The Importance of an Outline in an Argumentative Research Paper

Friday, February 12, 2010

A research paper outline is very important in all types of writing assignments. But it is most necessary when it comes to an argumentative research paper. To understand the importance of an outline, you need to know its purpose. It is one stage of the research paper writing process which gets ignored by most students. Since it is not something that can be added to the final draft, it gets forgotten most of the time. But once you understand how useful it can be, you will never imagine writing a research paper without it.

Even though an outline is not attached to the completed document, it cannot be considered a waste. A draft developed from an outline will be much more neat and organized. As you know, presenting an argumentative research paper involves arguing on a debatable topic. It will require you to argue with the objective of convincing the reader of your argument. And it is clearly not an easy task to make someone see things through your eyes.

Having a good knowledge of the topic alone is not enough to write an argumentative research paper. You must make your audience know that you know the topic and the subject well enough to place an argument on it. For that purpose, you must have an impressive introduction, perfectly organized body paragraphs and an effective conclusion. This is where the outline will come to your help. It will help you frame the structure of your research paper in a perfect way. It will help you arrange the points easily and effortlessly into the various parts of your research paper structure.

If the points are scattered all around, the readers will find it difficult to follow your argument. Poorly organized points can be quite distracting and unimpressive as the readers will have to struggle to find the link between them and put them together. But why should they go to that trouble? It is your paper and not theirs. They have no reason to bother themselves with your part of the job. And they most certainly won’t. So if your argumentative essay or research paper is to be effective, you must take the trouble to organize the points perfectly. There is no easier way to do it than with an outline.

An argument which is not properly arranged will not be able to make an impact. The advantages of developing the research paper from an outline is that it will give you an overview of the points gathered. Missing points can be found and irrelevant ones edited. These tasks are possible even after you prepare the rough draft but the trouble involved would be double.

The job of a research paper outline is to make the process easier. It will also help you to understand how to use the points most effectively. In an argumentative research paper, the outline will also serve the purpose of giving you an idea of how effective the gathered points and your argument are. Through the outline, you will easily be able to evaluate how strong your points are and how well they can support the thesis of your research paper.

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