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Irrespective of a purpose of such writing, whether you need to create an outline for a Ph.D. application or dissertation, you should have a clear understanding of what is expected from you as an author and researcher. Therefore, you should read paper instructions to get the exact idea of this assignment.

After that, it may be useful to brainstorm to come up with several great ideas. The outline is the exact place where you are welcome to write down any idea that strikes your mind. However, you should know how to organize these ideas in a logical manner in order not to get lost among them along the way. A proper formatting will come in handy in this case.

To begin with, it is necessary to add that formats of outlines vary immensely, and they heavily depend on an educational institution, professor, or university department requirements. Usually, a research paper outline follows the APA or MLA format, but this is not always the case. On many instances, an author should take a font, margins, numerals and overall paper structure into consideration, when tailoring an outline.

Written ideas should also be organized properly: they are divided into main and supporting (or additional) ones. Such a structure helps to find a relevant place for them in the research paper later on. Such structural organization of the main and supporting ideas may have two possible ways of coordination – from general to more specific or vice versa. The choice depends on what is the primary purpose and focus of the research paper. If you are a first-timer at writing such things, it is useful to take a look at the outline template to be sure that you are aware of the basic requirements for such papers. Nevertheless, some people find it hard to follow all the paper requirements and need some professional help.

Research takes an important place in academic writing, and it is an inevitable activity for everyone involved in this, one way or another. Nonetheless, there is always a place for assuring yourself that you are smart or skilled enough to proceed with the writing part on the spot instead of searching for appropriate information. Before everything else, researching something improves your knowledge, skills and enriches a notion of a certain subject, discipline, topic, etc. When you are seeking out new details of the already known field of study, it is easy to get lost among of things that are fit and those that aren’t.

A research paper outline steps in when a person needs to make a plan, write down the entire process in separate parts and select the most useful of them at the right time. Writing an outline for a research paper can be tedious, and it is a time-consuming activity, but the result will be worth the efforts in the end. With the outline, you will be able to keep track of your train of thoughts, if a project is bulky and involves many variables. It is impossible to keep in mind every single figure, formula or variable that might change over the course of time, especially if a person conducts experiments that affect the primary data, for example. Therefore, a research paper outline maker should have a piece of paper where he/she will be able to organize thoughts and ideas, and see what consequences may have this or that experiment or conclusion for the entire project. As the result, an author gets a clear vision of what needs editing, amending or deleting in the draft. So, the primary goal of outlines is to assist in the writing of research papers, but these pieces of paper are also useful for many other types of academic writing.