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How to Write a Research Paper

Essay Outline

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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. The purpose of an outline is to help you think through your topic carefully and organize it logically before you start writing.

A good outline is the most important step in writing a good paper. Check your outline to make sure that the points covered flow logically from one to the other. Make the first outline tentative.

What is the chief reason you are writing the paper? State also how you plan to approach your topic. Is this a factual report, a book review, a comparison, or an analysis of a problem? Explain briefly the major points you plan to cover in your paper and why readers should be interested in your topic. BODY — This is where you present your arguments to support your thesis statement. Remember the Rule of 3, i.

Begin with a strong argument, then use a stronger one, and end with the strongest argument for your final point. Explain why you have come to this particular conclusion.

Organize all the information you have gathered according to your outline. Critically analyze your research data. Using the best available sources, check for accuracy and verify that the information is factual, up-to-date, and correct. Opposing views should also be noted if they help to support your thesis. This is the most important stage in writing a research paper. Here you will analyze, synthesize, sort, and digest the information you have gathered and hopefully learn something about your topic which is the real purpose of doing a research paper in the first place.

You must also be able to effectively communicate your thoughts, ideas, insights, and research findings to others through written words as in a report, an essay, a research or term paper, or through spoken words as in an oral or multimedia presentation with audio-visual aids. Do not include any information that is not relevant to your topic, and do not include information that you do not understand. Make sure the information that you have noted is carefully recorded and in your own words, if possible.

Plagiarism is definitely out of the question. Document all ideas borrowed or quotes used very accurately. As you organize your notes, jot down detailed bibliographical information for each cited paragraph and have it ready to transfer to your Works Cited page. Devise your own method to organize your notes. One method may be to mark with a different color ink or use a hi-liter to identify sections in your outline, e.

Group your notes following the outline codes you have assigned to your notes, e. This method will enable you to quickly put all your resources in the right place as you organize your notes according to your outline. Start with the first topic in your outline.

Read all the relevant notes you have gathered that have been marked, e. Summarize, paraphrase or quote directly for each idea you plan to use in your essay. Use a technique that suits you, e. Mark each card or sheet of paper clearly with your outline code or reference, e.

Put all your note cards or paper in the order of your outline, e. If using a word processor, create meaningful filenames that match your outline codes for easy cut and paste as you type up your final paper, e. Before you know it, you have a well organized term paper completed exactly as outlined. The unusual symbol will make it easy for you to find the exact location again. Delete the symbol once editing is completed.

Read your paper for any content errors. Double check the facts and figures. Arrange and rearrange ideas to follow your outline. Reorganize your outline if necessary, but always keep the purpose of your paper and your readers in mind. Use a free grammar and proof reading checker such as Grammarly. Is my thesis statement concise and clear? Did I follow my outline? Did I miss anything? Are my arguments presented in a logical sequence?

Are all sources properly cited to ensure that I am not plagiarizing? Have I proved my thesis with strong supporting arguments? Have I made my intentions and points clear in the essay? Re-read your paper for grammatical errors. Use a dictionary or a thesaurus as needed. Do a spell check. Correct all errors that you can spot and improve the overall quality of the paper to the best of your ability.

Get someone else to read it over. Sometimes a second pair of eyes can see mistakes that you missed. Did I begin each paragraph with a proper topic sentence? Have I supported my arguments with documented proof or examples? Any run-on or unfinished sentences? Any unnecessary or repetitious words? Varying lengths of sentences? Does one paragraph or idea flow smoothly into the next? Any spelling or grammatical errors?

Quotes accurate in source, spelling, and punctuation? Are all my citations accurate and in correct format? Did I avoid using contractions? Sentence outlines generally contain short phrases or sentences describing what each section will cover. This tactic can help by ensuring the papers has enough support for main ideas as well as reminding the writer to actually analyze and discuss quotations.

Some people also find it easier to move from a micro outline to the paper since there is already so much detail and support, and they can simply continue to expand on the ideas with further analysis.

The purpose of an outline is to help organize a paper, checking to see if and how ideas connect to each other. Each part of the outline consists of just a few words and conveys the basic idea of the section.

Sentence outlines go into the little details of the paper and are particularly useful when the topic is complex in nature. It can sometimes be useful to insert the quotations that may be used and subsequent analysis into a sentence outline. Once the outline is complete, the next step is writing the paper. A paper can be started at any point in the outline, although a writer should try to follow the flow of the outline as much as possible. As the paper develops, it might diverge from the original outline.

It may be that the act of writing these ideas out has spawned new ideas that simply need to be added to the outline. A good method for checking for this a retro-outline, which is an outline created from the paper once it is written partially or entirely.

This method is quite useful before handing in any paper, regardless if there was an initial outline. If it is difficult to create a retro-outline that makes sense and is clearly organized, then the paper needs revision. The retro-outline can help by showing where the organization has broken down. Crafting an Outline 1. Potential Outline Structures The standard order of an outline is: Capital letters A, B, C, etc. Arabic numerals 1, 2, 3, etc. Small letters a, b, c, etc. Small Roman numerals i, ii, iii, iv, v, etc.

Topic Outlines Topic outlines help a writer see a larger structure through a series of short ideas. An example of a topic outline is: What is an outline? Analysis Each part of the outline consists of just a few words and conveys the basic idea of what belongs there without going into too much detail. Sentence Outlines In contrast to a topic outline, a sentence outline goes into the little details of the paper and can therefore be useful for more complex topics, or providing a more detailed structures.

An outline formally arranges and develops ideas B. The purpose of an outline is to help organize a paper, checking to see if and how ideas connect to each other II. Topic outlines help create a larger picture through a series of short phrases B. Each part of the outline consists of just a few words and conveys the basic idea of the section 2. Sentence outlines go into the little details of the paper and are particularly useful when the topic is complex in nature B.

It can sometimes be useful to insert the quotations that may be used and subsequent analysis into a sentence outline Moving from the Outline to the Paper Once the outline is complete, the next step is writing the paper.

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Student Guide: Writing a Research Paper Outline. The outline for a Literary Essay will also help you. Anyway, the main parts are as follows: Introduction ; Body ; Conclusion; Seems not that hard, right?! But the fact is that each of the points encompasses a wide range of information for you to arrange in your research outline about animals.

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Sample Essay Outlines Why Write an Outline? An outline will help you organize your main ideas and determine the order in which you are going to write about them.

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Writing a Paper: Outlining Print Page Report a if you are having trouble revising a paper, making an outline of each paragraph and its topic sentence after you have written your paper can be an effective way justify the discussion of this topic by pointing out a connection to a current problem that your paper will help. An essay outline can even help you determine the length of each paragraph. Especially in cases where you are limited to a number of pages or assigned a word count, you can use an essay outline to break the structure into percentages or words.

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Jul 07,  · How to Write an Outline. Your thesis will help guide your outline as you create sections and subsections organizing your information. However, using full sentences can help you better understand your ideas. If you’re writing a paper based on your outline, then full sentences will give you a head start on your final paper%(12). Then you’ll get the chance to access some awesome essay outline templates to help you start writing a well-planned and strongly organized paper that wows your professor.