Before starting to write your research project, it important to put a structure to the data collected and ideas already put in place while writing an academic research proposal. A research paper outline simplifies the process of research paper writing by first planning out a configuration for the end document. It becomes easier to write a research paper once a sequence has been established. In addition, this ensures that every piece of data that has been collected or every scheme thought over finally gets published in the research paper and nothing gets overlooked. In simple words, this is basically breaking down the data into sections and finalizing on the research paper writing format.

Making a research paper outline is a common planning activity, whatever the research topic is, and must be done to put the work into a logical algorithm.

A basic structure common to most research papers is as follows:
1. Title. This is the shortest part of the research paper but it might be the most complicated one since the title needs to be appealing and at the same time capture the purpose of research. A research paper title page should be carefully written since this is the first impression of the research.
2. Summary. A summary can be written at the very beginning to sample your long report. This is important to jot down the relevant findings of your research.
3. Table of Contents. This is just a list of subtopics or headings with their page numbers.
4. Background of research. This section should basically include history of research, its background, if there was any other previous research conducted on a similar topic, why this topic of research was selected by you.
5. Method used. Here a person should be very objective in writing since this is all about equipments and techniques – the actual methodology used to perform the research. One has to be accurate in reporting this section.
6. Result. A result of research is not necessarily the conclusion. This can be the basis of discussions and arguments to be further used to draw conclusions on similar lines.
7. Arguments/discussions. A more subjective section which analyses the results obtained during the research.
8. Conclusion. This section summarizes the findings of your research. It should be concurrent to the summary.
9. Other sections like references and acknowledgements (if any)
10. Appendices

There are various types of research paper outlines. Before designing your own research paper outline, it is advisable to look into some custom research papers to gain more insights. For example, some outlines are short and only consist of essential bullet points while the other ones are rather detailed and include exhaustive information about a research paper.
A methodical and structured research report is important to create an impression on the reader and hence making a research paper outline becomes imperative before you start writing your research paper.