Essential Tricks on How to Write an Outline for a Research Paper

For many individuals, writing a research paper can be an incredibly challenging and daunting task, even for some who have written multiple ones. Starting out, the most crucial aspect of any successful research paper is the outline, which is what we will discuss here. We will take a look at some of the most essential tricks of the trade when it comes to writing a successful, and informative, research paper.

What is the Purpose of an Outline?

Before we go into the tips and tricks on how to write an outline, we must first determine what is the purpose of one. The purpose of an outline focuses on the following points:

  • Keeps the paper organized, in addition to keeping you on track with your topic
  • The outline can be considered to be a ‘snapshot’, just highlighting the important points you want to make
  • Guides your paper from the introduction to the conclusion
  • Can simply be defined as a ‘guide to writing your paper’

Tricks for Writing an Outline

Writing an outline is a fairly simple tasks, however there are tips and tricks out there that may help to make this step just a little easier. Let’s take a look at a few:

  • A successful outline should consist of three parts: an intro, a main body, and a proper conclusion
  • An effective introduction will announce the subject of your research paper and, more specifically, the topic in which you will be focusing on
  • The main body should be broken down into the primary topic(s) you will be discussing
  • When applicable, your main topic(s) should also include subtopics to illustrate research that supports your topic, in addition to make it an easier read
  • Make sure to cover any key points for your subtopics
  • When writing your conclusion, keep in mind that it should simply sum up your main topic


Writing a successful outline for a research paper does not have to be a stressful task. By following the steps above, you are already more than halfway on your way to writing an outline that will lead to an A+ paper.

Also, be sure that the information you have to support your research paper is organized in a way that will better allow you to create a great outline. You don’t want to try to create a successful outline with jumbled information.

So relax, follow these steps, and get ready to write an awesome paper!

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