How to Write an MLA Research Paper Outline?

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Writing academic papers is a big part of student life and as a student, you must know the importance of a quality outline for a research paper. Once you have chosen the topic of your research paper, the next thing you need to do is establish the scope of your paper that will provide the basis for your paper outline. It is important to understand the mode of writing a research paper outline as this part of the paper helps the writer in planning the whole paper so that he/she does not get stuck in the middle of the process of writing a research paper.

A formal outline helps you in keeping track of a large amount of information which is to be included in the paper. It can be said that a research paper outline provides an essay writer with a way of organizing your information in logical or hierarchical order. It gives the readers an early idea of the final assertion or product of your paper.

Being successful in developing a quality outline can help you write your research paper more efficiently as it helps in organizing your thoughts, understanding the flow of information and how the main ideas are connected to each other and most importantly it ensures that you do not forget any important information or ideas that need to be there on the paper.

Although if you are required to use MLA format for your research paper then you should know that this writing standard does not demand an outline in research papers but omitting it on purpose is surely not

A sensible choice as it will help you in covering all the formal aspects of your research study. So if you are using MLA format for your paper then you must follow the guidelines for formatting its outline. The basic outline of your paper will consist of three parts; introduction, body, and conclusion. Here are some of the guidelines for writing the main sections of your outline and what each of the section should cover:


Start your outline with a thesis statement or the topic of your research or you can also write the purpose of your research. A thesis statement is usually a single sentence but it can consist of two or three sentences. The main purpose that this statement serves is that it reflects the main idea of your research paper or sets a tone on what your research is about. You may also write about the significance of your research topic or also state the type of approach you have taken in your paper.


After the thesis statement, you need to write the major points that support your thesis and also the supporting evidence like arguments or ideas for each major point. Your headings and subheadings should be effective. Use complete sentences when you are supporting your thesis and start with an argument then write a stronger one and end with the strongest argument.

You have to label the major points in Roman numerals like I, II, III, etc. and the supporting ideas of each point should be labeled in capital letters A, B, C, etc. If you think that you need sub-divisions then you can subdivide each of your supporting arguments and continue to do so until you think the outline is totally developed.


In the concluding paragraph, you summarize and restate all your major points and arguments. You give an interpretation of your arguments and information so you can arrive at a final conclusion. Then you can proceed to write a concluding statement that clarifies why you have ended with the said conclusion.

If you still feel the need for help or want an elaborate outline for your paper you can always use an essay writing service online that provides such kind of academic services. Their experts are capable of developing a high-quality research paper outline for you.

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