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How to Write an Outline - Questia

Questia.com takes you step-by-step on how to create an outline for a research paper. For more help on writing research papers, get your 1-day free trial at questia.com/free-trial.

Debra Lee

on 21 January 2014

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Transcript of How to Write an Outline - Questia

For Research Papers
brought to you by
First step in the
research writing process
is finding a topic. The topic
is the is the subject of your
research paper.
Keep the topic as narrow as
possible so that researching and
writing your research paper is
Second step is creating
your thesis statement,
your main purpose for
writing the paper. Consider
this the central idea or
Third step is proving
to the professor that you
weren't sleeping in class. Or
rather...gathering research.
This is the support your research
paper needs to create a clear and
valid argument.

Get brownie points using
credible sources that you can find

Moving along, we get to
the outline of your paper.
This is how your entire
paper will be organized - your
plan of attack!
As brief as outlines may be,
this can be one of the most
daunting steps in the writing
You can go straight
into writing the rough
draft, but if you
want to write this
paper as painless
and quick as
outline is the
way to go.
So you've done a bunch of research...
...a lot.
an outline
helps sort
you have gathered
fits into
your thesis.
how it
into 3 parts
Break your research paper
Basically tells your instructor what to expect from your paper. It states your thesis statement and briefly describes what will be covered.
The heart of your research paper. This is where you develop your topic and arguments that support your thesis statement.
This is where you piece everything together into a brief summary.
Restate your thesis statement and your arguments. Finish off your
research paper with what and why you have concluded from your
Let's dig in a little deeper...
If you have too much to
write about, you probably want to narrow down your topic. The more specific the topic, the easier it is to
list 3 main arguments
or 5 to support your thesis along with
a list of the supporting data you have
Once you have a brief description of your introduction, body, and conclusion, your outline is complete.
What you've just written is the complete structure of your research paper.
All you have to do is reference your outline while you write your research paper.
Great job and good luck!
Need more help with your
research paper?

Get a free trial at


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Full transcript