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Outline of a Research Paper

Tips on Creating an Outline


A well-written outline is a valuable tool in presenting a well-written research paper. The outline
is the first step in creating the structure for what will be said in the paper as well as how it will
be said.

Use parallelism - Parallelism refers to the structure between headings and sub-headings.
The structure needs to remain consistent throughout all the headings and sub-headings.
For example, this means if you start each heading with a verb, then all your headings and
subheadings should start with a verb.
Example: "Choose Desired Colleges" and "Prepare Application" "Choose" and
"Prepare" are both verbs. However, it is preferable in an outline to use the
present tense of the verb.
Example: "Visit and evaluate college campuses" and "Visit and evaluate college
websites"
Example: "1. Note important statistics" and "2. Look for interesting classes"
Use coordination - Coordination is important between headings. In other words, all the
headings should have the same amount of significance or importance. The rule applies to
sub-headings as well, but their information will be less significant than the headings.
Example:
I. Choose Desired Colleges
A. Visit and evaluate college campuses
B. Visit and evaluate college websites
1. look for interesting classes
2. note important statistics
(College campuses and college websites are equally important.)
Use subordination - Subordination is the relationship between the headings and the sub-
headings. Information in headings is general in nature, and the information contained in
the sub-headings should be more specific, and so on to the other levels.
Example:
A. Describe an influential person in your life
1. Favorite high school teacher
2. Grandparent
(The category of influential people in your life is general, and a favorite teacher
and grandparent are specific.)
Use division - Division should be accomplished in this manner. Each heading needs to have
at least two parts. It can have more, but if you have too many, then you may need to put in
another heading or sub-heading or combine some of the divisions.
Example:
A. Compile resume
1. List relevant coursework
2. List work experience
3. List volunteer experience
(The heading "Compile resume" is divided into 3 parts.)
An outline is usually required when writing a paper for a college course. Be sure and ask your
professor for the required format for your particular course.





Outline of a Research Paper
Outline: The following outline describes the components of a paper. Complete the
following components of this outline based on your topic.

I. Title: Role of Stem Cells in Medicine

II. Introduction: Your introduction should begin with an attention-getter. Then it should be
followed by 3 5 sentences stating specific points you will make in the paper(3
rd
POV). Then you
should have one sentence that is the thesis of your paper. Complete the following parts of the
Introduction paragraph.

ATTENTION-GETTER (first 1 -2 sentences of paper): Imagine a world where there is no illness or
disease; a world where an amputation of the leg could easily be perfectly restored; a world where
people who died before their time because of a bodily ailment was alive; a utopia.
SPECIFIC POINTS (3-5 sentences): Stem cells exist throughout the body. Stem cells are cells
without a specific function in the body but can produce many specialized cells, such as heart
or muscle cells. Because of their exceptional regeneration abilities, stem cells have been
researched by scientists in hopes of curing ailments and injuries that have plagued humans.
But all things come with a price; many people have a fierce opinion on the research of stem
cells and want its discontinuation. Despite the negativity stem cells receive, stem cells may be
the answer to most diseases and injuries.
THESIS (SO WHAT?) one sentence summarizing what your paper is about in 3
rd
POV: Stem
cells are unlike any other cell in the body, and they have a very promising future.

III. Body Paragraphs: During the body of the paper you should make the specific points that
relate to the purpose statement. You may choose to make 1 3 paragraphs for each point. Be
sure that each paragraph has a topic sentence, meaning the first sentence of each paragraph
should describe what the paragraph is about. Each sentence in the paragraph should then relate
to the topic sentence. For this outline, write the topic sentence for each of at least five different
points that you plan to make/describe in the paper; add additional subheadings as necessary (at
least two).
I. Description of Stem Cells:
1. Definition of Stem Cells
a. Where stem cells are found
b. Stem Cell Abilities
2. Types of Stem Cells:
a. Embryonic Stem Cells
b. Adult Stem Cells
c. Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
II. Stem Cell Importance:
1. Importance in embryonic stages
a. Activeness in the body
b. Functions in early stages
2. Importance in adult stages
a. Inactiveness and Activeness in the body
b. Functions in adult stages
III. The controversy surrounding Stem Cells:
1. The problem
a. The killing of possible life (embryos)
b. The possibility of cloning humans
2. Viewpoints
c. Ethical/moral and Worldviews
d. Scientific and Political
IV. Stem Cells in Medicine:
1. Therapies available
a. Bone Marrow
b. Umbilical Cord Blood
c. Peripheral Blood
2. Stem Cell therapies being tested for
d. Damaged tissue
e. Solid Organ Cancers
V. The Future of Stem Cells:
1. Diseases that can be cured/restored
a. Alzheimers Disease
b. Damaged tissue
2. Unlocking full potential of Stem Cells
c. Manipulate stem cells to produce
d. Reprogramming a stem cell to heal other parts of body



VI. Conclusion: The conclusion paragraph should briefly (3-5 sentences) summarize the
paper, and then elaborate on answering the question so what?. What is significant
about everything you have written about? Where do you see this going in the future?
What role does your topic have in the big picture of medicine, genetics, or life? Be
sure that your conclusion has a topic sentence and several supporting sentences. Try
coming up with a couple of answers to the so what question.
Ultimately, stem cells are unspecialized cells located in embryos and somatic tissue
that through division can create specialized cells. Stem cells initially develop the
body, repair it, and aid its functioning. Stem cells, especially embryonic stem cells,
have received much good and bad spotlight because of its remarkable ability to
produce other specialized cells but at the cost of ending a possible human life.
Stem cells have provided a big leap in medicine and continue to do so with
research. Is it possible that with stem cell research, all human ailments would
become a thing of the past?