Organization is the Key to Efficient Research
Organizing your plan for research, noting the results of your research, and the presentation of your research to others makes the process flow much more easily. You know where you are going, can recall where you've been, easily throw out information that is not relevant, and explain your results in way that is easy for others to understand. It may seems like it is adding work or takes too much time, but it will save you time in the end. It will also make your research go more quickly, be more focused, and provide a scaffold upon which you can translate your findings to an original presentation.

Start with brainstorming.

  • KWHL Charts.Capture-KWL_chart.JPG

or here's a simpler one:

Move on to outlining.

  • High School Research Paper Outline Format

    Research paper outline format consists of mainly an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Develop each part of the research paper, keeping in mind the main research statement.

    Introduction: In the introductory part, you are expected to state your thesis and the purpose of your research paper 'clearly'. Ask yourself the question 'what is the chief reason you are writing the paper' and construct the statement of your thesis in brief. You need to explain how you are going to approach your topic. You should explain what type of research or report it is, for instance, whether it is based on actual facts, or is it a book review, a comparison, or an analysis of a problem. You should briefly explain your topic covered in your paper in such a way that it should create interest and arouse curiosity in the minds of readers. Following a science fair research paper outline format is especially of great importance as it should contain a very catchy statement in introduction, perfect scientific explanation in the body and a correct conclusion.

    Body: In this section, you are supposed to present your arguments to support your thesis statement. You should at least find 3-4 supporting arguments for each position you take. It would influence the reader more if you begin with a strong argument, then put forth a stronger one, and end with the strongest argument for your final point. In this section, you are supposed to analyze the data collected. If you have collected information through a questionnaire, you have to analyze it properly and present it in an interesting manner.

    Conclusion: This may look similar to introduction but here, you should restate or reword your thesis by summarizing your arguments. Clear explanation about why you have come to this particular conclusion is needed.

Research Paper Outline Sample

Here is a research paper outline template.

Introduction: Title of the thesis, Brief comment leading into subject matter, for example, thesis statement on 'discovering effects of stress on the performance of the students'.

Body: You may divide this part into four-five parts to explain it clearly.
  • What is stress, External and internal factors responsible for stress, what causes stress, how the body reacts
  • Types of stress, relationship stress, family conflicts, learning disability, problems with school work, crammed schedules, no time to rest and relax, no sharing, good stress and bad stress
  • Signs of stress overload, such as anxiety, panic attacks, moodiness, physical symptoms like stomach problems, headaches, allergy, asthma, etc., disturbed sleeping and eating habits, sadness or depression, etc. (You may use a questionnaire to gather the information and then analyze it.)
  • How to keep stress under control, What methods you have studied or employed for taking a stand against over-scheduling, learning to relax, being realistic and optimistic, sleeping well, eating well, treating your body well, exercising, building resilience, etc.
  • What were your observations regarding the problems and solutions.
Conclusion: Here, you can conclude and while concluding, you can again state your research purpose. Based on the facts and research carried (which is thoroughly explained in the previous section), you are expected to prove how your research paper contains important and useful information for readers, regarding the topic.

The conclusion should summarize the reasons you had included to support your thesis. Moreover, it should add insight by giving some thoughts on the implications of what you have written or proven. There are other important things which should be kept in mind while writing a research paper. The concluding sentence of one paragraph and the introductory sentence of the next paragraph should be well linked and consistency should be maintained throughout. You should be able to communicate to your readers while explaining them the aim of your research paper. An outline format for research paper can be very beneficial to you while writing, because it will help you stay organized.

Following a research paper outline format will be quite easy, once you understand that research is nothing but to test and present your causal hypothesis regarding the occurrence of a phenomenon or a new discovery. Research means verifying an existing theory or fabricating new methods and techniques by exploiting known natural phenomena. I hope the article helps you to acquaint yourself with proper research paper outline format. There can be innumerable research topics and research techniques, but they all have one thing in common; the final presentation of a research paper, which is the culmination of research that leaves a sense of completion for a writer as well as reader.
By Leena Palande
Published: 7/1/2010

[the above explanation is adapted from

Collect resources in a bibliography.

  • titles of entire work, chapter, article, blog, website
  • authors / editors / sponsors
  • publishers and place published
  • date of publication / creation / updating
  • page numbers / webpage URL

Take notes from your sources of information.

  • summarize information, conclusions, explanations, concepts, analysis, etc.
  • note your reactions to the information
  • note questions, ideas, topics, people to investigate further
  • label information with a symbol relating to your outline
  • quote exact words from a source
  • rate the information as background, relevant, or extremely valuable
  • consider using technology tools like Evernote

Track your sources of information.

  • mark the page number or URL of each bit of information

Don't be afraid to backtrack and revise your research.

  • research is a cycle, not linear
  • revise the topic, subtopics, relevant information, and conclusions as you go

Package the results of your research.

  • write a research paper
  • present a slideshow
  • make a video
  • use audio
  • publish your work online