How To Write A Research Paper Report Outline: Useful Tricks


The most important part of any process is the planning stage before any of the actual ‘work’ gets done. If this is poorly executed, there will be problems throughout the entire rest of the process. This is one of the problems that can be avoided very easily. The following tricks can help with the creation of a good outline for a research paper:

Pick the best possible topic

Topic selection is another important part of the process. With the right topics you can make your entire paper simpler. You just need to ensure that you work on something that inspires you to work steadily. It also helps of the topic is easy to lay out. Many are quite complicated and if you are not vigilante you may find that your brainstorming process leads you to unwittingly select one.

Plot it as a mental map

Having selected a topic to research you can begin to organize your ideas in the form of a mental map. This requires you to put the central theme in the center of the page and allow the other connected ideas to branch out form it. Any time something occurs to you, place it on the map in the spot that makes the most sense to you conceptually.

Take the information you’ve gathered and put it in a template

Having put your ideas together in this way, you can place them in an outline template. These can be accessed online with relative ease, all it takes is a very simple web search. If this fails you can also ask your friends if they have a template handy.

Adjust it until your outline looks right

There may be a few aspects of your writing that you are not absolutely satisfied with initially so you can look these over at this point. Exclude the weaker trails that might make the rest of your paper weaker if they are included in the final draft.

Get a second opinion

There are errors that you might not notice if you are too invested in the outcome of the paper going in a particular direction. Before you actually begin writing, ask someone how they think your outline was executed. Make sure their opinion is informed and if they think something should be added or subtracted, listen.

This will help you in the main of that crucial first step.


Never wait until the last minute to get started

Some research papers can take weeks to complete, so if your deadline is some time away you need to make use of your time now. You can use an outline to help you break up the work into smaller tasks. You can spread the work over time and make it easier on yourself. Some elements of the paper may take longer than others, but using your time wisely will help you make a difference.