What You Need To Know About The Format Of A Research Paper Outline

Writing research paper in appropriate format ensures your readers of the validity of everything included. The most important thing about the format of a term paper outline is to remember that it starts from general information, elaboration of the problem and conclusion at the end. This is known as hourglass principle. So, you should follow the format of a research paper outline described below:


Abstract of paper includes short introduction in the topic, explanation of the researched question and the aims that you want to achieve with the research, short sentence that explains the methodology used, sentence on the results and introduction of the discussion that follows further in the paper.

There is no word limit for the abstract, but it shouldn’t be too long.


Some people write the introduction second, after the abstract, others leave it for the very end as it is a short summary of the whole paper. Both methods are applicable as long as there’s a good research paper outline format.

An introduction consists of:

  1. General presentation of the problem you are addressing and why it hasn’t been addressed before. Or, if it was addressed and you had ideas from other researches, but haven’t been developed further so far.
  2. Aims why you are doing the project. Some people decide to put their thesis or hypothesis statement in this part.
  3. Stating your opinion and giving the reader an idea of your paper and a short sentence about the discussion.

Used methods

This should be the easiest part since it includes explanation of the methodology being used during the research. You should assume that readers are familiar with that method and do not go too much in details.


In this part, you decide whether you include the results in a graph, numbers, charts, etc. It all depends on the type of research that is conducted. Short comments after every graph, chart, or table, related to the results are obligatory. Keep your opinions for the discussion section.


This is the right place to elaborate your findings and tell your opinion. Keep in mind that every point should be related to the thesis statement.

Conclusion and Reference list

The conclusion might be one or two paragraphs but it should emphasize the importance of the results and relate to the previous research in that field.

The reference list is always at the end of the paper and it should follow MLA, APA or Chicago format, or any other format that is required.

It is not difficult to follow this term paper outline format to keep you research paper clear and concise.