How To Draft A Working Outline For Your Research Paper

 How To Draft A Working Outline For Your Research Paper

Before writing a research paper, it is necessary to understand its different components. Without having proper information about its components, it becomes very difficult to manage everything on time. In simple words, you can say that there are different milestones for writing a research paper. The very first milestone is to draft a working outline. It works as a foundation for your research paper. When you spend time on the foundation, it does not let you get confused for the rest of the time. Clear one thing in your mind, a working outline is a flexible section of a research paper. Whenever you get a better idea, you can go for an amendment in your working outline. Also, if you find that you are not going in the right direction, at the same moment, you can change your working plan. Hence, in the light of working outlines’ importance, this article aims to discuss how to draft a working outline.

What is Working Outline for Research Paper?

The working outline is a structure that helps to visualize the whole research work. You can make changes as per the demand of work. Simply you can say that it is a way to organize all of the ideas in one row. It can be in the form of small or long sentences. You have to see which one is easy to understand and better for the development of ideas.

On the other hand, the selection of sentences length can be as per the requirement of your institute. Every institute has some sets of standards that are necessary to follow. In such cases, you should ask your professors to guide you on the required structure, so that you can end up with effective work. Draft a working outline so that you can structure all of the important information for the research paper. In the same way, you can organize the main ideas in a working outline that you are supposed to add to a research paper.

In a research paper, the first step is to work on the topic. The topic is the thing that makes the whole of your research work easy or difficult. So, you have to be very careful in this aspect. The very next step is to collect relevant information. All of the information is necessary to collect so that working outlines can be structured. Without information, outlines cannot be organized. So, you can understand how every step is linked with the other one. It does not matter if you are writing a research paper at the bachelor’s, master’s, or Ph.D. level. To draft a working outline is necessary at all levels. First of all, it is important to develop a working outline so that you can show it to your advisor. Your advisor checks if it is making a logical structure or not. Also, you have to add working outlines just after the title page of a research paper. You can get PhD dissertation help if you face any difficulties.

What Should Be Included In A Working Outline?

To draft a working outline, you have to focus on the main parts as well as sub-parts of a research paper. Let’s discuss the main and sub-parts one by one. For the main parts, you need to divide the research paper’s information into three parts. The first part is the introduction, while the second part is of explaining the body. Along with it, the third and last part of a working outline is the conclusion. Under each main part, there are many sub-parts.

In the case of sub-parts, you have to start with a thesis statement. A thesis statement is the sub-part of the introduction. In explaining the body, you need to mention all of the major and minor ideas. You can have more than one idea, so you have to discuss each idea in detail. In the working outline, you just have to mention the heading of the idea and its supporting detail. Everything else will be in the discussion section. If you have mentioned two ideas in the draft of a working outline and, in the discussion section, you have mentioned three ideas, it will cause confusion for the reader. Also, it shows the unprofessionalism of the writer.

In the same way, if you mention three ideas in the draft of a working outline and discuss only two of them, it will be a big mistake in the end for a writer. So, you have to be very careful in all these aspects related to the draft of a working outline. Here comes the last part of the working outline, which is a conclusion. The conclusion would not have any sub-part. Everything related to the conclusion will be in the discussion section rather than outlines. The way you draft a working outline, you have to cover each milestone. You can take every outline as a milestone and set a specified range of time for it.

How Should A Research Paper Outline Look Like?

The format or look of the draft of a working outline should be as mentioned below:

  1. Introduction
    1. Background Information
    1. Definition
    1. Thesis Statement
  2. Body

2.1 Major Idea

2.1.1 Evidence A

2.1.2 Evidence B

2.1.3 Proposed solution to the problem

2.2 Major Idea

2.2.1 Evidence A

2.2.2 Evidence B

2.2.3 Proposed solution to the problem

2.3 Major Idea

2.3.1 Evidence A

2.3.2 Evidence B

2.3.3 Proposed solution to the problem

2.4 Major Idea

2.4.1 Evidence A

2.4.2 Evidence B

2.4.3 Proposed solution to the problem


The draft of a working outline can vary as per the instructions of your advisor. It includes numbering style, sectioning, and headings too. There are three types of working outlines. It includes alphanumeric, full sentences, and decimal outlines. In a research paper, writers use the decimal outline style frequently. The format of the decimal outline is mentioned above. The sample draft of a working outline can assist you in structuring your work.

Final Thoughts

We have discussed the draft of the working outline, its parts, and its format. All of the information discussed will help you create an effective working outline.

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