What are Research Paper Outlines? Are they essential?

What is a research paper outline? This would be considered quite a superfluous question if you are keen on presenting a well researched paper. An outline is to a research paper what a blueprint is to a house. You cannot think of one without the other. Therefore, to wonder whether an outline is necessary or not would be a sheer waste of time. Instead of contemplating on the necessity of an outline, it would be better to understand the elements of an outline and make sure you are able to go about it in a proper manner. We could certainly suggest a few simple steps that you could bear in mind, when you have to do an outline for a research paper, term paper or essay.

In order to answer the question: what are research paper outlines, it would be good to use an example. It makes explanation and application a lot easier. Take for instance the following topic: Decision Support Systems (DSS) and their role in Brand Strategising. If you were to work on this topic, you would have to think of the following points to include in your paper outline –

1.    Introduction – where you briefly explain the aims and objectives of your paper, which is DSS and its role in formulating brand strategies. Brief description of key terms like DSS, brand management, brand equity, product life cycle, decision making models and so on.

2.    The next part of your outline would have to focus on the body of your research paper. Since you are trying to prove the dependence of DSS in brand management, the main part of your paper should showcase this. In order to make it informative, you need to use case studies that highlight the points you try to make.

3.    The outline should also provide for the inclusion of other relevant systems that are usually used in tandem with DSS in an organization. Expert systems could be explained and you could try to give reasons that support the benefits of using one over the other. Make sure that your outline contains provisions for all these points. This is the only way to ensure you don’t leave out anything relevant.

4.    The next part of your research paper outline should focus on the recommendations or suggestions that you have to offer, to prove your point. Here again, relevant citations are necessary.

5.    To know what is a research paper outline and how it can be effectively used, you need to read through it and probably add or delete points, if need be. You cannot hope to do a research paper outline in just one sitting; there is a lot to think of and incorporate.

The next time one of your friends says, what are research paper outlines, you can give them a perfect, logical answer. Give them an answer that is based on the info that we give you here and on the other relevant pages of our site.