How to write a research outline

For more detail, see:

Research outline format:
– 1-2 pages single spaced, typed, Arial or Times New Roman
– .doc or .docx file format

Research Paper Outline Examples

Once you’ve already 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 your topic in full details. This is why you should establish before hand the scope and limitations of your paper and this will be the foundation of your research paper outline. Basically, your outline will constitute three main parts: namely, the Introduction, the Body and the Conclusion.


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 the 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 state briefly all the major points of your topic your readers will be reading about.


The body of your paper is where you will be presenting all your arguments to support your thesis statement. Please be reminded of the “Rule of 3” where 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. You are encouraged to write in full sentences. But you don’t have to, if point form is easier for you. Either is fine.


The Conclusion is where you form a summary of all your arguments and state your final stand. Explain why you’ve ended up with the said conclusion.

Sample #1 – Topic: Asbestos Poisoning

Introduction: Definition of Asbestos Poisoning
Significance of the Study
Definition of Terms

Definition: Asbestos poisoning happens when tiny fibres of asbestos, a mineral, get lodged in the lungs. They interact with the body’s surrounding cells, causing them to mutate and become cancerous.

Significance: This topic is important because thousands of asbestos miners were not told about the risks of cancer when they dug asbestos out of the ground. Many of them have cancer today. To help them pay for treatment, they need to show that they got sick because of their working conditions. Knowing asbestos is a carcinogen will help that campaign. (Source – where did you get this information?)

Terms: asbestos – a group of minerals that occur naturally in the environment as bundles of fibers asbestos poisoning
– Asbestosis is a type of pulmonary fibrosis caused by asbestos exposure typified by excess connective tissue in the lungs.

Symptoms of Asbestos Poisoning
Effects of Asbestos Poisoning


Some symptoms include coughing, bloody phlegm, weakness, dizziness, and unexplained fatigue.

Some effects include prolonged illness and an inability to breathe without the help of a machine. If left untreated, cancer of the lungs can result.

Treatments include costly and painful chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. However, once cancer from asbestos is in a late stage, it is nearly impossible to treat. A major problem is that sufferers can be exposed to asbestos fibres when they are young, and only get cancer decades later. (Source – where did you get this information?)

How to Deal with Asbestos Hazards

Recommendations: mining companies that profited from asbestos production owe their workers. They should pay for the workers’ cancer treatments and for preventative testing annually. Asbestos production is now banned in the developed world, but old buildings still have asbestos. New safety procedures have to be put in place when renovating those buildings, like wearing masks and having good ventilation. (Source)

Sample #2 – Topic: Shakespeare

Introduction: Early Life Family Father Mother Marriage Life of Anne Hathaway

Body: Works Plays Tragedies Hamlet Romeo and Juliet Comedies The Tempest Much Ado About Nothing Histories King John Richard III Henry VIII Sonnets Other Poems His Later Years Last Two Plays Retired to Stratford Death Burial

Conclusion: Analytical Summary
Thesis Reworded
Concluding Statement


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