3 tips for building a strong research paper outline

Writing a really good research paper depends very much on your research paper outline. The better you make your outline the better will be your research paper. Forget about starting to write straight away. Forget about trying to finish in the shortest possible time. Instead concentrate on a strong research paper outline. Once you've done that the quality of your writing and the speed of your writing will improve out of sight. Here are three basic tips to help you build a strong research paper outline.

  • choose the right topic and know it from back to front
  • clearly identify the main points in your paper
  • clearly identify the minor points which go with each of your main points

Now if you take these three tips literally and get them right, you're well on the way to writing a cracking research paper. The outline will guide you home.

So many times your tutors and teachers will stress the importance of choosing the right topic. If it is a topic about which you already have a lot of prior knowledge or about which you are genuinely passionate, then this could be the ideal topic. But don't forget it must be a topic which will support the examination you give to it when writing a research paper. The topic needs to have depth. But once you've chosen the ideal topic for your research paper, the first tip is that you know it from back to front. So many students choose a topic but do poorly in the grading of their research paper because they do not stick to the topic, they do not know the topic back to front.

Now the structure of your research paper will follow the standard procedure. It will have an introduction and conclusion and then throughout the paper it will have a series of paragraphs in which the main points are explored. So you now must list all the main points you intend to make in your research paper. With these main points clearly listed in your outline, you are in a position to move to the third tip or step.

This final tip involves writing all the minor points which go under each of the major points. This is the perfect outline. This is an ideal map of where you will go when you write your research paper. At a glance you will be able to see your topic, your main points and your minor points are in the right place. From there comes the research and writing; oh and not forgetting the editing.