A research outline is a tool to help you organize your research. A research outline should be created after you have completed most of your research, but before you begin writing your paper. The outline should act as a map to your paper. It is easier to write a paper that is fully outlined.
Go through all of your sources, take notes on the important points you want to include from each source, and then group them by topic until you have the main ideas of your paper. Order these ideas in a way that makes sense and will support your thesis--walk your reader through each idea so that they come to the conclusion of your argument/thesis.
Things to keep in mind about outlines:
Here is an example of an outline structure. Remember, your outline may not look exactly like this, depending on what you are working on.
While these outlines can certainly be used as templates to help you outline your research, if you need to submit an outline for your class, please make sure to follow any requirements for your outline that your instructor requires.