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What is a research paper outline?

Outline for research paper simply is a plan for your paper. It is an integral part of any article or term paper. It is as important as a content itself. These two binding things will lead you to a very convenient process of writing and give you all the chances to have a successful result in the end. Any outline for a research paper contains some crucial parts and at the same time there's no rule to follow, no formula or the only one criteria when answering a students' question ''how to write an outline for a research paper?''. Assignments are very different, so you can have some tips, combine them together and be creative!

How to outline a research paper to meet the needs of your paper?

To succeed in writing an apa research paper outline, one should remember the required constituents of it. They are as follows:

  • Paper Title
  • Introduction
  • Thesis Statement
  • Main arguments and their support
  • The final part - conclusion

Before you start working on your research proposal outline, it's better for you to ask a professor for advice and learn what format will work better for you paper. Depending on a discipline, university and professor's requirements the format may differ. If you are sure that there are no specifications, then you can start preparing it yourself and to the point.

Let's see an actual research paper outline example

Research paper outline format may be individual in terms of your assignment. It's up to you to make it more or less detailed. The result is what makes the difference. The more specific you are in creating an outline of a research paper you are to prepare, the easier it will be to write an effective paper.

To put a boring theory into practice, lets check out actual research outline prepared for a student paper.

  • Introduction
    • Thesis
    • Arguments
  • King as Activist
    • History as slave and acquisition of education
      • King's nonviolent method
      • The leader of the SCLC
    • Public speech
      • Success of initial speech
      • Goals for future speeches
    • Effect of his activity on society
      • Initial impact
      • Encourage activism
  • King as Author
    • His Doctoral studies
    • Goals/hopes for studies
    • Significance of his studies
  • Conclusion
    • Summarize arguments and efforts


Title: Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thesis: Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American Baptist minister, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs.

Based on this research outline template you can prepare the one of yourself that highlights the topic of your paper and gives a reader a constructive arguments, which confirms your well-done research work. The task seems pretty easy but requires time, skills and patience indeed.

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