Ways & How

how to write a term paper outline

how to write a term paper outline

Every student has had to write a research paper. It is usually a big part of their grade, so one common question that arises is how to write a term paper outline. The outline is the backbone of the entire paper. That is why it is vital to get it done well. The outline helps the writer figure out the direction and organization of their paper to make it a cohesive one. An outline uses a format that allows you to differentiate major topics from subtopics. You can use numbers, letters, or roman numerals to list the major topics. It depends on you or the instructions of your teacher. You then indent subtopics and list them with numbers, letters, or roman numerals depending on what you used beforehand and so on and so forth. Below is an example of the proper format: Thesis topic: A study on the factors affecting the increase of child abuse in poor communities A. Introduction

  1. State the topic

  2. Significance of the topic

  3. Definition of terms



    b. Child abuse

B. Body
  1. Signs of child abuse

  2. Effects of poverty on child abuse

  3. Intervention

C. Conclusion
  1. Summary of points

  2. Recommendations

You can have more or less major topics or subtopics depending on the needs of the paper. Below are three basic parts of a term paper outline.
  1. The first part of the outline is the introduction. The introduction basically gives an overview of the topic. In your introduction, you will include a thesis statement. It details what you want to say in your paper, what you want to prove or disapprove, or what you want to point out. This is followed by the following major parts: statement of the problem, definition of terms, theoretical framework, methodology (which has three subtopics: type of research, respondents, and questionnaire), hypothesis, review of literature, scope and limitations.

  2. The next part of the outline is the body of your research. This is the part where you present all your arguments and data in relation to your thesis statement. The body can be composed of two major parts: the background of the topic and the presentation and analysis of the data.

    The background of the study may have subtopics depending on the research and relevant data. It may include cause and effect and other related information. The same is true for the presentation and analysis of the data; you can add subtopics to help you organize the flow.

  3. The last part of the outline is the conclusion. You will summarize your arguments and give your final point or opinion about the topic.

An outline will vary depending on the topics and ideas that you want to present. You do not need to list every single point in detail. The goal of the outline is lay out a general guideline for the paper. People often make the mistake of writing a very lengthy outline, which is unnecessary. Lastly, consult with your teacher if he or she has a specific required outline format and guidelines and follow them. Now that you know how to make a term paper outline, youÂ’re ready to start on yours.


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