There are many papers that students do in school, college, and university. These tasks are all academic-related, obviously. At the end of the day, it is very much necessary to do these academic papers in order to get the desired marks and proceed on an academic career. What kind of papers do students attempt today?
These papers are written in various contexts over different standards of education, for instance, students write descriptive and narrative essays in college, and then in universities students are trained to write academic papers like thesis, dissertations, and most importantly research papers.
This is what we are here to cover today. How to write a research paper and how to draft its outline.
The Basics Of A Paper
What is a research paper, and why do students have to do it?
A research paper is tasked to test the writing and researching skills of a student in both college and university.
A research paper is an extended essay in which we give our own subjective point of view of our topic and at the same time we give our argument, hence students have to perform detailed research in order to write a good quality research paper.
Students know that it is not easy to score good marks on a research paper, but they should know that there are some important key factors to be assessed when writing down this specific paper. What students need to know is that, behind writing a good research paper, a good outline is needed.
How To Write A Structured Research Paper Outline
Every executed plan needs a blueprint, in the same way, a research paper outline is a blueprint that is needed to execute a successful research paper. But you may be asking whats are the main benefits of using an outline? And that is;
- Helps you to organize your thoughts and ideas into one page.
- Illustrates your basic understanding and helps you to structure the vision of how do you want to write on that topic.
- Makes it easier to cut out irrelevant information, helping you to write precisely.
- Assists you to maintain a good flow when writing.
- You can create the proper layout of what you want your audience to see.
The Blueprint Of Writing A Research Paper Outline Step By Step
There is a certain protocol that is followed when you are writing an outline of a research paper and if followed, you will be optimizing the body and the structure of your paper, henceforth you are giving yourself higher chances to pull off a good research paper.
The cover or title page of the paper should be written within a restriction of a limited number of words or approximately sixty characters. What the title page should include;
- Students full name
- Name of the teacher/professor
- Course, title, and code
- Submission date
An abstract is written for a reason to summarize your overall paper into one short passage, around five to six lines. The abstract is used in the research paper in order to give the reader a basic understanding of what you have written in the entire paper beforehand.
What the abstract emphasizes; is the main arguments, the research methods, the subject matter, participants, and outcomes. The abstract should be a passage, as mentioned before, henceforth should not be more than 200 words.
Table Of Content
Like every book has an index or table of contents explaining the chapter titles, summarizing the content of each chapter in proper sections giving the reader a proper outline or the direction on how to continue reading what you wrote.
In the most simple way of talking, you are giving a guide on how to continue reading your paper in a sectionized format, mentioned on the starting page. The titles of each chapter are listed, followed by the headings and subheadings of each and every one of those chapters.
In this way, you are giving the reader a write direction when he/she reads your paper in a systematic way, created by you.
Introduction of a Research Paper
In any kind of writing-related activity, from essays to any kind of basic composition, we have to follow the basic grammar rules when writing a detailed essay-type paper. We start with the introduction across the body, right down to the conclusion. But do not forget, the introduction is what scents and catches the interest of the audience or the reader.
The main point of the introduction is to be able to explain the importance of the topic discussed on hand. Always start your introduction with a very strong argument, enlightening the mind of the audience, creating that image of the importance of what is incorporated in your research paper.
There is a method of making your introduction more engaging and interesting to read. And that is;
- Using a Hook in one or 2 sentences to engage your readers by having a persuasive tone.
- It is imperative to input the historical background information of the topic along with the general information so that your readers should have a good and overall understanding of the topic in and out.
- You have to write down a Thesis Statement to explain all the points of why this topic is of great importance.
- Sell the information of the paper in your intro explaining to them that why is it of great importance to them.
Make your intro keeping these above-mentioned points or factors into consideration, not only will you catch their eye, you will earn their attention.
Body of a Research Paper
The main area of your research paper is the body. That is where you cover all the important points, details, and evidence to justify the importance of the topic and the information provided supporting the argument mentioned above in your research paper.
As you are explaining the importance of the topic assigned for your research paper throughout the entire body, you are allowed to give a counterargument going into details of more facts for the information being provided.
In this way, you are allowing to create a platform of information and ideas given by you, which helps them to reach a conclusion, keeping in mind all the factors you have assessed in the body of your research paper.
Remember to keep a consistent flow when writing the body of your paper through the use of grammar and punctuation, to make sure the reader does not break his flow while reading what you wrote.
One of the most important parts you have to highlight when your mind mapping the draft of your research paper is creating the literature review. This is the information you have to take out to support the hypothesis and theories of the information you will mention when writing your research paper.
In this, you have to show the research methods you used to dig out the information which you have used to write down the literature or the body of your paper, which helps you to develop the research process, in creating the context you need for your research paper.
It is very obvious you have to research and analyze the relevant information, using proper and applicable research methods. It can be through social surveys like questionnaires, interviews or even observations. Every subject matter has their own requirement, thus you have to apply the research method which is applicable in the given scenario.
Regardless of the research methodology applied, you have to mention it in your paper, explaining the equipment used and why you used it. Facts, statistics, numbers, quantitative or qualitative data should be used to justify and explain your findings, supporting your theoretical statements.
The data collected through the applicable methodology has to contribute an outcome to the field of study being assessed.
Discussion Or Debate
When students are performing or carrying out detailed research regarding some kind of situation, they have to apply the appropriate research methods to dig the data or the information to create some kind of outcome. This is done to prove a hypothesis or the theory of the topic and to test that theory you use research methods.
After taking out information, students need to discuss the findings from that research method, whether if they do or do not prove a theory.
Like the end of every context of an essay or any academic paper, a good conclusion is definitely needed. A conclusion is where you end your topic on a good note, summarizing all the arguments, hence you put a final note on the final results produced from the findings, the thesis, and the outcome from the methods used.
Like an abstract, formulate the entire paper, and summarize it into one passage for the understanding and the knowledge of the reader.
To gain the trust of the reader, always list down the sources which you used to extract the references to support your statements. Whether the extract is from the internet, or a book, mention it along the year and the author who published that source.
Through this not only you are gaining the trust of the reader for validation, but you are also giving higher credibility to your research paper.
Writing a research paper isn’t entirely dependent on the content you write. Moreover, it also depends upon the way you structure your information and the outline you follow. Usually, every college prefers a different outline format to be approved, but there are typically three types of formats followed widely in the world.
Without sufficient formatting and following the guidelines of the outline, one can’t dream to ace their research paper.
APA Format Research Paper Outline
One of the outline formats is known as the APA format outline. To construct your work according to the APA guidelines, you need to strictly follow the following guidelines.
- A separate cover page is mandatory
- Your cover page should have the title, University’s name, author’s name, and your head of department’s
- An abstract should mandatorily be added
- A different portion, named ‘References’ should be added for mentioning the sources You’ve
- The header should have the title of the research topic as well as the page numbers mentioned.
MLA Format Research Paper Outline
To structure your research paper outline in the MLA format, you need to strictly follow the guidelines and comply with the restrictions.
- The MLA format states the first page should have the student’s name, their teachers’ names, and their class.
- The upper right corner of the page should have the page numbers.
- Subheadings should be written with Arabic numerals.
- The titles should be written in italics.
- A list has to be formed with endnotes, before the cited work.
Standard Research Paper Outline
Unlike others, the standard research paper outline has less implications. It is a basis for creating more successful research paper without worrying that much about the restrictions and the implications.
- It starts with a detailed introduction where the problem is introduced and the impact of the problem is being discussed.
- Then, there’s the body part where arguments are made to support your thesis statement.
- Lastly, a summary of your arguments is presented along with call to action.
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