Constructing An Outline For An APA Research Paper: Basic Tips

A good outline aids the writing proves, helps you organize your ideas, presents the material in a logical manner, and constructs an ordered overview of your research paper. There are several types of this document depending on what formatting style you should use, including the APA style outline. To construct it, you should determine the purpose of your assignment, the audience you are writing for, and the main idea that you want to share.

The following basic tips are designed to help you create an effective outline for an APA research paper:

  1. Learn the basic steps.
  2. To create a typical outline, you have to brainstorm all the ideas that you want to write about, organize related ideas in groups, arrange a material from general to specific, and create main and sub headings. This takes some time, but the result is worth your effort.

  3. Use the correct formatting.
  4. All the margins of the pages should be set to one inch. Use only double spaced paragraphs. The font should be Times New Roman, 12 points. The first page of the outline should contain your name, name of the professor, title of the assignment, title of the course, and date of the submission.

  5. Format the headings in a proper manner.
  6. The main headings should be accompanied by Roman numerals at the beginning of the heading. To create a subheading after the main heading, you need to start the subheading sentence with a capital letter of an English alphabet. You can add another subheading by simply adding the next alphabet in capital letters at the start of the next subheading.

  7. Consider adding subheadings to the subheading.
  8. You should structure your ideas. If you need to add a subheading to the subheading, you should do it with Arab numerals. If there are more subheadings, it should be followed by a lower case letter. Usually, there is no limit to the number of subdivisions for your headings. Typically, a three or four-level headings work well for an APA research paper.

  9. Follow the requirements of your school.
  10. You should keep the requirements of your professor in mind. It is a good idea to visit your school academic writing center to get a sample or template of an APA research paper outline. So, you will understand how to maintain consistency and uniformity between the headings and subheadings, what important details to pay attention to, and how to avoid common mistakes.

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