One of the first steps to any good research paper is having an outline to guide how you write the paper. Although, this is not always the easiest step. Sometimes it can be just as hard as writing the actual paper. Below is some helpful tip to get you started and on your way to forming an awesome outline for an awesome paper!
You cannot start an outline for a paper if you do not even know what you are going to be writing about. Your very first step is to come up with a clear and concise thesis. You need to know where this paper will lead and what needs to be addressed.
There is no rule that says you HAVE to go in order when you are outlining what you are going to be writing about. If you are thinking about a paragraph and somehow come up with something for the conclusion, then go ahead and outline the conclusion first. You are not limited to working in order. Especially if you come up with something awesome for a later part of the paper.
It would not hurt to base some of your outlines off of the information you have found. While performing research, you can form ideas and questions that you want to discuss in the paper. These could be the thing that you did not previously think of before looking over your study.
The outline is the most informal part of the paper. This is the time to be a little messy. This means that you can use bullets and phrases instead of full sentences. It will make your life much easier, and it will make things go much faster as well. The key to using phrases and incomplete sentences is that they make sense to you later. DO NOT write in a way that confuses you later. Make sure it will help and not hinder the writing process.
This is one of the most important points to writing this type of paper. There will be things that you need to address in the paper. The best way to make sure that you include all of the necessary information is to come up with your own questions. Ask yourself a bunch of questions regarding the topic and place them in the outline. Put a few questions at the beginning of each title, chapter, or heading and make sure you answer them within the piece.