Solid Advice On How To Write An APA Research Paper Outline


This article will give solid advice on how to write an APA research paper outline. It will be a good idea to learn as many styles of papers and outlining as you can. Professors want their students to understand the purpose and reasoning behind each. When making the transition through the levels of schooling chances are each will be assigned to the student to create.


  1. The APA style of outlining consists of four different sections. Learning these sections will give you a complete understanding of how and why it is outlined in this manner. First there will be useful hints on how to come up with your ideas for the outline. Secondly there will be an explanation of the headings, subheadings, and tertiary items.

  2. Write down your main ideas on a piece of paper. The recommended amount is 4-10 ideas. Sort through them separating the good and bad ones. This should be done before getting on the word processing program. Completing this step will give you the best of the ideas and get you more familiar with the material.

  3. Word Processing Program-start with a blank document on the program. Step by step form the outline with the numbers and letters. Leave enough space between each for filling in the proper information. Simply indent one tab under each separate number or letter to indicate the importance or significance of the idea.

The four sections of the outline


  1. PARELLELISM-if the first heading is a verb, the second should be a verb as well. Remember present tense of the verbs are preferred form of the outline.

  2. COORDINATION-all the information contained in the heading 1 should have the same significance as the information on heading 2.

  3. SUBORDINATION-the information in the headings should be more general. This means the sub-headings should be more specific.

  4. DIVISION-this means each heading should be divided into two or more parts.

Practice writing these steps down a few times on paper. Reading these steps may be a little confusing. Actually it is a simple form of outlining. The process is the same as any paper. Coming up with a main idea and putting information that is not as generalized. It can be compared to coming up with a thesis and finding topic sentences to explain the thesis. Remember everything on top is supported by the information underneath.