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How to Write a Research Paper: Developing an Outline for Your paper

General steps to create a research paper.

Outline Basics

An outline may be formal or informal, as needed.  The purpose of the outline is to organize your approach to the paper, as well as to be sure that you don't leave any part of your argument or developing your thesis as you write.

The Online Writing Lab of Purdue University has an excellent description of the Four Main Components for Effective Outlines and a sample outline as well.