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Argumentative Research Paper Outline


Every student gets involved in research while studying at a college or university. However, not all of them like this process because it is rather complicated and requires skills in research, attention to detail, and, of course, an ability to plan the steps of the written assignment. Thus, outlining ideas before and during the writing process is an essential skill for all students who require to write an argumentative research paper.

The importance of a good outline

An outline is an essential tool that can help students develop their research into good scientific works. For this purpose, they must specify the most critical aspects and ideas in it. Various templates exist to help students write an outline, which will eventually lead to writing a strong argumentative research paper.

The following plan will help a student develop a good idea of what they should write in an outline:

  1. Annotation (what has been done, what new facts have been identified);
  2. Contents (titles of chapters and paragraphs with an indication of pages);
  3. Introduction (the problem statement, relevance, practical significance of the research; the object and subject of the research are determined; the purpose and objectives of the research; the methods of work are briefly listed);
  4. Chapters of the main part, including the research part (analysis of scientific literature; selection of certain methods and specific research methods; research procedure and its stages)
  5. Research results discussion (interpretation of the results obtained);
  6. Conclusion (a brief overview of the research performed);
  7. References
  8. Applications (tables, graphs, reference books, etc.)                  

Making up your own outline

Since all papers are different because of various factors like professor’s requirements, subject, type of research, and so on, students may come up with their own vision of an outline. However, some basic rules remain true for the majority of papers. An excellent argumentative research paper must discuss both pros and cons, validity, and limitations of the study. At the very beginning of the writing process, a student should develop their own vision of the problem. They should create a hypothesis and thesis statement prior to starting working on the research, which should become the statements mentioned in the introduction part of the outline. After that, they should provide several arguments to prove and disapprove the student’s ideas on the matter. All these statements should be written down in the form of a plan, which can be simple (like 1, 2, 3, and so on) or have additional points (like 1. 1a, 1b, and so on). The more details an outline has, the better the following research paper will be.

The discussion, limitation, and conclusive parts of a paper should also be outlined. Even though in many cases, it is difficult to predict the final results of the research, the student and their supervisor can still think of possible outcomes and write them down in the outline, which can be changed during the studying process. Thus, an outline at the beginning of the research and the one which will be used for writing the argumentative research paper can vary slightly.


Writing an argumentative essay is a complex issue for many students. Designing good outlines requires students to communicate tightly with their professors and activate all knowledge and skills acquired during the studying process. Even though the requirements of professors may vary, the basic rules discussed in this article can help everyone develop an excellent argumentative research paper outline, which will eventually turn into a strong writing piece.

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