Main Traits of Research Paper Outline Format
An outline can be said to the blue print or plan for your paper which helps you put your ideas and arguments in order. It can make or destroy your paper. A good outline can make researching and writing the paper very efficient.
There are four main components of an outline. Your outline page must include the following:
- Paper title
- Thesis statement
- The major arguments indicated by roman numerals
- More information/support for the major argument above, usually indicated by capital Arabic numerals.
Formulating an outline
The most common type of outline is the alphanumeric outline. The formatting follows the following characters in this order; capitalized letters after roman numerals, lowercase letters after Arabic numerals. If there is need for further subdivision, Arabic numerals inside parenthesis ((I)) can be used and also lower case letters inside parenthesis.
To create an effective outline within the above guidelines, follow the suggestions explained below with examples derived from a research paper outline format sample that you will find here:
- Use parallelism
Write every heading and subheading in such a way that they have a parallel structure. For instance, if the first heading is a verb, then the second one should be a verb too such as the example below:
Note that, if you use a verb in the subheadings, it ought to be in its present form.
- choose a good service
- make an order
- Coordinate the headings
By coordination, it means that the information in all headings should have the same significance. This also goes for the subheadings which ought to be less significant than the headings.
You accomplish this by making the information on the headings more general and that on the subheadings more specific. For instance:
- describe your best memories
- My high school years
- Last Christmas in Miami
Divide each heading into two or more parts; it should have more than one subheading to provide more information. There is no limitation for the number of subdivisions. However, do not list too many of them; see if you can combine some for your work to look a bit ‘together’. Consider the example below:
- compile a term paper
- Write the table of contents
- Write an introduction
- The first chapter