.

This thesis statement will usually be written above the outline itself or within the first "Introduction" heading of the outline. Your research problem can also help you figure out a title. Identify your main categories. You also need to figure out what main points you plan on covering.

All of these main points will be listed in your introduction and listed as part or all of you major headings for the body part of your paper. The main points are details that support or address your research paper. They should be very general in nature. Take a look at your research topic and determine the best possible order to deliver information.

You might end up using a chronological arrangement or a spatial arrangement, but as a general rule, you will go from general ideas to specific ones.

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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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Using the above outline as a guide, create a one level outline for your paper by making the topic headings more detailed. For example, instead of “Literature review”, a more detailed heading could be “Literature review on the impacts of community design on air quality.” After providing details, read your outline.

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The research paper outline is essential for any article or term paper. The outline may make a great difference on how your work is interpreted. An outline is a formal system used to develop a framework for thinking about what should be the organization and eventual contents of your paper. An outline helps .

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Aug 23,  · Writing an outline for a research paper can seem like a time consuming task, and you may not understand the value of it if you have never written one before. Outlines can help you structure your research and your final paper in much more efficient ways, though, so it is a good idea that you learn how to write one%(62).