How to Create an Outline
Begin by brainstorming. Write down a few main ideas about the text or assignment and then narrow them down into two or three main points. From these main ideas, you will get a sense of what you are going to write about. This is called a thesis, the central statement or argument of an essay: the purpose of your paper. You will need supporting evidence to uphold your main ideas or argument. Once you have these components, you will be able to create an effective essay.
For a sample outline, visit this page: Online Guide Sample Outline Chapter Two
Outlines can be very beneficial to the overall writing process. If you are struggling at all with your research paper, try writing an outline and see if that helps.
Here is another link to a great resource about outlines: Prewriting and Outlining