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Crafting A Research Paper Outline: A Guide For High School Students

An outline that has been correctly researched, formatted, and created is a beautiful thing. It can save you hours of extra work. If you have to write one the first thing you want to do is to ask the instructor if it should be in topic or sentence form. There is a big difference and you need to know this. Also ask the teacher if you will be submitting this outline with the final product. Use our ideas for creating and crafting the perfect research paper outline.

Creating and Crafting

There will be many drafts of the piece. Do not be surprised or alarmed at this. A perfect one should evolve and improve as you work on it.

You may have to type it if you are submitting it, ask your teacher. If so, use a template for the correct formatting and use size 12 font. You should also double-space the piece.

Follow this style for it-

  • A.
  • B.
  • 1.
  • 2.
  • a.
  • b.
  • i.
  • ii.

You cannot have a 1 without a 2 or an A without a B-this is important. You can have as many letters as you want or as many numbers as you want.

You will have to include the references and quotes. Immediately after the reference or quote, you will cite it. So, it will look like this;

  • I. Pasta
  • II. Types
  • A. Spaghetti
  • 1. Most popular
  • 2. 20% more people like it (Smoth, 2)

The difference between a topic and sentence outline is that a topic one uses less than five words, such as:

  • I. Math fun
  • A sentence one allows full sentences, such as:
  • I. Mathematics is fun.

With the topic one, the only sentences that are allowed are the thesis statement and any quotes you might be using.

All grammar, structure, and mechanical writing rules must be followed. You will use no first and no second person and write in present tense. There will be no abbreviations and there will be no slang or curse words. It will be composed in a formal and academic style throughout the entire piece. Some teachers grade them, and other teachers do not. You should definitely know if your teacher would be giving it a grade or not. When you get your directions, if the teacher does not tell you, then ask about the weight of the grade for this very important piece.


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