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Without a well-thought-out thesis statement, your paper is likely to end up jumbled and with an unclear purpose. An outline will help you organize your thoughts before you dig into the writing process.Once you’ve developed your thesis statement, think about the main points you’ll need to present to support that statement. Now, organize your thoughts and information under each sub-heading.A research paper is different from a research proposal (also known as a prospectus), although the writing process is similar.
Here’s a tip: Try storing your notes in a spreadsheet.
Explain the purpose of your paper and how you plan to approach the topic. MORE INFO: Starting Your Research Paper: Writing an Introductory Paragraph Here’s where your outline will come in handy.
As you’re writing, remember that your outline isn’t meant to be a prison—it’s a guideline to keep you on track.
If you’re writing to explain information, then your paper is expository.
If you’re arguing a conclusion, then it’s argumentative or persuasive.