Outlines and Four Paragraph Blocks

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. Sample outlines for research papers are posted on the Fine Print.

INTRODUCTION

The Introduction should contain your Interest Grabber and the thesis statement of your research as well as the purpose of your study.  Generally, your Introduction should state briefly all the major points of your topic your readers will be reading about.

BODY

The body of your paper is where you will be presenting all your arguments to support your thesis statement. This is where you break up your thesis points and show all the details you have researched. Type out all your qutoes and 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.

CONCLUSION

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

RESEARCH PAPER OUTLINE EXAMPLES

As mentioned earlier, here are some sample outlines for research papers:

Sample #1

Thesis Topic: A Study on Factors Affecting the Infant Feeding Practices of Mothers in Las Pinas City

  1. Introduction
    1. Statement of the Problem
    2. Definition of Terms
    3. Theoretical Framework
    4. Methodology
      1. Type of Research
      2. Respondents
      3. Questionnaire
    5. Hypothesis
    6. Review of Related Literature
    7. Scope and Limitations
    8. Significance of the Study
  2. Body
    1. Background of the Study
      1. Benefits of Breastfeeding
      2. WHO Recommendations
      3. The International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes
      4. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative
      5. The Innocenti Declaration on the Protection, Promotion and Support of Breastfeeding
      6. National Situationer
      7. The Milk Code
      8. BFHI in the Philippines
      9. Milk Code Violations
      10. Formula Feeding
      11. Factors Influencing the Decision Regarding Infant Feeding Method
      12. Area Situationer
    2. Presentation and Analysis of Data
      1. Socio-economic Demographic Profile of Mothers
      2. Information Regarding Current (Youngest) Infant
      3. Current Infant Feeding Practices of Mothers
        1. Exclusive Breastfeeding
        2. Mixed Feeding
        3. Formula Feeding
      4. Previous Infant Feeding Practices
      5. Maternal Knowledge
      6. Correlation Tests
  3. Conclusion
    1. Concluding Statement
      1. Analytical Summary
      2. Thesis Reworded
    2. Recommendations

Sample #2

Topic: Asbestos Poisoning

  1. Introduction
    1. Definition of Asbestos Poisoning
    2. Significance of the Study
    3. Definition of Terms
  2. Body
    1. Symptoms of Asbestos Poisoning
    2. Effects of Asbestos Poisoning
    3. Treatments
  3. Conclusion
    1. Conclusion
    2. Recommendations
      1. How to Deal with Asbestos Hazards

Sample #3

Topic: Shakespeare

Adapted from A Research Guide.

  • Introduction
  1. Body
    1. Early Life
      1. Family
        1. Father
        2. Mother
      2. Marriage
        1. Life of Anne Hathaway
        2. Reference in Shakespeare’s Poems
    2. Works
      1. Plays
        1. Tragedies
          1. Hamlet
          2. Romeo and Juliet
        2. Comedies
          1. The Tempest
          2. Much Ado About Nothing
        3. Histories
          1. King John
          2. Richard III
          3. Henry VIII
      2. Sonnets
      3. Other Poems
    3. His Later Years
      1. Last Two Plays
      2. Retired to Stratford
        1. Death
        2. Burial
  2. Conclusion
    1. Analytical Summary
    2. Thesis Reworded
    3. Concluding Statement