Once you've decided what topic you will be writing about, the next thing you should pay attention to is the scope of your paper or what you will be including in your discussion. The broader your topic is, the more difficult it is to discuss the full details. 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. But to make sure your paper is complete, consult your instructor for specific parts they wants to be included in your research paper. Sample outlines for research papers will follow. But first, let’s discuss the main sections of your paper and what information each should cover.
The introduction should contain your thesis statement or the topic of your research as well as the purpose of your study. You may include here the reason why you chose that particular topic or simply the significance of your research paper's topic. You may also state what type of approach it is that you'll be using in your paper for the entire discussion of your topic. Generally, your Introduction should orient your readers to the major points the rest of the paper will be covering, and how.
The body of your paper is where you will be presenting all your arguments to support your thesis statement. Remember the “Rule of 3” which states that you should find 3 supporting arguments for each position you take. Start with a strong argument, followed by a stronger one, and end with the strongest argument as your final point.
The conclusion is where you form a summary of all your arguments so you can arrive at your final position. Explain and reiterate why you've ended up with the said conclusion.
Research Paper Outline Examples
As mentioned earlier, here are some sample outlines for research papers:
Thesis Topic: A Study on Factors Affecting the Infant Feeding Practices of Mothers in Las Pinas City
Statement of the Problem
Definition of Terms
Type of Research
Review of Related Literature
Scope and Limitations
Significance of the Study
Background of the Study
Benefits of Breastfeeding
The International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes
The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative
The Innocenti Declaration on the Protection, Promotion and Support of Breastfeeding
The Milk Code
BFHI in the Philippines
Milk Code Violations
Factors Influencing the Decision Regarding Infant Feeding Method
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