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Research Paper Outline

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Writing a good research paper outline

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Your report can be shorter than the advised word limit if everything that needs to be included is there. For longer reports, it is useful to break each section down into subsections, to make your report more reader friendly and easier to navigate. The vast majority of scientific reports can be broken down into the following constituent parts. Although the title is the shortest page of your report, it is often the most difficult to write.

It is important to make clear to a researcher everything that needs saying but without the title being overlong and unwieldy. It does not have to be the first section written because, in many cases, the final title will not occur to you until you have finished writing the report.

Nowadays, most research establishments have a database to search titles by keyword so try to make sure that your title contains these. This is doubly important if your research is likely to be published on the internet. The authors section should include your name, as the main writer of the report, alongside the name of your supervisor. In the case of working as part of a team, you should usually include the other members of your group here. The abstract is the most crucial part of the report because anybody searching for your research on a database or in a journal will usually read only the abstract.

Therefore, it must summarize your research, results and conclusions in less than words. Sometimes it is good to think of it as a sample of your research rather than a review ; it should inform the researcher that your article contains the information they need. There are a few ideas on how to write your abstract but the best advice is that you look at some journals relevant to your research and try to format your abstract in a similar way.

This section and is merely a breakdown of sections and subsections by page number. For a short and straightforward paper it may not be necessary to include a contents page.

This is not mandatory for a research paper. This section of your report is where you will document all the painstaking research into the background of your experiment. The main thing to bear in mind, when writing the introduction , is that a scientist who is unfamiliar with your exact subject matter may be reading the article.

It is important, therefore, to try and give a quick and condensed history of the research leading to your experiment, with correct citations. You should also give a little background on why you chose to do this particular experiment and what you expect to find. For this portion of your report you must describe the methods used when performing the experiment. This should include, if relevant, the location and times of sample collection, what equipment was utilized, and the techniques used.

The idea behind the methodology section is that another researcher can exactly replicate your experiments without having to guess what equipment and what techniques should be used. Scientific articles are peer reviewed and this includes the possibility that other researchers may try to replicate your results. There have been many high profile scientific breakthroughs over the years whose results were unable to be repeated; these experiments were disregarded.

For field studies you should give an exact map reference and time as well as including a map in the appendix.

If you used complex machinery or computer programs in the course of your experiment, to avoid breaking the flow of your report, you should give only the main information and refer to the exact technical specifications in the appendix. These should be a quick synopsis of the facts, figures and statistical tests used to arrive at your final results.

You should try to avoid cluttering up your report and insert most of your raw data into the appendix. It is far better to stick with including only tables and graphs that show clearly the results. Do not be tempted to insert large numbers of graphs and figures just for the sake of it; each figure and graph should be mentioned, referred to and discussed in the text. Try to avoid putting in tables and graphs showing the same information; select the type that shows your results most clearly.

It is usually preferable to use graphs and relegate the tables to the appendix because it is easier to show trends in graphical format.

You will have to investigate a lot of resources in order to find effective evidence to support your argument. Firstly, you will have to find general information to support your thesis statement, then you will have to dig deeper. You will have to be aware of any counter arguments and evidence supporting them. This way you will master the topic and comprehend the pitfalls of your thesis statement better.

References are the evidence of each of your arguments and the research you have conducted. You should prioritize them according to the importance and relevance to your thesis statement. Writing a good research paper outline When you are finished with pre-writing activities, created a good research paper topic, you are more than ready to make an effective research paper outline.

Essay Editors that may help. There are three main points that make an impressive Introduction: Depending on the overall volume of your research paper, a hook can be from one to five sentences long.

This the part that persuades readers to read the paper. A hook should be interesting and provoking — you need your readers to want to read your research paper. In your pre-writing activities, you had to define the audience for yourself — you had to understand who would be interested in reading your paper.

Here, however, you need to explain to your reader why she or he is your target audience. The Introduction and the whole text, for that matter, should be relatable. Here you state your argument. You make a clear point about what you are going to discuss and why is it important. Your thesis statement should be clear and simple but never dull.

You want the readers to read your paper especially after the research you have conducted and materials you have gone through. Body The Body is the main part of the research paper outline you are writing. Stuck on Your Research Paper Outline?

Check out these research paper example. Conclusion The conclusive part of the research paper has to summarize the arguments so the readers digest the main idea and remember it for a long time. In this short section, you again state your strongest arguments. There is no need to provide a deep explanation of your ideas or evidence to each of them.

Nonetheless, you will have to give a general overview of the arguments you used in the research paper. This is the very end of your research paper and it should provoke your readers. Whether it is a call to a discussion or to an action, you need to choose what your final message to readers should be. Tips for Writing an Effective Research Paper. Log in with Facebook. Avoid subjects that are too technical, learned, or specialized. Avoid topics that have only a very narrow range of source materials.

For general or background information, check out useful URLs , general information online , almanacs or encyclopedias online such as Britannica. Use search engines and other search tools as a starting point. Pay attention to domain name extensions, e. These sites represent institutions and tend to be more reliable, but be watchful of possible political bias in some government sites.

Network Solutions provides a link where you can find out what some of the other extensions stand for. Be wary of the millions of personal home pages on the Net.

The quality of these personal homepages vary greatly. Learning how to evaluate websites critically and to search effectively on the Internet can help you eliminate irrelevant sites and waste less of your time.

The recent arrival of a variety of domain name extensions such as. Many of the new extensions have no registration restrictions and are available to anyone who wishes to register a distinct domain name that has not already been taken.

For instance, if Books. Check out online resources, Web based information services, or special resource materials on CDs:. Check out public and university libraries, businesses, government agencies, as well as contact knowledgeable people in your community.

Bookmark your favorite Internet sites. Printout, photocopy, and take notes of relevant information. As you gather your resources, jot down full bibliographical information author, title, place of publication, publisher, date of publication, page numbers, URLs, creation or modification dates on Web pages, and your date of access on your work sheet, printout, or enter the information on your laptop or desktop computer for later retrieval.

If printing from the Internet, it is wise to set up the browser to print the URL and date of access for every page. Remember that an article without bibliographical information is useless since you cannot cite its source.

Most research papers normally require a thesis statement. If you are not sure, ask your teacher whether your paper requires it. A thesis statement is a main idea, a central point of your research paper. The arguments you provide in your paper should be based on this cenral idea, that is why it is so important. Do some critical thinking and write your thesis statement down in one sentence. Your research paper thesis statement is like a declaration of your belief. The main portion of your essay will consist of arguments to support and defend this belief.

It is impossible to create a thesis statement immediately when you have just started fulfilling your assignment. Before you write a thesis statement, you should collect, organize and analyze materials and your ideas. You cannot make a finally formulated statement before you have completed your reseach paper. It will naturally change while you develop your ideas.

Stay away from generic and too fuzzy statements and arguments. Use a particular subject. The paper should present something new to the audience to make it interesting and educative to read. Avoid citing other authors in this section. Present your own ideas in your own words instead of simply copying from other writers.

If you have time and opportunity, show it to your instructor to revise. Otherwise, you may estimate it yourself. 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.

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Below are examples of research paper outlines. Creating an outline is the first thing you should do before starting on your research paper.

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Tutorial to the research paper outline. It helps you through the steps of writing a research paper. Good writing is essential for any article or term paper.

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How to Write a Research Paper Outline: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide access_time March 29, Writing a research paper outline is a rather challenging but usual part of student’s life. A research paper outline is a generalized, organized overview of a research topic. Outlines are useful as they help the writer think about a topic in more detail, revealing areas that may require more research. Like most outlines written for academic papers, there are at .

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Aug 23,  · Writing an outline for a research paper can seem like a time consuming task, and you may not understand the value of it if you have never written one before. Outlines can help you structure your research and your final paper in much more efficient ways, though, so it 77%(62). For a standard research paper of pages, your outline should be no more than four pages in length. It may be helpful as you are developing your outline to also write down a .