Outline for Research Paper Projects: Make It Perfect July 31st, 2012
Is it absolutely necessary to start your investigation from an outline for research paper projects? You might want to skip this stage and start from more exciting things, like experiments and their discussion. Try to resist this temptation and take a closer look at why and how you should plan your investigation before making your first steps.
Outline for research papers: format
What is an outline for a research paper? A research paper outline is a plan of your project in the form of several sentences, representing the most important stages and details of your investigation. It will make your project more persuasive, consistent and better organized. These are the main recommendations for writing a good outline:
- Research and brainstorm before writing your plan. Organize your ideas logically.
- Use the same form for all entries in your outline. For example, if you use a full sentence for one of your entries, you should use full sentences for all of them.
- If you use headings and subheadings, make headings more general and subheadings more specific. (For example, methodology can be the heading, with subheadings such as qualitative research method, survey and type of sampling used.) In addition, make certain that there is more than one subheading under every heading.
Outline for research papers: a template
To write a good term paper outline, you might want to use this template:
- Existing research focused on… (briefly discuss what other scholars already investigated and found out.)
- There is a gap in literature on… The problem of … requires further research.
- The hypothesis of this study is that … (there is a(n) (in)direct relationship between X and Y; X affects Y.)
- Literature review:
- Some studies support this hypothesis.
- Some studies refute this hypothesis. (Divide the known findings of other scholars in several groups, based on their conclusions and research methods.)
- Methods and materials:
- A qualitative (quantitative) method was used to…
- An interview (survey, others) was carried out…
- The sampling method was… (Specify also how many participants were involved in your study, discuss their age, education, origin and other relevant characteristics.)
- X (number of participants) indicated that…
- An examination of individual participants revealed a few specific characteristics…
- Analysis and discussion:
- The findings of this study show that…
- According to the results of this study, X is significantly (positively) related to Y.
- This finding may relate to…
- Limitations. (Some limitations to the current study were the sampling method/ researcher’s bias/ desirability of positive results…)
- Implications and recommendations:
- The findings of this study can be applied in practice in…
- Further research is required for…
- Current results suggest that…
- Therefore, steps need to be taken…
- Conclusion. Briefly repeat what you have already said. Make certain to give a clear answer to your main research questions not to confuse your audience.
You are welcome to use this brief outline for a research paper to make your own effective plans and write outstanding research projects.