Research Paper Outline

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Research Paper Outline

Many students find writing an outline challenging.  However, once you have mastered writing an outline, you can easily flesh it out to write a quality paper.  In this article, we provide a template for a standard five-paragraph academic research paper outline, followed by an example of what the outline would look like for a research paper with a specific topic.  Using these tools together, you can easily visualize how a research paper outline should appear.  

I. Introduction

          A. Subtopic 1

          B. Subtopic 2

          C. Subtopic 3

          D. Thesis

II. Subtopic 1

          A. Evidence

               1. Support

               2. Support

          B. Evidence

               1. Support

               2. Support

          C. Evidence

               1. Support

               2. Support

III. Subtopic 2

          A. Evidence

               1. Support

               2. Support

          B. Evidence

               1. Support

               2. Support

         C. Evidence

               1. Support

               2. Support

IV. Subtopic 3

          A. Evidence

               1. Support

               2. Support

          B. Evidence

              1. Support

              2. Support

         C. Evidence

             1. Support

             2. Support

V. Conclusion

          A. Restate thesis statement.

          B. Restate subtopic 1

          C. Restate subtopic 2

          D. Restate subtopic 3

          E. Closing statement

Example Research Paper Outline

We recently published an article on Ted Bundy, which is in article format, not research paper format.  Here, we are including an outline for what a research paper using much of that same information could look like.  

I. Theodore Robert “Ted” Bundy may be one of the most recognizable serial killers in the world.  

          A. Bundy had a seemingly normal appearance, which belied his criminal nature.

          B. Bundy made a series of notorious escape attempts, which culminated in a killing spree.

          C. After capture, Bundy continued to interact with the media, even confessing to additional crimes after he was convicted. 

          D. Taken together, these factors personalized Bundy in a manner that fascinated the public, and made him the first “celebrity” serial killer.

II. On the surface, Ted Bundy appeared to be a normal guy, though closer inspection revealed he was not. 

          A. Bundy had a seemingly normal childhood. 

               1. Bundy’s family appeared normal, but, upon closer inspection, was not.

               2. Bundy was described as a high achieving student.

          B. Bundy appeared as a normal young adult.

               1.   He volunteered with the Republican party.

               2.   He was a law student. 

               3.   He had a long-term romantic relationship with a live-in girlfriend.

               4.   He was a member of the Mormon church.

       C. Some people saw glimpses of the real Bundy.

               1.   Childhood friends said he was shy and did not get along with peers.

               2.   His live-in girlfriend reported him multiple times as a suspect in the “Ted” murders.

III. Bundy made multiple escape attempts.

          A. He escaped in Colorado and was recaptured in 8 days.

               1.   He was acting as his own lawyer and was unsupervised in a law library.

               2.   He jumped out of a second story window.

          B. He escaped in Colorado and got all the way to Florida.

               1.  This escape required a tremendous weight loss.

               2.  A manhunt could not locate him. 

IV. Bundy interacted with the media.

          A. He held numerous press conferences.

          B. Continued to give media interviews maintaining his innocence after conviction.

          C. Began to confess to crimes when his execution was approaching.

               1.  Claimed to be trying to give victims peace.

               2.  He may have confessed to crimes he did not commit in order to attempt to get a stay    

      of his execution. 

V. Conclusion: When combined, Bundy’s various characteristics helped create the image of the modern serial killer, which is what helped create the concept of the celebrity serial killer.

          A. Rather than looking like a monster, Bundy appeared to be the guy next door. 

          B. His escapes from jail gave him some folk-hero aspects, despite the gravity of his crimes.

          C. Bundy played the media, representing that he was innocent up until just before he was executed. 

          D. As a result, Bundy not only became one of the most recognizable serial killers in the world, but also helped shape the image of what people would imagine when they think of serial killers.

 

 

Cite This Outline:

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"Research Paper", 18 September 2019, Accessed.1 April. 2020,
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/research-paper-outline-2173966