Free Tips: How to Write an Outline for a Paper

The composition of the outline should begin immediately after the approval of the topic of your dissertation or thesis. Ideally, the plan is drawn up once and together with the theme, object, and schedule for the graduation work. After that, changes in the content can be made only after the agreement with the scientific adviser. Therefore, before approving the outline, carefully check the availability of information on the Internet for each paragraph! Depending on the field of knowledge, within which you write your diploma project, there is a certain algorithm for its compilation. For example, an outline for the Master's thesis in Economics should consist of theoretical, analytical chapters, and an integral part — a chapter about improving the problem under consideration.

Remember About some General Principles

Your outline should perform a clear logical connection of all parts of the work. Thanks to him, you can see what will be discussed, and you can quickly find this or that information. Each previous paragraph of the outline is inextricably linked to the next one and give a clear answer to the question posed, that is, to reveal the essence of the topic.

Start with the Compilation (It’s Legal)

To compose the first draft of your outline it is sometimes enough to take several models written on the same topic from the Web and simply compose them into one, but competently structured. As a rule, it is not difficult to find several paid graduation papers in the network on the subject matter. But you do not need to purchase these works, you only need their outlines.

Use the Table of Contents and Expand It

First of all you have to structure information and only them to adjust it according to the required formatting style. Information added to the table of contents to make it an outline is emphasized with the italic formatting.


The novelty of the topic and its importance is describes, thesis statement is included.


1.1. The essence of wages and its impact on production

  • different types of motivation
  • description of the wages influence
  • the links between wages and production

1.2. Forms and systems of payment

  • forms used previously
  • forms used now
  • forms use at similar enterprises

1.3 Composition and structure of the wage fund at the enterprise

  • composition of the wage fund through the recent N years
  • structure of the wage fund

1.4 Methodological bases of the analysis of labor remuneration at the enterprise


2.1 Description of the company's activities

  • description of the production
  • description of the additional activities

2.2 Organization of labor remuneration at the enterprise

  • the correspondence between labor remuneration and productivity
  • the changes tracked

2.3 Analysis of the composition, structure and dynamics of the total wage fund and the production included in the cost of production

  • analysis of the use of the wage fund
  • analysis of the ratio of growth in labor productivity and wages and the determination of reserves for the effective use of the wage fund


3.1 Approaches to optimizing the payment system at the enterprise

  • approaches used at the similar enterprises worldwide
  • approaches from other production fields which may be used
  • experimental approaches and their risks and virtues

3.2 Introduction of the non-tariff system of payment

  • the justification of the novelty
  • risks and virtues of the novelty

3.3 Wage increases at the enterprise

  • possible drawbacks of this approach
  • predicted gains

You can compose an outline after the topic of your paper has been approved. Ideally, the plan should be drawn up in parallel with the study of literature. At first, these may be sketches, but in the process of acquaintance with the information, specific questions can will be formed and those questions will be the milestones for your outline and the thesis or dissertation in general. The outline gives more information than the table of content, but sometimes those two lists emerge, when required by your professor. Make sure to ask for the sample outline if you don’t want to re-do it endlessly.

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