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How to Write an Excellent Research Paper Outline

How to Write an Excellent Research Paper Outline

Writing a good research paper can sometimes be quite challenging for the students, as they become clueless on where to start. After you have decided on the research topic, you need to set up a robust outline for the research paper. This outline forms the foundation for writing the research paper. In this article, we will look at how to write a research paper outline.

Tips to Write an Efficacious Research Paper Outline

Typically, a research paper outline is composed of the following headings and subheadings:

1.0 Introduction
1.1 Research Question
1.2 Research Objectives
2.0 Literature Review
3.0 Research Methodology
4.0 Findings and Analysis
5.0 Conclusion
5.1 Recommendation

The above headings represent a generalized outline of a research paper. Roughly, the entire paper is broken down into the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. In your outline, you can write short descriptions of the content under each of these headings and subheadings. The details have been discussed as follows:


The introduction consists of the background information on the topic of choice of the research paper. Here you have to mention the key points that you will be covering in this paper. The introduction section also consists of the subsections named as ‘Research Question’ and ‘Research Objectives’.

Under the subheadings of Research Question, state the primary question that you seek to answer through the research paper. Under the subheading of Research Objectives, you can add bulleted points of the objectives that are required to be met to answer the research question.


The body consists of sections like the literature reviewresearch methodology, and findings and analysis.

  • Under the literature review section, mention the areas that you will include this section. You may mention specific theories and findings that are relevant to this research paper.
  • The literature review is followed by the research methodology section. Under this section, you may mention the data collection methods, some brief details of the data source and collection methods can be described here.
  • In the findings and analysis section mention the type of analysis technique that you will be using (descriptive analysis or statistical analysis).


The conclusion section also includes the summarization of the key findings that you have derived from the findings and analysis section. It may also include a subheading called Recommendation. Under this subheading, you can provide some generic recommendation based on the findings of the research.

Using a definitive outline to prepare a research paper will help you focus on its key elements of the study. Moreover, it will also help you avoid writer’s block.

It is suggested that when you are preparing an outline you must also allocate the necessary word counts based on the total word count limitation set by your institution. Hope this article can help you deal with your research paper easily.

Still Struggling to Craft a Perfect Research Paper Outline?

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