Composing a Research Paper Outline: Where to Look for Good Samples


Developing an outline is an essential step of the writing process. Regardless of what kind of paper you need to write, you need a plan in order to complete this project successfully. This is most important when you are dealing with academic papers as they are formal and must have a well-defined structure.

In the majority of cases, you won’t need to hand in your outline. However, sometimes your teacher or professor might require it in order to monitor the progress of your project. If this happens, you will need to ask what kind of format you have to use.

There are several types of plans that you should check out in order to pick the one that works best for you. The most common of them are:

Thesis outline.

This is the plan that consists of short thesis statements. When you expand it, you will need to build your paragraphs around the idea expressed in the statement.

Sentence outline.

In this case, you develop a plan made of topic sentences. You will need to include them into the actual paper and complement every statement with supporting arguments and evidence.

Why Do You Need Samples?

Developing an outline might seem easy, but you will see that this isn’t so when you start working on it. This is why you need to study some samples in order to get a better idea of what exactly you need to do. There are plenty of good examples available online, you just need to know where to look for them.

The best sources of samples are:


Academic writing portals.

There are websites that offer a great variety of articles and other helpful information on the subject of academic writing. Many of them provide examples for every topic, including outlines.

This source is good because you get a chance to not only see some plans, but also get detailed explanations to each of them.

Custom writing services.

These firms specialize in creating all kinds of academic papers for their clients. They can provide you with some excellent examples either for free or for a small fee.

This source is worth looking into because you can be sure that the samples offered here will be perfect.

College websites.

Nowadays, many colleges, universities, and even some schools offer some example papers for free download from their official websites. They also provide detailed instructions for students who work on these assignments.

You should check out your school’s website in order to learn of the requirements your paper must meet.

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