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What does a Rough Draft on a research paper look like?I just need the outline of a...

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linnie4352 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted August 28, 2010 at 4:41 PM via web

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What does a Rough Draft on a research paper look like?

I just need the outline of a rough draft.

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 28, 2010 at 5:10 PM (Answer #2)

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It will be difficult to give you an exact ouline (first, the formatting will not come out correctly in this answer box) without knowing your topic - but I will give you the advice I give all my students.  The biggest problem with most research paper outlines is (in my opinion) that they are too sparce.  My thought is - make them detailed - that way you can fix the outline rather than re-write the paper.

I require my students to follow this format:

Thesis Statement (that can be broken into 3 subtopics)

A.  Topic Category 1 (not a complete sentence)
1.  Topic Sentence 1 (complete sentence)
a, b, c, etc.  supporting details
2.  Topic Sentence 2 (complete sentence)
a, b, c, etc. supporting details
3.  Topic Sentence 3 (complete sentence)
a, b, c, etc. supporting details

B.  Topic Category 2 (not a complete sentence)
1.  Topic Sentence 1 (complete sentence)
a, b, c, etc.  supporting details
2.  Topic Sentence 2 (complete sentence)
a, b, c, etc. supporting details
3.  Topic Sentence 3 (complete sentence)
a, b, c, etc. supporting details

C.  Topic Category 3 (not a complete sentence)
1.  Topic Sentence 1 (complete sentence)
a, b, c, etc.  supporting details
2.  Topic Sentence 2 (complete sentence)
a, b, c, etc. supporting details
3.  Topic Sentence 3 (complete sentence)
a, b, c, etc. supporting details

Depending on the length of the paper - you may have more topic sentences in each category - but I would limit breaking your thesis into only 3 categories - it is a natural sense of organization.

Hope that helps.

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krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted August 28, 2010 at 7:19 PM (Answer #3)

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It is best to organise the rough draft of a research paper the same lines as the intended structure of the final paper.  There in one best structure applicable to all kinds of research paper. The structure most appropriate for  paper must be determined for each paper individually depending upon nature of the paper. The rough draft is intended to be the first attempt at writing the research paper which contains most of the information and ideas intended to be presented in the final paper, without bothering too much about the the details like style of writing, clarity of expression, uniformity in presentation, grammar, spellings, physical appearance, and other similar details. Perhaps the only parts of the final paper that may not be included in the first draft are the summary and the conclusion sections.

The purpose of the rough draft is to have maximum of he intended contents of the paper committed to writing quickly at one place. This draft then helps the researcher to do two things. First, examine the contents of the draft to identify areas for improvement in the basic contents and incorporate those changes. This can also include some changes in the basic structure of the paper to improve understanding. Any inconsistency or lacuna in the paper can be identified and corrected on the basis of rough draft.

Incorporating such changes in the first rough draft, culminates in the preparation of a second draft containing all the basic ideas and information organized properly. The second draft can then be improved in respect of things like language, grammar, spelling and visual presentation to come up with the final report.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 29, 2010 at 3:50 AM (Answer #4)

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I think that any rough draft is going to look a bit on the ugly side.  It is a formative process and a rough draft is meant to be a start.  The rough draft for a research paper might have some paragraphing, but could very well not.  It should have some basic elements present as to how it is going to accomplish the goal of proving the thesis.  I would also suggest that a rough draft identify specific research materials that are emerging as being prominent in the writing process.  Perhaps, there is a particular author or work that is going very far in providing evidence to support the fulfillment of the thesis.  I would think that this is going to be present in a rough draft.  Additionally, there might be some articulation as to the structure and direction of the paper in terms of how it is going to be composed. There will be annotation, quite a bit, in any rough draft, but more so in a research paper rough draft.

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clamo88 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted August 29, 2010 at 5:42 AM (Answer #5)

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To add to the good answers posted to this question, I usually suggest that people use PowerPoint or similar presentation program to lay out the flow of their rough draft.

PowerPoint forces you to "think" in an outline mode.  You can view it in slide format but you can also view it as an outline. You can easily move items around, change hierarchy (make something a bullet under another topic or elevate it to its own topic, etc.).

The advantage to working this way is that a presentation program is set up to limit how much you can put on a page (larger fonts, automatic indenting, etc.).  It can help you discipline yourself to ensure that your flow makes sense, your major items are balanced (if you don't have enough bullets beneath a topic, maybe it should not a separate topic), split larger topics into multiple topics, etc.

Another advantage is that once you're done with your rough draft and later with the paper, if you do have to create a presentation, you're probably 75% already done!

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 4, 2011 at 1:01 PM (Answer #8)

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Generally, I think a rough draft of a research paper is basically an outlne with most of the items filled in. You have your soures and quotations already chosen. The only step from their to the final draft is revising and editing and making sure everything is included.

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