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How to Make an Outline for a Research Paper

The outline is a key component to any paper writing. The outline is here you get all of your ideas organized and then present the best possible order for your argument. With an outline you can take your ideas and put them on paper. You can review the order in which your ideas are laid out. You can play around with the order until you find something that really works. The purpose of an outline is to give you a place where you can move around your arguments see what order works best and then ensure you have enough evidence to support all of your arguments.

With an outline you are able to find any loopholes or see where your argument is lacking in support or evidence. You can set up the body of your text in the appropriate order and find what works best for your task. The outline can be constructed in one of two ways. The first way is the bullet pointed outline. This is a short and sweet version which utilizes bullet points. It is laid out in such a fashion that you have the main sections listed (such as the introduction and the body and the conclusion) and beneath the main sections you have listed bullet points for each of the arguments and pieces of evidence you are going to present. The other outline you can create is one that is longer and a bit more in depth. This functions the same in that you have the main sections of your paper beneath which you list the key arguments and the topic sentences as well as the evidence you plan on presenting in full sentence format.

There is no “right” or “wrong” way to set up your outline. It is of course whatever works best for you. So if you find that the outline with bullet points is sufficient then you should use that but if you find that the outline with the longer sentences is best then uses that. You can of course set things up numerically or with roman numerals. Find what works best for you and use that for all of your papers. You can of course play around with the different styles until you find suitable options. Just make sure that the outline is coherent enough that with it you have all of the tools you need to draft a great paper.