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How To Make A Research Paper Outline: Easy Tips To Get You Started

When writing a research paper, it is never a good idea to try to tackle the paper with no idea of what you're going to write about. You should always first prepare a research paper outline. A research paper outline will prove useful as it will guide you throughout your essay and make the whole writing process run a lot more smoothly. Of course, if you have not tried writing an outline before, it may be a little difficult to know where to start. That's why we're here to help with five easy tips to get you started on your research paper outline.

Make a list of all the material you have

  • You should begin writing your outline after you have completed your research on your chosen topic.
  • Once you are ready to start your planning, it is smart to make a list of all the information you want to talk about it your paper. Try listing it in order of importance.

Consider your word count

  • If you are writing a research paper, you have probably been given a word count to abide by. It is crucial that you adhere strictly to the given word count and do not exceed it.
  • When deciding what you are going to discuss in your paper, remember to consider your word count as it will help you choose what points you should spend the most time on.

Break up your outline into sections

  • You should break up your outline into paragraph headings beginning with "Opening", then "Paragraph One", going all the way to 'Conclusion."
  • Doing this will allow you to write the actual paragraphs with ease as you will know exactly what you are going to talk about.

Write the first line of each paragraph

  • If you are really pedantic and don't want to leave anything to chance - your life must be terribly depressing - you might want to write the first line of each paragraph in your outline.
  • This may be too structured for some, but it can help to get the ball rolling when it comes to writing the paragraphs themselves.

Don't spend to much time on your outline

  • If you follow all of the above steps, you should be spending about forty-five minutes on your outline.
  • Do not spend any longer than this as it will take away from the time you spend writing your research paper.

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Writing Advice

Make sure you always follow the specific finalizing instructions from your teacher, because they will be marking your research paper and looking for those things.

Don’t rely completely on your word processor’s spell check, because it won’t catch everything. Print your research paper if you can, and give it a good old fashioned proofread.

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Research paper writing advice