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Research Paper Outline

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Layout and Length
Introduction

The Body part is the amplest one and consists of several paragraphs or subparts. Here you bring the arguments to support your statement. The methodology is what follows the introduction section. It gives the insight into the way you carried out the research and should include the investigation type and the questionnaire you have fulfilled. Never forget about the aims of the investigation that should be also stated in the introduction.

Make sure to include the literature overview. Here mention the literature you used as a backup to your hypothesis and theories. This part will show how you can operate the terms, theory and existing evidence. Your main theme and the chosen literature should be adjacent.

Demonstrate how your input develops and distends the existing works. Data and analysis usually go after methods and literature. Here present your results and other variables that you have got in the process of the survey. Use tables or graphs if necessary to be more precise and structured. Keep in mind to tell the audience whether your outcomes bring a difference to the whole topic.

Outline the drawbacks of the research and its advantages. The final part is the Conclusion that usually does not present the audience with the new information but gives the cursory glance at the whole work by summarizing main points in it.

Do not forget to mention the thesis statement again. Formulate the prospect for future research as well. Topics of the research paper are different. Sometimes they give you to write on social issues like a research outline on homelessness.

Everything depends on the college discipline. All in all, your research outline should look like a bullet list of headings and subheadings; it should be very brief but informative consisting all the necessary elements. While completing your paper cross out those parts that you have already used and elaborated. Final words regarding the problem recommendations regarding how a particular paper and its ideas can be used in practice or in further studies.

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It is important, therefore, to try and give a quick and condensed history of the research leading to your experiment, with correct citations. You should also give a little background on why you chose to do this particular experiment and what you expect to find. For this portion of your report you must describe the methods used when performing the experiment.

This should include, if relevant, the location and times of sample collection, what equipment was utilized, and the techniques used. The idea behind the methodology section is that another researcher can exactly replicate your experiments without having to guess what equipment and what techniques should be used. Scientific articles are peer reviewed and this includes the possibility that other researchers may try to replicate your results. There have been many high profile scientific breakthroughs over the years whose results were unable to be repeated; these experiments were disregarded.

For field studies you should give an exact map reference and time as well as including a map in the appendix. If you used complex machinery or computer programs in the course of your experiment, to avoid breaking the flow of your report, you should give only the main information and refer to the exact technical specifications in the appendix.

These should be a quick synopsis of the facts, figures and statistical tests used to arrive at your final results. You should try to avoid cluttering up your report and insert most of your raw data into the appendix. It is far better to stick with including only tables and graphs that show clearly the results. Do not be tempted to insert large numbers of graphs and figures just for the sake of it; each figure and graph should be mentioned, referred to and discussed in the text.

Try to avoid putting in tables and graphs showing the same information; select the type that shows your results most clearly. It is usually preferable to use graphs and relegate the tables to the appendix because it is easier to show trends in graphical format. Figures and graphs should be clear and occupy at least half a page; you are not a magazine editor trying to fit a small graph into an article.

All such information must be numbered, as diagrams for graphs and illustrations, and figures for tables; they should be referred to by this number in the body of the report. You do not need to put the full breakdown of the calculations used for your statistical tests; most scientists hate statistics and are only interested in whether your results were significant or not.

Relegate the calculations to the appendix. The results section of your report should be neutral and you should avoid discussing your results or how they differed from or compared with what was expected. This information belongs in the next section. This is the pivotal section of your hard work in obtaining and analyzing your results. In your discussion you should seek to discuss your findings, and describe how they compared and differed from the results you expected.

In a nutshell, you are trying to show whether your hypothesis was proved, not proved or inconclusive. You must be extremely critical of yourself in this section; you will not get marked down for mistakes in experiment design or for poor results, only for not recognizing them. Everybody who has written a dissertation or thesis has had to give a presentation to a room full of fellow students, scientists and professors and give a quick synopsis.

These people will tear your report apart if you do not recognize its shortcomings and flaws. Very few experiments are per cent correct in their design and conception so it is not really important what your results were, only that you understand their significance.

Usually you will have had some promising results and some that did not fit with what you expected. Discuss why things may have gone wrong and what could be done to refine the results in future.

Suggest what changes in experimental design might improve the results; there is no right or wrong in science, only progress. Finally, you can discuss at the end ideas for further research, either refining the experiment or suggesting new areas. Even if your paper was a one off, somebody may come along and decide that they find your research interesting and that they would like to continue from where you left off.

This is really just a more elaborate version of the abstract. In a few paragraphs you should summarize your findings. Your abstract will do most of this for you but, as long as you do not get carried away, especially for longer reports, it can help the reader absorb your findings a little more. Include all of your direct references here, even if you only found a couple of sentences.

In the case where somebody referred to an original source, reference that too, but if you did not manage to get hold of it, try to rewrite so that you will not have to reference or use "referred in"-citation.

Here it is polite to acknowledge anybody who helped you with this report, although do not go overboard; it is not an Oscar speech. Your supervisor is a good start, as well as others who helped. If a landowner gave you permission to take samples then it is good practice to acknowledge them and give them a summary of your results, if permitted. Appendices are very useful because they give you a place to dump raw data and calculations.

They must still be laid out correctly; the data must be relevant and referred to in the main report. If you have a lot of relevant photographs of sample sites and methods then they belong here. It is also useful to insert a Google map plan to show from where you took samples. Hopefully this will have given you a good oversight into writing that perfect report. It is not as daunting as it seems and if you do your research and listen to your supervisor then all should be well and you can get a good grade.

Check out our quiz-page with tests about:. Martyn Shuttleworth Mar 14, Retrieved Sep 10, from Explorable. The text in this article is licensed under the Creative Commons-License Attribution 4.


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Outlining your first draft by listing each paragraph's topic sentence can be an easy way to ensure that each of your paragraphs is serving a specific purpose in your paper. You may find opportunities to combine or eliminate potential paragraphs when outlining—first drafts often contain repetitive ideas or sections that stall, rather than advance, the paper's central argument.

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This is why you should establish early on the scope and limitations of your paper which will provide the foundation for your research paper outline. Basically, your outline will constitute three main sections: the Introduction, the Body and the Conclusion.

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The Basic Outline of a Paper The following outline shows a basic format for most academic papers. No matter what length the paper needs to be, it should still follow the . Sample Essay Outlines Why Write an Outline? An outline will help you organize your main ideas and determine the order in which you are going to write about them. Writing an outline is a very effective way to think through how you will organize and present the information in your essay.

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The outline structure is approximately the same whether you write a research outline on dreams or some topic distant from this one, like a research outline for PhD application. The structure is identical to the structure of the research paper itself. If you get a surge of inspiration part way through writing your paper and decide to take your paper in a new direction, go ahead and change your outline. There are several different ways to format an outline, but the MLA method (below) is a solid way to do it.