1102 Research Project Outline Format



To complete an outline, you first need to determine your paper's thesis. Then, decide what information your paper will include to support that thesis. Next, divide the information into three or four major categories. Finally, you will put sub-categories under each major heading.


For example, if I were going to do a paper on the developing brain of an young child, my outline might look something like this:


I - Introduction

Thesis: A young child's brain development is significantly influenced by both biological and social factors, some occurring even before the child's birth.


II - Prenatal Brain Development

          A - Effects of mother's diet during pregnancy

                    1 - Folic acids

                    2 - Caffeine

          B - Effects of mother's medical care during pregnancy

          C - Effects of mother's controlled substance use during pregnancy


III - Birth to One Year of Age Brain Development

          A - Effects of infant's diet

                    1 - Vitamin A

                    2 - B-complex vitamins

                    3 - Caffeine

          B - Effects of external stimulus

                    1 - Play with other infants

                    2 - Play with older children

                    3 - Play with adults


III - One Year to Three Years of Age Brain Development

          A - Effects of pre-school activities

          B - Effects of exposure to educational television

          C - Effects of exposure to reading by adults


IV - Conclusion


One note: If you list an "A" or "1" subcategory, you must have at least a "B" or "2." (In other words, you cannot have only one sub-category listed.) Also, not all sub-categories will require additional breakdown. (Not all A,B,Cs will require 1,2,3s).