How to Write a Paper Outline Correctly
Students very often need to perform various written assignments and create research papers. The key to successful work is deep knowledge, erudition, and good writing skills. It is worth remembering that one of the most important stages of creating a paper is its planning and drawing up an outline. Therefore, you do not need to hurry; you should think through each stage of writing very attentively.
If you want to know how to make a research paper outline properly, you need to consider these tips. The first recommendation is the use of brainstorming method. This technique is very widespread among students. Its essence is in the freedom of thought and fantasy. All you need is a blank piece of paper and a pen. Make sure, that nothing bothers you and you feel comfortable. Think about the topic of your work and the subject of research; do not be distracted by secondary things. Do not look for one ideal thought; write down all the ideas that come to mind. Any, even not very significant, detail can be useful and play an important role in the study. After you have written down the whole sheet of paper, take a break. After a while, analyze your notes and highlight the main, most important points. Based on these data, you can draw up an approximate plan. However, it will not be complete and will need to be improved.
The Structure of the Work
Now you know what to write about in your outline. However, this is not enough. Not only the essence of the work is important but also the consistency of the presentation. You need to put your thoughts in the right order and come to some conclusion at the end of the paper. Therefore, you must follow the correct structure of the text. Surely, you know that any student essay should consist of three main parts, such as an introduction, the body of the text, and conclusions. However, in many cases, it will be appropriate to use additional yet not less important paragraphs. Making a plan for your research paper, do not forget to include an abstract and a literature review there. Remember that the abstract should be written after the creation of the whole work.
The literature review is the basis of your work. After analyzing the articles of authoritative scientists, you can conclude what research is required to solve the problem. You do not need to describe in detail the content of books in your outline. You must formulate the main idea with one sentence or phrase and make your plan as concise as possible, but at the same time, it should be quite informative. Describing the introduction, you can highlight only the main idea and write it down in the plan. Remember that the introduction should be short.
The Detailed Plan
The body of the text is the most voluminous part of your work. Even though your plan should be concise and clear, you are unlikely to be able to fit all the important information in one paragraph. In this case, it is necessary to create a detailed plan. It consists of the main points and subparagraphs that complement them. For example, the study of the problem consists of several stages, which are represented by subparagraphs in your outline. However, do not make the plan too detailed and long. Make sure that you present only the most necessary facts. Describing your conclusions, limit yourself to just one sentence.
The Functions of the Outline
Now you have an idea of what an outline is and according to what principles it should be created. You need to understand the most important thing which is the purpose of its creation. As it was said earlier, the text of the research work should be clear and consistent. Typically, student papers are quite large in volume, and the writer is difficult to control the progress of the presentation of thoughts if he or she does not have a plan. It helps authors to observe the correct structure and not to miss any important details. As a rule, the plan is a rough draft, a very short version of your paper, but in some cases, when the essay is very large in volume and reveals many problematic issues, writer publishes the plan in the text of the work. It helps the readers to understand the sequence of the presentation and make the process of reading and understanding information more efficient. Sometimes, there is no need to read all the work; if you are interested only in one question, you can use the outline and find a page with the necessary information.
Based on the above-given recommendations, you must remember that the plan should be informative, clear and consist of at least three main parts. Each thought should be written down as a separate point. Therefore, it is necessary to use numbering or marking. There are no strict rules of formatting an outline. You can use numbers, markers or letters; however, it is known that the numbered list is the best way of formatting since it can convey the sequence of your thoughts as clearly as possible.
Try to avoid too long sentences, express your thoughts in two or three words. You do not need to write any details and additions to your plan; all this material should be considered in the body of the text on a more specific level.
As you can see, creating an outline is quite a longyet very interesting and cognitive process. Every student can learn how to do it properly. All you need is some free time, good knowledge, and a desire to create a successful work. Using these recommendations, you will be able to write a perfect research paper. Improve your writing skills and try your hand at this activity. Undoubtedly, you will get a good grade in college.