Creating A Well Thought-Out Research Paper Outline For High School


Creating an outline is an important step when writing a research paper in high school. While for short papers consisting of a couple of pages an outline may not be necessary, it’s a thing you surely must do when crafting long studies. You will hardly be able to write consistently and clearly otherwise. Having an outline will save you time and motivate you, as it’s always easier to work with a schedule in front of your eyes rather than trying to keep everything in your head. Firstly, you should learn how to compose it, though.

Steps Towards Making Up an Excellent Research Paper Outline

  • Identify the research problem.
  • You should actually summarize the point of your paper in one sentence. That will be the pivotal point of your study around which everything else will revolve. You can also use this sentence when composing the title of your work.

  • Create categories.
  • Shortly describe the main points of your study that you are going to analyze. You will develop them in your paper. Start the first category with providing a general background on the point you are going to cover or clarifying a complicated term.

  • Create subcategories.
  • You can use any number of subcategories for each category depending on the amount of information you have. Each subcategory should provide support for the main point.

Writing an Outline: a Few Other Things to Consider

  • Flexibility in writing.
  • The structure of the outline is strict, but this doesn’t mean that you have no right to add new sections or reorganize it. New ideas may come into your mind, so feel free to find places for them in your outline.

  • Chronological order.
  • Some papers (like one on history, for example) require you to trace events in a chronological order. Make sure that your outline has such an order as well.

  • The length of an outline.
  • Don’t write an outline longer than 4 pages for a paper consisting of 20 pages. You may also include a tentative list of references in it.

  • Formatting.
  • The MLA format is one of the best guides, but you should always consult your instructor first. He or she may have his or her own preferences as far as formatting is concerned and it’s better to take them into account beforehand rather than try to rearrange things later.

A well-thought outline is a thing that will help you stay organized and focused when writing a paper. You will also be able to see how your ideas and thoughts connect to each other and what places require more argumentation and evidence.

Useful Advice