Research Paper Outline Example: Create Your Own Today!

Research Paper Outline Example

Writing a research paper gets simplified when you draft a research proposal and a research paper outline beforehand. An outline is a well-articulated structure of your research paper. It makes your research paper writing easy and convenient. With the help of an outline, you can easily arrange and organize the content of the research paper according to a logical flow and format and it makes the content readable and understandable for the readers as well. No matter, what kind of paper you write, be it an essay or research paper, drafting an outline will always simplify your writing process and will help you integrate every important element and create a well-organized and coherent paper, says our essay writing service experts.

Outlining a research paper does not take as much time as writing a research paper. Knowing how to write a research paper and understanding the integral elements of a research paper enables you to create an outline easily and effectively.

Research Paper Outline Formate

Research paper outlines can either be detailed or can contain brief notes under each heading. Your instructor may provide you with guidance regarding how your outline should be. And, in case you are not provided with a guideline, then you can choose to create an outline that works the best for you. A research paper outline follows a general format that looks like the following:

  1. ABSTRACT: A research paper abstract is a summary of a research paper. It is a short paragraph entailing the gist of your paper.
  2. INTRODUCTION: In the research paper introduction, provide a concise overview of the problem you are assessing. State the significance of your study and what you aim to achieve through this study. The introduction should contain your thesis statement that asserts the purpose of your study.

Research Question- It is a question that your research intends to provide an answer(s) to.

Research Objectives- state why you have researched the topic and what you aim to achieve through this study.

  1. LITERATURE REVIEW: It involves summarizing, synthesizing and reviewing literature work you have found. It is used as a background context.
  2. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY: Give a summary of the research methodology used- research philosophy, approach, strategy, techniques and procedures.
  3. DATA ANALYSIS: Provide a summary of the specific aspects of the topic you have analyzed. Mention the analytical methods and tools employed and why they are best suited for your research.
  4. RESULTS: Discuss the major findings. Compare with previous research findings.
  5. CONCLUSION: In the research paper conclusion, give a synopsis of the issue analyzed, methodologies, and major finding(s). Reinstate the goal of this study and what you have accomplished in your research.
  6. RECOMMENDATION: Give your final thoughts and state how future researchers can further study and expand your work.

Now let us take a look at the two specific research paper outline examples to give you a better understanding of how you can create one.

Research Paper Outline Example

Topic:Impacts of Food Insecurity on Academic Performance


In the abstract, a detailed summary of the study is provided. It includes an overview of the paper, the importance of the study, research question, methods of research, and outcomes.

Note: Cited works are not to be listed in the abstract.

More than 40 million Americans are affected due to poverty on a daily basis, most of them being children. It is confirmed that malnutrition and insecurity pertaining to food have a direct relation to the sluggish cognitive development in children under three years of age. Kids, deprived of food and nutrition cannot develop skills as quickly as their classmates due to undernutrition. This leads to poor health and poor concentration among children. The problem is that there has been very little focus on how these impacts tend to augment and result in poor performance in school past kindergarten.

To mitigate the issues the issues cropping up due to food insecurity, several public schools have taken initiatives like providing free breakfast and lunch. A total of 100 students at Arbore Elementary School were surveyed over one academic year to observe how effective the solutions were in boosting their academic performance and improving satisfaction in school. The survey results indicate how long the children remain affected academically due to food insecurity, even after they are getting food now.


In this section, we set out to define the research problem. Here, the research question is clearly stated as a thesis statement.  

Poverty and poor academic performance are the problems that prevent Americans from attaining their full potential. Besides poverty, there is food insecurity, which impacts millions of families – especially children – on a daily basis. But can focusing on one issue help address the other problem? The objective of this study is to find out whether the initiatives taken by the schools to eradicate the problem of food insecurity for children help improve their academic performance or not. 

Literature Review

What motivated you to do this research? What have you found in the prior research? This section is where you include historical information or define earlier hypotheses that help put your research into context. It’s also a good time to think about your audience and what information they’ll need to go through along with the rest of your work.

The food insecurity as defined by the United States Department of Agriculture says that it is a lack of daily accessibility to food as a result of one’s financial situation. The Department’s report in the “Household Food Security in the US in 2017,” suggests that 11.8 % of American households, or about 39 million people, were food insecure in 2017 (USDA 2017). In the United Nations’ 1948 Declaration of Human Rights, the right to food was included. As per the Food and Agricultural Organization, food insecurity is rated on a scale ranging from mild (not certain about receiving food) to severe (inaccessibility of food for a whole day).


Understanding whether you utilized qualitative or quantitative methodologies is crucial to comprehending your research. You can include surveys, experiments, and field research in your list of data collection methods. Similarly, the analysis methods will depend on the nature of your study.

The data we collected about students who might be food insecure by employing qualitative methodologies. Surveys containing various questions were used to determine whether students were hungry, apprehensive about what they are going to eat next, and/or distracted from academic tasks due to starvation (Appendix A). These surveys were completed by the students at the start of the school year; thereafter every two months till the end of the academic year, for a total of 5 survey periods.

We distributed the surveys to the 100 Arbore Elementary School fourth and fifth-grade kids (10-11 years old), 50 of whom were eligible for Title 1 assistance through the free and reduced lunch program. The rest 50 pupils were members of a control group who had not been recognized as socioeconomically disadvantaged.


What conclusions do you get from your research? In this area, you should discuss your findings and provide the data. Keep an objective viewpoint here and save the evaluation until the conclusion.

The results of the survey revealed a clear link between poor academic performance and food insecurity. In the survey, pupils who responded affirmatively were identified as constantly lower-performing members. In comparison to their classmates those who weren’t categorized as socioeconomically challenged, these kids ranked anxiety over their next meal to be one of their top three concerns. Their involvement in programs such as free breakfast and subsidized lunch helped to alleviate daily hunger and improve their overall happiness, but their fear about food insecurity persisted.


In the conclusion section, explain why the findings are significant. This section gives you the opportunity to assess your outcomes and dwell on your process. Is there any further research that needs to be done for this study?

Systemic food insecurity is more than just a source of distraction for young students. Concerns about dinner were diverting them from their schoolwork, even after they have had a good breakfast and nutritious lunch at school. The final survey session, which occurred just before the start of summer vacation, revealed to what extent insecurity of food influences a child’s expectations of a prolonged period without school – and thus, regular meals.

With poor academic achievement later in life, these youngsters may become future parents in the families of food-insecurity, thus continuing the cycle. Getting rid of the cyclical problem of poverty and poor school performance necessitates the participation and involvement of higher authorities, including city governments, and federal laws aimed at breaking the cycle for future generations.


When you want to include a piece of subsidiary information that is relevant but not significant to your paper, then you can include it in this section.  

Appendix A

Arbore Elementary School Survey Questions

  • Did you eat breakfast this morning at school or home?
  • Was your lunch purchased or home made?
  • Are you hungry now?
  • When do you feel is the most difficult to concentrate during the day?
  • Do you have concerns about food?
  • Do you know what you are going to eat next?
  • Do you ever feel as though you don’t have sufficient food at home to eat?
  • Do you feel hungrier during weekends than during school days?
  • Do you struggle to concentrate on your studies when you are hungry?
  • Are there any issues that you value more than food?

Importance of Outlining a Research Paper

As you have seen in the above research paper example, how drafting an outline gets half of your task done. Yet again, we emphasize the importance of preparing a research paper outline beforehand in the following points:

  • An outline ensures a coherent presentation of your paper. It helps you arrange and organize your entire paper according to an established format.
  • You will be less likely to get writer’s block. An outline guides you through the process and shows you how to get reach your objective.
  • With a detailed and clear outline, you can ensure that you adhere to the outline and not deviate from it or drift into subject areas that are not relevant to your research problem.
  • An outline allows you to organize a variety of ideas about your topic. When you research a lot of materials and study a variety of perspectives, it becomes much easier to analyze your research problems. An outline enables you to sort out the methods of analysis that are most effective and appropriate to use for discovering robust findings.

How to Prepare a Research Paper Outline

As per PenMyPaper, outlines may differ when it comes to writing about different topics, but the structure or format remains the same. You may follow the following steps to develop an outline:

  • Start by brainstorming good research paper topics.
  • Conduct thorough research on the topic.
  • Make notes of all the ideas that you want to integrate.
  • Arrange the notes according to the research paper format.
  • Organize and arrange the notes that are significant and relevant into sub-groups.
  • You may either create a detailed outline or include headings and sub-headings and write short notes under each heading.
  • Format the research paper outline in either full-sentence, alphanumeric or decimal format.

Note: Keep a track of the sources you research and use in your paper.

Need Further Guidance?

Hopefully, the above research paper outline examples have helped you develop a better understanding of how to prepare a research paper outline. If you still have doubts regarding how to prepare a research paper outline or you are finding it hard to create one, then don’t hesitate to seek help from professionals. We, at PenMyPaper, can even guide you with your assignments, whether it is for finding an impromptu speech topic or writing a research paper. You can simply our writing service to write my research paper and we will gladly do it for you.

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