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
Basic Outlining Format - Lloyd Sealy Library
MLA handbook for writers of research papers.