How to Create a Research Paper Outline

  • Date: December 1, 2021
How to Create a Research Paper Outline

Research papers are important elements of the academic life of students. These papers account for a considerable percentage of marks for the students. Writing a research paper can be a difficult task especially for beginners. To write a research paper effectively, it is essential to outline the paper. This will allow the student to keep themselves on the exact track. Many platforms can provide an impressive outline for free. In the following lines, we will take a look at the ways to create a powerful outline for a research paper.

Select the topic

Before starting with the outline, you have to come up with a clear topic for the research paper. When the topic has been selected, the next step will be to make up a thesis statement that will serve as the starting point of the outline.

Writing the thesis statement at the start will allow the writer to look back to it many times. Students can take help from a paper or essay writing service to get an effective thesis statement. These services have expert writers who can craft a good thesis for students to follow. An example of the thesis statement can be given by stating that for eg. So and so company has managed to decrease its expenses over the last ten years as a result of implementing this and that change, etc. This statement is comprehensive and can be proven with the help of data analysis.

Include all the points in the outline

A complete outline will include all the points of the research paper. The above-mentioned thesis statement can be broken down into various financial ratios calculated from the financial statements of the company. All these ratios will be included in the outline. Every ratio will be subdivided into 3 sections, formula, calculation, and interpretation. The interpretation section will be left blank as it will be provided in the main body of the paper. The writer may put some bullet points in the interpretation section of each ratio.

Provide a brief literature review

The literature review in the outline can be very brief and contain the specific ratios. The usage of these ratios may be cited by the writer to make the argument stronger. Similarly, the importance of industry averages will also be discussed briefly.


The methodology section will include the different variables precisely defined. If you are unable to find an appropriate definition of any variable, an online essay writer can help you to identify some and analyse them for you. After defining the variables, the data collection methods will be concisely explained. It may be sufficient to say that you will collect the secondary data from the financial statements of the company over time. The analysis section will provide the statistical methods used to assess the data. An example can be given regarding the z-test or t-test used to analyze the data. The whole process of hypothesis testing will be described in the outline. The results section will be left blank because it will be filled after the actual research is undertaken.


This section can be outlined to show whether the answer to the research question has been found. There will be some limitations to the study which have to be written in this section. All the ratios will be separately discussed in this section to make sure that the research question is adequately answered.


They form an important part of the outline because they will tell the readers about the resources used to gather all the information. The financial statement of the relevant companies will make a big chunk of the references. Also, the references should be current in terms of time. A maximum of three years old references must be used for research.

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