An outline might be just for your own use, or your teacher may require that you hand it in while you are working on your project, so they can get an idea of where you are headed. It gives them a chance to help you head towards a good final destination.
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Writing an outline for a research paper can seem like a time consuming task, and you may not understand the value of it if you have never written one before. Outlines can help you structure your research and your final paper in much more efficient ways, though, so it is a good idea that you learn how to write one. Here are a few things to keep in mind when doing so.