An outline for a research paper is a visual reminder to include all of the pertinent details of your research into your essay or paper.
It is essentially a skeletal version of the true paper, and will guide you through the entire process.
This is where you will highlight your results and mention other variables that you’ve uncovered in your research.
You might choose to use graphs or tables, but remember to explain these to your readers. The conclusion typically does not offer new information, but rather summarizes the main points addressed in the paper.
Most articles I read on the internet - even very formal ones - use gaps to delimit paragraphs, and this does not strike me as "wrong" or "informal" in any way.
It used to be mandatory to indent the beginning of every paragraph, along with double spacing after periods.
Initially, dividing your essay, research or other paper into various components (Introduction, Body, Conclusion, etc.) will help you to stay better organized and reduce the risk of important information being forgotten or unintentionally omitted.
Furthermore, breaking the essay down into these parts will allow you to address specific parts individually and lessen the chances of feeling overwhelmed.
Now, whether you start with an indentation is just a matter of personal/corporate preference. A clear typesetting would make sure that the separation of paragraphs is clear to the readers.
This can be achieved by vertical spacing, or by indentation at the beginning of paragraphs. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).