Academic Guidelines On How To Write A College Research Paper Outline

Outlines are great for research papers because they allow you to see anything in your research paper that needs filled in research wise and makes writing the paper more organized. There is a basic blueprint to an outline for a college research paper and most students use this one but there are tons of other ones online that they can choose from for their research paper outline.

College Research Paper Outline Basics

At the top of your page you want to put your title and the thesis of your research paper. It should look like this:



All of the paragraphs that you are going to include in your thesis need to have a Roman numeral beside them. This will help you break up the sections as well. The first one is you introduction and the last is your conclusion. The ones in the middle will have their own title for that section.

  1. Introduction
  2. A.


  3. 1st Body Paragraph
  4. A.


    You see the capital letters under the titles, those are major points that you are going to touch on in your research paper. They can be full sentences or just a few words; it is up to you on how you do it.

    If there is a little more to your major points, you can add numbers under them to elaborate on that phrase. This will show what kind of information you have on that section of your outline. Two or three numbers should be good enough, you don’t want to try to write you entire research paper in the outline.

  5. 2nd Body Paragraph
  6. A.

The last Roman numeral in your outline is the conclusion of your research paper. This gives the reader a summary of everything that you have just went over in your research paper. You want it to sound fresh and not like the research paper that you just wrote. Make it exciting like your introduction because you don’t want to lose the reader at the end.

If you are still a little confused on how to write a college research paper outline, there is a great site that you can check out that has three great examples on it. Austin Community College District website has three great examples of who to write this kind of outline for your college research paper.

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