Ten steps for writing a research paper Part 3

Step 7: Outline your paper

The final outline is similar to the working outline, but is more complex, with each topic being further divided into several subtopics.


Women’s role in Britain before WW2

  • Role in society
  • Beliefs about women’s place
  • Reasoning
  • Jobs women were allowed to do
  • Types of jobs
  • Statistics

Creation of Women’s Land Army

  • Why was it created? Background
  • Changing lives of the participants
  • Move from industrial to rural
  • Learned new skills

After World War 2

  • New opportunities
  • Changed overall make up of work force
  • Women without husbands
  • Many women lost their husbands during the war

Your final outline also should reflect the organizational format you have chosen for your paper. This will depend on the topic of your paper and your thesis statement.

Step 8: Write the Rough Draft

After you have completed your final outline, you can begin to write your rough draft. It is important to remember that this rough draft will be revised. Therefore, at this time, you do not need to worry too much about spelling or punctuation. Instead, you should concentrate on the content of the paper, following your outline and expanding the ideas in it with information from your notes.

Your paper should consist of three parts: the introduction, the body of the paper and the conclusion.

The introduction should state the thesis, summarize the main ideas of the paper and capture the reader’s interest.

The body of the paper should develop each section of the outline into separate paragraphs.

The conclusion should summarize your findings and restate the thesis.

Step 9: Edit Your Paper

When you have finished the rough draft, read through it again and revise it.

Pay particular attention to the content and organization of the paper:

Does each paragraph have a topic sentence that relates to the thesis? Is each idea supported by evidence?

Are there clear transitions from one section to another, from your words to quotations? Are there clear transitions to indicate to the reader when one idea is ending and another one is beginning?

Revision often requires many readings, each with its own purpose.

Step 10: Write the Final Draft

The final draft of your paper should be typed and must include citations and a bibliography; some paper might require a title page, depending on the formatting style.

The bibliography is simply a list of your sources in alphabetical order; use easybib.com MLA formatting to help. The OWL Purdue website is also helpful.

Before handing in your paper, be sure to proofread it for any mechanical errors.