Outline and Reference Page

PSYC 575

Research Paper: Outline and Reference Page Assignment Instructions


The outline assignment is intended to encourage you to start thinking about the research paper in more specific terms. The paper is the capstone project for this course and will require a great deal of time to be done well.

Please be sure to read the instructions for both the outline and the final paper before writing your outline.  The topic of the paper must be in an area of cognitive research on false memories.  Take some time to look through the literature and find something that interest you.  For example, you could focus on the effects of stress/trauma on the formation of false memories.  Use the outline assignment and an opportunity to plan what areas of the literature you will be focusing on. Doing the work up front will make the writing process go more smoothly.


Your outline must include your thesis statement, at least 3 key points that will be discussed, and 5 references. A guideline for your outline is below. Some example statements have been provided to illustrate the required material. Your outline should follow this example closely. You may find that your paper will flow better if you move some minor sections around, however see the paper instructions for a list of material that must be included. It is not necessary to have all of the articles you will be using. You are also not required to give specific information in the discussion and assessment sections. Your assignment must be in current APA format.

Note: It will be helpful to read the Research Paper: Final Submission Assignment Instructions before completing this assignment.

Title Page


Thesis statement: one sentence that states the focus of your paper

1. Key Points (include 3–5 main points)

a. Point 1

b. Point 2

c. Point 3

d. Point 4

e. Point 5

Body of Paper

Topic sentence and supporting research for each of your key points. Use the same order as in the introduction.

1. Research Concept/Finding

a. Supporting evidence

b. Connect to next concept/finding

2. Research Concept/Finding

a. Supporting evidence

b. Connect to next concept/finding

3. Research Concept/Finding

a. Supporting evidence

b. Connect to next concept/finding


At least 5 peer-reviewed journal article references

Note: Your assignment will be checked for originality via the Turnitin plagiarism tool.

Page 2 of 2


Outline and Reference Page Assignment


If you’re a student in a business or marketing class, you might be assigned to write an outline of your paper. Outlines are used to show how your content will flow and what each section will cover. They also can help you focus on the most important parts of your argument so that you don’t waste time writing or rewriting things that aren’t as important as others.

Outline and Reference Page Assignment

The outline and reference page assignment is a common final assignment in many undergraduate courses, including the following:

  • Introduction to Statistics and Data Analysis (4th ed.)
  • Introduction to Computing (3rd ed.)
  • Engineering Graphics (5th ed.)

The outline is typically a table of contents for your essay. The topic selection will be based on what you choose as your main argumentative point and how you plan on supporting it, but there are some guidelines that can help you decide where to begin writing. For example: if you find that one section requires more attention than another, consider breaking up your first draft into two or three smaller essays instead of trying to write one long one-of-a-kind piece at first.

Topic Selection

The first step to writing a great outline is deciding on the topic. This can be difficult, especially if you’re new to research and writing. You want to select a topic that has relevance to your career goals, but also something that interests others as well. Once you’ve narrowed down your options, create an outline for each one using these tips:

  • Choose an interesting topic–the more interesting and relevant it is, the better!
  • Make sure it’s within scope–if there are too many variables or details that could expand into other areas of knowledge (for example “How does social media impact commerce?”), then choose another one instead.

Title Page

The title page of your paper should include the following information:

  • The title of your paper.
  • The student’s name who wrote it.
  • A brief description of what you will be writing about in this article, including any relevant sources that have been used and their URLs (i.e., web addresses). You can also list any other relevant information that might be helpful to readers who need more details on what they read in order to make informed decisions about whether or not they want to read further into this topic area

Abstract Page

The abstract is a summary of the paper, which should be understandable to a reader who has not read your article. The abstract should summarize the main points of your paper and give readers an idea about what they can expect from reading it.

It should be no more than 200 words in length and include a brief description of the problem, approach to solving it and results (if applicable).

Introduction Page

The introduction page should be a brief summary of the paper, including its thesis statement and background information. It should also include a list of references (see below).

Background Information Page

The background information page should be a summary of the literature review. It should include a brief description of the problem and its cause, as well as any important caveats or limitations in your study design. The background information also includes:

  • A brief description of how you conducted your literature review (for example, how many papers were searched; what criteria were used when choosing articles to include).
  • A description of what types of studies you found through this process–for example, whether they were experimental or observational; whether they compared different populations or different designs within one population (for example, between two types); etc., depending on your research question(s).

Literature Review and Introduction to Methods Pages

The literature review and introduction to methods should be clearly linked to your research question. The goal is for readers to understand what you’re looking for, why you’re asking it, and how you plan on answering it.

When writing the literature review section, keep in mind that this information should be concise but complete enough to give all relevant aspects of your study. It should also include any references or sources used during or after data collection (e.g., books).

Conclusion and Discussion Pages

The conclusion and discussion pages are where you will provide your readers with a summary of the main points of your paper, as well as any recommendations for future research.

You should also include any related work on this topic, which can be found in other papers or websites.


In conclusion, this assignment is designed to help you practice writing an outline and a reference page. The format of each section is laid out to be very similar; however, the content might be different for each person. You can use this template to write your own outline and reference pages, or just use it as a guide when writing them!

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