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Creating a Research Paper Outline in APA Format

Every good paper should start with an outline. An outline is especially important when doing a research paper. When writing a research paper, it is important to make sure that you don’t get off track and you stick to the topic. An outline will help you do this. It will also help to make sure that you write a paper that flows nicely from one topic to the next. The idea is to get yourself organized using an outline and then beef your outline out into a full term paper.

The outline should be the skeleton of your paper. It is an organizational tool for writers in order to get all of your ideas in one place. It will make sure that your work is focused and that all important information is presented in a clear and logical order. So now that you know the importance of an outline, here is how you can create a research paper outline in APA format.

  • Title on the first line
  • You title will go on the first line of your paper. The title should create the essence of your paper.

  • Follow with thesis statement
  • A thesis is the main point of your paper. It is the heart of your paper. This should be the first thing that you decide on when determining what to write about. Your thesis is the whole reason behind why you are writing your paper.

  • Sub topics to follow
  • You need to assign each sub topic its own roman numeral in capital numbers. The sub topics should be listed in the same order as they will appear in your paper

  • Supporting points following each sub topic
  • These should list the reasons behind each subtopic. They will be your supporting evidence that will be described in each sub topic. They should be denoted as capital letters

  • All further divisions marked with numbers
  • If you break down each of your supporting details with more information, mark them with numbers first and then lower case letters for even further divisions

  • Formatting details
  • The outline should be double-spaced with one inch margins on all sides. The font style should be Times New Roman and font size of 12.

  • General tip
  • It is best to have three sub topics with two supporting details for each of the three supporting topics. Try to have the same amount of supporting details for each of the sub topics. Keep things in balance.

Follow these steps and you will create a successful research paper outline in APA format.

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