Research Paper Outline

This is a great example of a research paper start. How can you produce some examples of research papers that start off so well?

"Over time in the UK, research has usually followed a specific relationship in bird ecology. Management actions within protected areas are needed to increase wildlife conservation. This paper outlines the ecology of tern bird species at a site in the UK. These results will prove helpful for the ecological understanding of the species in the area which has not received a great deal of research."

A comprehensive research paper outline is vitally important for writing any research paper. This will serve to organize all of your thoughts and your whole research work before you get started. The best research paper example is one that has a good outline for the research paper. The paper outline will serve as a reminder and the "skeleton" to which you will need to include all the necessary "flesh". So how can one write a great research paper outline?

Research essay outline

It needn't matter whether you're writing a Ph.D. or a research paper for college, the structure of the best paper outline will be the same and the best research papers examples will follow an outline of some sort. In any research essay outline, there will be the following main parts:

Research paper outline template

  • Title
  • Abstract
  • Contents
  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Conclusion
  • References and Appendix

These are simple points, but the best research paper examples will contain this research paper outline. Let's consider each research paper outline example element.

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Introduction - The introduction should be a short and informative presentation of your topic to the reader. This needs to attract the reader's interest as well as mention the essential parts of your research. The thesis statement is highly applicable here, i.e. three major points that explain your topic, with some general information. You will want to refer back to this thesis statement at the end to provide an explanation of your research paper.

Body - This will really be the most important part of your research. Within the body, you need to provide a study context and show that you have read around your topic. Your main aims and hypothesis should go here in your outline for research paper. There are numerous points to consider here:

  • What are you looking to find out?
  • What do you expect will happen?
  • What do you think the outcomes will be?
  • Provide examples of research.
  • Lead this section to your methodology.

The methodology needs to explain with a step-by-step guide how to conduct your research. The methodology gives the reader an insight into how you carried out your research, allowing the audience to replicate it if they need to, so don't forget to put this into your paper outline. Make sure the methods are crystal clear and easily repeatable. You'll want to provide the best example of a research paper whose methods can be reproduced. Within the body, you'll need to include a literature review as to back up your theories and hypotheses. Without a comprehensive literature review, you will find it hard to back up your study context and ideas.

Include all the data analysis after your methods and literature review in your research paper outline. Talk about your data and findings, discussing them. Provide analysis of your findings to prove or disprove all your hypotheses. Use tables, graphs or any other statistical data to help interpret your results.

Conclusion - The final part of your research paper outline needs to provide an executive summary of your findings. You can relate back to your thesis statement and summarize how you have achieved what you set out to do. It is best to give recommendations for how this research could be improved and what else needs to be researched in the field.

It is usually helpful to consider the title, abstract, contents, references, and appendices towards the end of your research. Examples of research papers that get good marks should be simple and to the point, with a snappy title and an abstract that reflects everything in your research paper within a short limit (usually up to 200 words). The contents page of an apa research paper outline or any other outline should always summarize every section and references should be uniform in style. Any appendices will include raw data you have used.

Research paper outline example

Now that you have an understanding of a research essay outline, you can form a coherent apa research paper outline or any other type. Let's look at a fully made research paper outline example based on what we read at the beginning of bird conservation.

Topic: the ecology of bird species in the UK

  1. Title
  • A comparative study of the ecology of nesting bird species in the UK.
  1. Abstract
  • Why species of tern are important in wildlife conservation.
  • Why this research is important for the area in the UK.
  • A result summary.
  • Future recommendations for research.
  1. Contents
  • A summary of every major section.
  1. Introduction
  • Presentation of the research problem
  • Not enough research in this area for the species.
  • Little has been done to investigate the ecology of these species in this area.
  • A key site for the species of birds to investigate.
  • Thesis statement.
  • The importance of this topic for bird conservation in the UK.
  1. Body
  • Literature review - a discussion of all the primary and secondary sources that support the idea for research.
  • Hypotheses - what can be expected:
    • There will be more birds nesting in the winter.
    • There will be more birds when there are fewer predators.
  • Methodology
    • Ways in which to collect data (e.g. archives and watching birds)
  • Results
    • Show the results of statistical tests.
    • Provide analysis of the results.
  1. Conclusion
  • An executive summary of the results.
  • What was found out.
  • How the results have proved or disproved all the hypotheses.
  • Recommendations for research.
  • The limitations:
    • Not enough time to survey.
    • Need for more accurate records.
  1. References and Appendix.
  • Use the Harvard style.
  • Include data lists, maps and figures.

Research paper outline example now read! What's next?

Now that you've carefully browsed our research paper outline example, what is left to do? This is where the fun starts and you can write your own outline. Think about how this research paper example outline can be emulated by you and follow it to the point. All the best research paper examples out there are sure to follow an outline of this sort; otherwise it would be difficult to gather ideas together.

Once you have your ideas formulated, your outline complete and your thinking cap on, don't forget to look at some research papers examples in order to get the best grade you possibly can. Communicate with your supervisor freely as well, in order to know exactly where your research should go.

Good luck with your research essay!

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