How to Write an Essay: Research Paper outline Detailed Step by Step Guide

How to Write an Essay: Research Paper outline Detailed Step by Step Guide


As a college student, you will write a research paper at some point. The most crucial part will be to determine your topic. Next, you will have to figure out what you will include in the discussion. Choosing a broader topic means it will be more difficult to discuss it in full details. Hence, it is always recommended that you establish the limitations and scope of your essay, which will give you the foundation of its outline.

Essentially, an outline helps to organize your opinions and the entire work before handling the paper. Think of it as the backbone of the actual essay that will guide your writing. Its function is to show your imagination and understanding of the subject matter. Through it, you will avoid simple mistakes and shape your subject into an excellent research paper. So, how do you write an essay, research paper outline? Here is a step by step guide.

A simple essay outline for nursing school students includes the following components:

  1. Abstract
  2. Introduction
  • Purpose of your study
  • Audience Definition
  • Thesis Statement
  1. Body
  • Overview
  • Methodology
  • Analysis
  • Results
  • Discussion
  1. Conclusion

Understand that when it comes to an essay or research paper format or outline, you can use as many strategies as possible. In most cases, your selection will depend on your topic or instructions from your supervising lecturer. Some common types of a nursing school essay will outline numbers and (or) letters.

Your outline should cover your topic’s main ideas, its subtopics, subdivisions, and details. But if you choose a broader topic, you will have to include more points, which also means having a more elaborate outline.

  1. Abstract

An abstract offers a brief sum-up of your essay. Its purpose is to reveal the necessary information on your research. You should only include at most seven sentences in your abstract. Make it offer an insight into your study or investigation.

  1. Introduction

The introduction is the most crucial part of an essay. It gives the reader an overview of your paper. Consider it a hook of your research paper to attract the interest of your readers. Make it informative, engaging, and intriguing. Ensure to mention the essential components such as the thesis statement, general information, and an explanation of relatable terms.

  1. Body

The body is the primary part of your essay. You can write as many things as possible because it does not have volume limitations. Its quantity will depend on the overall number of words requested. If you have more arguments, the section will get bigger as you continue writing.

Ensure to include your literature overview, which is a back off to your theories and hypothesis. Also, include your methodology, analysis, results, and arguments. But understand that you can have as many things as possible, including your data, existing evidence, other variables, etc. Mention the advantages and disadvantages of the research.

  1. Conclusion

A conclusion is unique because it does not offer any new information to the reader. It only presents a superficial glimpse of your work. You can use it for summarising your main points. Also, formulate the need for future research if necessary and mention your thesis statement too.


You have an unlimited number of topics to choose from for your essay. But you also need to have a clear outline to guide you through the writing. Also, the instructions from your supervising lecturer will play a central role in determining the outline of the paper.


I am Dr. Marion Johnson, a Nurse Supervisor, Educator, and A clinician with a Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree (DNP) and a Master of Science in Nursing Degree (MSN) both from Walden University. I have worked as a nurse in the healthcare industry for over 15 years. Presently, I am doing something I love most, which is being an online instructor. In this position, I believe I can learn, educate, create and implement positive input into the nursing field. Besides work, I am also an avid reader of nursing journals and articles that is why I have a passion for reading, learning and sharing on the trending topics in the nursing arena.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.