An informal outline working outline is a tool helping an author put down and organize their ideas. It is subject to revision, addition and canceling, without paying much attention to form. In a formal outline, numbers and letters are used to arrange topics and subtopics. The letters and numbers of the same kind should be placed directly under one another. The topics denoted by their headings and subheadings should be grouped in a logical order. All points of a research paper outline must relate to the same major topic that you first mentioned in your capital Roman numeral.
The purpose of an outline is to help you think through your topic carefully and organize it logically before you start writing. A good outline is the most important step in writing a good paper. Check your outline to make sure that the points covered flow logically from one to the other. Make the first outline tentative. What is the chief reason you are writing the paper? State also how you plan to approach your topic.
Is this a factual report, a book review, a comparison, or an analysis of a problem? Explain briefly the major points you plan to cover in your paper and why readers should be interested in your topic. BODY — This is where you present your arguments to support your thesis statement. Remember the Rule of 3, i. Begin with a strong argument, then use a stronger one, and end with the strongest argument for your final point.
Explain why you have come to this particular conclusion. Organize all the information you have gathered according to your outline. Critically analyze your research data. Using the best available sources, check for accuracy and verify that the information is factual, up-to-date, and correct.
Opposing views should also be noted if they help to support your thesis. This is the most important stage in writing a research paper.
Here you will analyze, synthesize, sort, and digest the information you have gathered and hopefully learn something about your topic which is the real purpose of doing a research paper in the first place. You must also be able to effectively communicate your thoughts, ideas, insights, and research findings to others through written words as in a report, an essay, a research or term paper, or through spoken words as in an oral or multimedia presentation with audio-visual aids. Do not include any information that is not relevant to your topic, and do not include information that you do not understand.
Make sure the information that you have noted is carefully recorded and in your own words, if possible. Plagiarism is definitely out of the question. Document all ideas borrowed or quotes used very accurately. As you organize your notes, jot down detailed bibliographical information for each cited paragraph and have it ready to transfer to your Works Cited page. Devise your own method to organize your notes. One method may be to mark with a different color ink or use a hi-liter to identify sections in your outline, e.
Group your notes following the outline codes you have assigned to your notes, e. This method will enable you to quickly put all your resources in the right place as you organize your notes according to your outline. Start with the first topic in your outline. Read all the relevant notes you have gathered that have been marked, e. Summarize, paraphrase or quote directly for each idea you plan to use in your essay.
Use a technique that suits you, e. Mark each card or sheet of paper clearly with your outline code or reference, e.
Put all your note cards or paper in the order of your outline, e. If using a word processor, create meaningful filenames that match your outline codes for easy cut and paste as you type up your final paper, e. Before you know it, you have a well organized term paper completed exactly as outlined. The unusual symbol will make it easy for you to find the exact location again. Delete the symbol once editing is completed. Read your paper for any content errors.
Double check the facts and figures. Arrange and rearrange ideas to follow your outline. Reorganize your outline if necessary, but always keep the purpose of your paper and your readers in mind. Use a free grammar and proof reading checker such as Grammarly. Is my thesis statement concise and clear? Once you have an outline, all you should need to do is fill it in with transition and topic sentences. The intro and conclusion paragraphs should be last things you write.
In the course of writing a paper you will almost definitely reach conclusions or think of new ideas that didn't occur to you when you set out. If you get too attached to your original intro and thesis statement, you risk fudging your results to fit your hypothesis, when you should really make your thesis fit your findings. Your introduction should be written like you're trying to explain the paper to a friend who doesn't know anything about the topic. Your conclusion should be written like you're trying to explain to your professor why your paper is important.
It should be possible to read only the first and last sentences of each paragraph and still understand what your paper is saying. Not only should they capture the point of the paragraph, they should indicate how one paragraph leads to the other.
Here is my personal technique for organizing my research. It's time consuming, but I find it extremely useful. When doing your reading, keep a word document open and transcribe passages from the books or articles, with page numbers.
Not just quotes you intend to use, but the key points in every source, so that you can review them easily without going back to the book every time. A good writer will stop occasionally to summarize succinctly what he's just said. Collect these key sentences in your notes and you will always have an easy guide to each of your sources, not to mention that simply writing it all down will help it stick in your brain.
Explain how the quote relates to your topic and expand on it. This part should be a couple sentences. He called it the PIE formula and it really helped with organizing ideas. Take this from your outline and and just buff it up for the paper so that it flows and is long enough.
This is how my senior year HS teacher taught us. We had a paper due every week and by the end of the year, I could knock one out without much effort. I kept writing like this in college and had great results. All of these years later, I still remember my final paper in my Comp II class my freshman year. The prof didn't even grade it, instead he wrote a note saying in his 5 years of teaching college, it was the best paper he had read and that it restored his faith in academia. On one hand, I had never been so proud of an assignment before, on the other hand, I was just following a formula and didn't really put any extra effort into the paper.
I work with reluctant writers from junior high through high school age. I don't call it this, but it's exactly what I teach. I can take most kids from flunking to B- in a few months with a little effort on their part.
The cool thing is that it's like a fractal, because this is the formula for each paragraph AND for the whole paper. Maybe it's just because I've been getting very excited about fractals these days, but that was absolutely amazing. I'm in IB and my English teacher taught us this way. It also gave way to constant toilet humor. There is this pretty elementary way I learned to organize my essays but it's seriously the most useful thing I have ever learned.
It's called Jane Shaffer I think? You organize each body paragraph as so:. Also, always write your thesis last because that way you just need it to match what you wrote in the body paragraphs, which is much easier than matching your body paragraphs to your thesis.
Half the time you don't even need to write the outline yourself. Use the professor's assignment as the outline. They'll usually give you 3 to 10 points they want covered. And no I won't write college papers for money. It is unfortunate that students willingly deprive themselves of an education because it is "too much work". You should charge more. What's the usual market value per page? Do you negotiate with customers or have a set price?
We have to proof read classmate's papers I have like 10 potential customers and I'm only getting a low A so far I've only been averaging 3. You could be making more I think. You have to get people when they're really, really close to final papers being due These people are not going to become doctors and lawyers. The majority are people with highly specific majors who want me to do their general education requirements so they can focus on their major assignments.
My salary history in the last 10 years was like 40k, 60k, 75k, k. A large part of the leaving school decision was the decision "should I make money and gain experience, or spend money to learn shit I don't care about". I don't regret a moment I spent working, I still improve every day, and at a much faster pace than I ever did in school. But hey, getting people to do your homework in classes you don't care about is another solution.
If I went back to school with the money I have now, I'd probably do it just to save time on all that bullshit. I am damn competent at what I do, intelligent, and I can pick things up quickly.
What I don't need is to write a page paper on some obscure revolution to prove that I can write well and understand facts, nor is that obscure revolution in any way relevant to my career.
The bachelor's degree I'm trying to get is simply a work licence. I have the job I want now, but I won't be able to move to the next one without showing an arbitrary piece of paper that says I'm smart. I love learning, but I hate the college process. Waste of my time and an obstruction in my life.
How knowledgeable do you have to be about the topics? Or is it more a case of "I can use Google, and write well"? I've written papers for music business, economics, philosophy, sociology, theater Damn, you make a LOT more now than I used to make in highschool and college, even accounting for inflation.
I dunno my assignments for history courses tend to be "15 pages about something in this place in this time period GO. My professor's instructions of an assignment are "Write about something you're interested in. Be good at writing. Find one of your professor's papers. Ignore the content and use it is a template. This is another great way to organize for a known, limited audience. Better solution for the last point: You don't even need a color-coding scheme; it's much easier to say "I remember a red quote somewhere in this book that I need, where was it?
Humanities graduate student here: Go one step further with that last tip. Start a new file for each source. Title it Author's last Name - key title phrase. First thing you do, before anything else, is write out the bibliographic entry as it will go in your bibliography. Then take your notes under that. It's now searchable on your computer by author and title phrase and your bibliography is plug-and-chug.
And don't delete it when the paper is done. You may need those notes again Mendeley works with chrome and stores everything in the cloud. Personally, I like to have a word doc with a working outline on the first page and then the info from sources separated in the next pages to allow for easy moving of quotes or ideas without having to fumble around in multiple text docs. I love you for these suggestions, I'm a sophomore at a prestigious prep school in Dallas and hoping to get an A in english.
My english teacher is a very, very tough grader who provides very vague paper prompts, making it difficult to write. I think these will help me a lot, thanks! If you must have your key points, it's a lot more timely to just take pictures on your phone. Also, notes are key when writing a longer paper. You can get by using only your memory for shorter papers, but with the longer ones, notes are essential.
I'd say notes are essential for anything over the length of a two page reading response. But then, I've seen a lot of inventive spellings for Shakespearean character names lately Quite often I suspect spellcheck.
But then, Reddit's spellchecker doesn't have a problem with Iago, so I'm not sure Oh, this comment has truly made me feel ancient. I began university as an English major 20 years ago. I didn't have my own computer then, so I had to type them - with a typewriter. The interwebs were telnet and IRC, and the library had just moved from the card catalogue to electronic searching. You had to photocopy pages from books to do research, and for me, I wrote everything longhand before typing the final draft.
What I would have given to have my Galaxy note to do research back then You've clearly articulated what I pretty much already do. Thank you for that. Also, I'm stealing your quote about the introduction and conclusion. I'm going to blow some minds in my next English class. In university, I had a huge paper due along with a hour long presentation. I worked really hard on the presentation as it was due first , and had a solid PowerPoint.
However, the time came to hand in the paper, and it was due the next day, while I had literally nothing written down. Anyway, my first step was to copy and paste my PowerPoint into Word. My second step was to format that into paragraphs and remove the bullet points. My third step was writing a few extra sentences for each one. Magically, it only took less than two hours, and I got an A on the paper. I guess the moral of the story is, spend your time making an outline, like this LPT suggests, and the paper writes itself.
I can't imagine giving an hour long presentation. I can barely give a ten minute one. It was the worst thing ever.
By 25 minutes in, students started shifting around, coughing, glazing over. The worst part was it was the part where I was explaning how Rainman might have been able to count those matches so quickly cellular biology presentation on autism.
No one seemed interested. Imagine when I started talking about neurons in about five minutes? I started hating the sound of my own voice. By 45 minutes, I wasn't sure it was my voice Even if you where the most engaging amazing speaker ever something is up if there isnt at least one person asleep, one texting, and some jackass watching a film on there laptop.
Focus on someone in the audience who is paying attention, ignore everybody else, then relax and enjoy yourself. Most college professors do exactly that, multiple times a day, every day. It get's fun after awhile. Ah, I was just wondering. It isn't exactly small. Simple yet somehow not obvious to students. The only other advice I would give is to never assume your reader knows what you are implying. The best present that a teacher can give you is on the assignment handout "assume a knowledgable reader.
I heard today that "fucking A" actually means "Fucking affirmative" and it originated in the U. I'd actually never even taken thought to what the "A" meant in the phrase. I would have to disagree, if I'm writing about a piece of literature I'm meant to assume the reader has read the book. Otherwise I'm just summarising it for them rather than dealing with the paper.
I don't think that's necessarily true. If you're writing a literary theory paper, you'll need to reiterate enough of what happens in the book during the formation of your argument that someone who hasn't read the book should still be able to understand the point that you're trying to make.
Otherwise, you're not giving enough information in the way of quotes and examples to support your thesis. This is the basis for why you do those two parts last, and also what makes outlines hugely helpful. I received this advice as well, it's golden. The best part is, not only does it apply to the paper, but to each body paragraph as well. I'm glad you like. When I heard it in the beginning of high school it was like a light went on, and suddenly I became a paper-writing fiend.
I've met professors who don't actually like this saying because they seemingly have so little faith in their students they think that people are going to take it too literally. I know you're simplifying things for this post, but I want to point out that a lot of those paragraphs should be ideas that complicate your thesis, not that simply support it.
I even suggest finding something in the text that seems to contradict your thesis and then either 1. Again, I know you're going for writing hastily, but eight pages of listing examples is a mediocre paper at university level. Addressing the counter claim is an important piece of paper writing. I teach my 7th grade students to incorporate that into their writing. This might be a little OCD in my outline method, but hey, breaking things down into smaller portions is a great way to change a daunting essay assignment into something feasible.
Teacher asks for a page essay. This shows up as words. Now I take that words and do a bit of easy math - I assume words for both my intro and conclusion paragraph, leaving me with words for body paragraphs.
I divide words by words I feel this is a good amount of words for each body paragraph. Not too long that I'm stretching my ideas, but not too short that it doesn't get to the meat of my point. That gave me 4, so I know I have to write 4 body paragraphs of aprox words each. Then I jot down a main point for each of those 4 paragraphs, and I also write down how many words I should be at when completing each one - words by the end of my intro paragraph, words by the end of my first body paragraph, words by the end of my second body paragraph, etc etc, down to words at the end of my final concluding paragraph.
It really only takes about 5 mins to make an outline this way, and its SO MUCH nicer to know you've only got more words at least to hit in a paragraph before you can wrap it up.
Also, all this emphasis I've seen in the comments and in the other major paper writing post on being "verbose" and making it long is terrible advice. It's why your friends go "WHAT!? The humanities program I am enrolled in emphasizes saying more with less. If you can say something in 10 words or 5 words always go with the shorter choice it makes your paper clearer, easier to read and frees up room for you to go more in depth in your analysis.
I always proofread once for succinctness before I focus on typos, etc. Writing on a blank page is hard. Half a page of anything. If it relates to the essay, then great! But if not, it doesn't matter. Half a page of how I'm not looking forward to do this essay, of how those meatballs are starting to repeat on me, or how pissed off I am with a flatmate right now. Once I've got half a page or so, I'll stop and start on the essay.
Suddenly, you're not writing on a blank page, there are no huge expectations that everything has to look perfect and final, and you're in the mood for just spewing out ideas which is really what a first draft should be anyway. Then again, I also like to make copious notes to myself as I go through, usually in different colours at the end of the document.
If the whole document is just your essay, you feel like you're trying to write a final draft from the start. If this is a first draft, make it LOOK like it. I really like this one. Something about the blank page Putting my name on the paper doesn't help, because then all I see is the emptyness of the page, and myself in it. Then it leads to me comparing it to the emptyness of life and what "it all means" and paper does not get written because I'm having an existentialist crisis purely to procrastinate.
This is actually a good tip for any procrastination. More so, I absolutely cannot stand wasting my time trying to get them in the correct format that the assignment requires. You may have noticed my little attempt at artwork in the picture. Google Scholar does all the citation formatting for you. Now, just make your in-text citations and put them after each part of your paper where you felt you were being particularly insightful.
I suggest going just slightly overboard with the number of sources you cite. You may not have faith in this technique, and that is perfectly fine. The only ways you can get a bad grade is if you completely misunderstand the assignment, have horrible writing skills, or the grader combs through each of your sources and proves that your in-text citations are wrong. As long as you pick relevant sources, never quote the text, and never use page numbers, that is probably impossible.
Thank you for reading my 6 steps to write a research paper, fast. If any of you have other quick tips for writing research papers, please feel free to leave a comment for the rest of our readers.
Research paper is considered as a long term assignment, when you have to spend a lot of time on research and then even more time to put the materials together and write a decent research paper.
Once you are relaxed, you need to start working on the research paper. The first thing that you need to choose a topic, if you haven’t done so already. If there is a .
Get your essays and research papers written from the leader in the writing industry. We have in the academic writing field since We have customers from across the world. May 04, · Writing the paper will take the majority of your time, where most used to be dedicated to research. If you get stuck, just keep searching for more filler information. You will be surprised at how fast it can be done.
Research Paper in 60 minutes: Fast and Neat Submitted by anasthezia on Wed, 04/09/ - Assignments are prepared best when they are given much time and attention, but sometimes time deficit and busy student life require a skill of writing papers very fast. LPT: Another way to write fast, well-constructed papers. Outlines are annoying, but it'll cut the time it take you to write a paper in half. It lets you see how your ideas fit together, so you can move them around and organize them without having to re-write entire paragraphs or pages. I actually learned more doing research on the paper.