This web page will discuss how to organize aresearch paper and how to prepare documentation for MLA citations. It will illustrate the outlining process with ananalogy comparing a research paper to a tree.
Taking a deep breath, I decided to spend three additional days teaching and discussing some "dos and don'ts" of how to organize a research paper. We went over again how to do an outline or cluster—this time moving immediately from the lesson into developing outlines for their own reports. Seven students volunteered to read the first two paragraphs of their reports, demystifying the issue of "how do we start." Students shared note-taking techniques and helped each other think up interview questions. The relief in the class was evident.
How to Organize a Research Paper
Once the reading and researching have taken place and it is time to write the paper, the key in how to organize a research paper lies in creating a research paper outline. It is very difficult to write a research paper from beginning to end without an outline. With an outline, a student can do advance thinking on each detail to include in each section, and will know how to organize a research paper before the actual writing begins. The outlining process also helps a student organize his or her thoughts, and this makes the actual drafting and revising of the research paper go much more smoothly.