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Writing Basics: a Research Paper Outline Template for High School

Writing any research paper is often time-consuming, exhausting, complex, and, for the majority of high school students, an unpleasant process. Students claim that a lot of difficulties appear when it comes to arranging the available information into a properly structured piece of work.

Once you have been assigned to do the research, decide upon the topic you would like to investigate. Ensure that it is fresh, fascinating, and relevant if you want to capture attention of your instructor and targeted audience. Most research papers have a similar outline. They consist of three main parts: (1) an introduction, (2) body, and (3) conclusion. Each of them highlights the appropriate information.

Introduction

  • Introduce the paper topic with the attention-grabbers like anecdotes, examples, statistics, or historical background.
  • Present the background information to better contextualize the content of the paper.
  • Provide the reasons and purpose of the research.
  • Explain key terminology to give your paper better coherence.
  • Write a thesis statement and outline in a few words the main points that support it.

Main body

  • Start each paragraph with the main point.
  • Support the main points with relevant information, strong examples, details, and explanations.
  • Refute counterarguments, if there are any.
  • Link the paragraphs logically.
  • Write in a formal and academic style.
  • Use clean and gender friendly language; colloquial, dialect, or slang words are forbidden

Conclusion

  • State your thesis from the introductory part once again, but in other words.
  • Give a brief summary of the main points that support thesis statement.
  • Finish the paragraph with a strong sentence.

The first thing every high school student has to do is to define and write the thesis and main points. Then he or she may try to work out the body of the research paper. Proper introductions and conclusions seem easier to write when the body is completed.

The outline template proposed below will help high school students to organize quickly and effectively their messy thoughts into high quality research papers.

  1. Introduction
  2. It should have the following elements:

    • Attention grabber
    • Background information
    • Reason and purpose
    • Key terminology
    • Thesis statement
    • Main points
  3. Body
  4. A paper may have a few main ideas or many; it depends on whether the scope of the research is broad or narrow. Consider the following structure of the body.

    • Paragraph 1: first main point
    • a) First supporting idea

      b) Second supporting idea

      c) Etc.

    • Paragraph 2: second main point
    • a) First supporting idea

      b) Second supporting idea

      c) Etc.

    • Paragraph 3: third main point
    • a) First supporting idea

      b) Second supporting idea

      c) Etc.

  5. Conclusion
    • Rewording of the thesis
    • Brief summary of the main points
    • Strong final statement

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