An outline is a “blueprint” or “plan” for your paper

There are several ways to create outlines for research papers as there are so many variations from paper to paper. It is important to make your outline as detailed as possible so that you have an easy ‘map’ to follow when writing your actual paper. In order to make the outline readable, you will use numeration and indentation to organize your thoughts and ideas.

An outline breaks down the parts of your thesis in a clear, hierarchical manner

After you’ve submitted a research proposal and had it approved, you’ll need to create an outline for the paper, most likely following the outline. When you create an outline for a research paper, you’re creating a general plan that you intend to follow in the presentation of the speech or paper. An outline will show what order the topics will be discussed, the importance of each topic and how it is relevant to the paper’s central idea, and what, if any, relationships the paper’s different topics have to each other.

It helps you to organize your thoughts and arguments

Essay Outline Template Examples of Format and Structure

Basic Outlining Format - Lloyd Sealy Library

MLA handbook for writers of research papers.