Like a tree, a research outline contains many levels of branches that reflect the hierarchy in your research. It helps you organize the main ideas in your research. It also shows the relationships between the different parts in your research.
Write your research outline
A research outline is a plan or guide that shows the headings and subheadings covered in your research. It helps you organize the main ideas in your research. It also shows the relationships between the different parts in your research.
Do not be afraid of refining your research outline during your research journey. It can be modified like any plan according to the emerging circumstances.
A general template of the outline consists of the three parts below, with different headings and subheading:
- body; and
Example 1: an outline of a journal article on studying the factors affecting research environment at Syrian business faculties (Khalifa et al., 2017)
- The Syrian Situation – A Struggle for Boosting Research
- Literature Review
- Discussion of results
- Conclusions and Recommendations
- Disclosure statement
Example 2: an outline on leadership styles at Syrian higher education (Khalifa and Ayoubi, 2015)
- Literature review
- Transactional leadership vs transformational leadership
- Organizational learning
- Leadership and organizational learning
Khalifa, B., Abdulraouf, R., and Mouselli, S. (2017). “Factors affecting research environment at Syrian business faculties: a student-perceived model”. Business, Management and Education. Vol 14 No. 2, pp. 210–225.
Khalifa, B. and Ayoubi, R.M. (2015). “Leadership styles at Syrian higher education: What matters for organizational learning at public and private universities?”. International Journal of Educational Management. Vol. 29 No. 4, pp. 477–491.