Often, a student’s ability in biology is a direct reflection of their interest in the subject. While it is a course required by most high school curriculum, it is not necessarily one that all students enjoy. The problem with this is that a lack of passion can leave you struggling when it comes to writing up research papers and other assignments. Fortunately, if you know the following things, getting started with an outline for your paper can be significantly easier.
- Know What Your Teacher Expects
- Know the General Format of an Outline
- Make Sure You Rank Importance of Facts
- Use Note Cards if You Struggle with Organization
In some cases, your teacher or professor will require you to submit an outline beforehand. In others, creating an outline for your biology essay is completely up to you. If you do have to submit the outline to your teacher, be sure that you know exactly what is expected. Outlines come in many different formats and knowing what is expected of you will put you on the path to a good grade.
In general, the format of an outline will use indents and different lists (1,2,3 or A,B,C, or a,b,c, or I,II,III) to keep your information organized. If you do not have specifics to follow, do what works best for you. You can use roman numerals, letters, or numbers to help organize your thoughts.
The reason that outlines are done with many different lists is to help rank the importance of thoughts. One of the first things on the outline for your research paper should be your thesis, which you will be trying to prove. Beneath the thesis you would write each main point with its supporting points underneath of it. Do not confuse main points with supporting points, or you will end up with a messy body of your paper.
One problem that many students have when creating an outline is organizing their thoughts before the put it on the paper. Their outlines are often a jumble of words with arrows and cross-outs all over the place. If you struggle with organization, try writing all of the facts down on note cards. You can physically order these before transferring them over.
Any biology research paper can be challenging before you know what you are doing. Fortunately, once you have an outline, the hard part of writing is over. Follow the above tips to make sure that your research paper receives a good grade.