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How to write a formal outline for a research paper: learning from custom samples

A research paper requires a bit of formality to function. It needs an outline that is part of the rest of the research paper. It needs to demonstrate where the idea for the research came from, the logic used in coming to its ideas, and act as a sort of index for the rest of the paper. A good outline can be written by anyone, and here are some tips to making a good one.

A reliable and academic way to develop a formal outline is by using the MLA and APA standard formats. These already offer good methods for helping you create an outline. Here are the most important tips on using those outlines correctly:

  1. 1. Items should be presented in a logical order. You should make sure that everything written down represents your paper in the best way possible.

  2. 2. The higher the title is, the more general the statement made should be. As you continue down, make more specific statements.

  3. 3. Every question must be followed by an answer. Leaving questioned unanswered is considered unprofessional and you may be docked points for this.

  4. 4. Phrase your sentences well in your outline. Make sure you use proper pronunciation and spelling for words your readers may not understand.

  5. 5. Make sure that your items are presented in a parallel structure. This is pleasing to your reader's eyes and creates a more professional look for your paper.

  6. 6. Finally, your entire outline should be one consistent paper. Themes should match up with other themes to create a coherent whole.

If you can use these effectively, you will ensure that your outline will segue successfully into your paper as a whole. Remember that a formal outline is only part of a paper, and that equal effort must be brought into the bulk of the work as a whole.