APA Research Paper Outline: Examples and Template
Table of contents
- 1 Why Is Research Paper Format Necessary?
- 2.1 Purpose of research paper outline
- 2.2 APA outline example
- 3.1 APA paper outline example
- 3.2 Introduction:
- 3.4 Conclusion:
- 4 The Basic APA Outline Format
- 5 APA Style Outline Template Breakdown
- 6.1 APA Research Paper Outline Example
- 6.2 APA Paper Outline Format Example
- 7.1 First Paragraph: Hook and Thesis
- 7.2 Main Body
- 7.3 Conclusion
- 7.4 Decimal APA outline format example
- 7.5 Decimal APA outline format layout
- 8.1 A definite goal
- 8.2 Division
- 8.3 Parallelism
- 8.4 Coordination
- 8.5 Subordination
- 8.6 Avoid Redundancy
- 8.7 Wrap it up in a good way
- 8.8 Conclusion
Formatting your paper in APA can be daunting if this is your first time. The American Psychological Association (APA) offers a guide or rules to follow when conducting projects in the social sciences or writing papers. The standard APA fromat a research paper outline includes a proper layout from the title page to the final reference pages. There are formatting samples to create outlines before writing a paper. Amongst other strategies, creating an outline is the easiest way to APA format outline template.
Why Is Research Paper Format Necessary?
Consistency in the sequence, structure, and format when writing a research paper encourages readers to concentrate on the substance of a paper rather than how it is presented. The requirements for paper format apply to student assignments and papers submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed publication. APA paper outline template style may be used to create a website, conference poster, or PowerPoint presentation . If you plan to use the style for other types of work like a website, conference poster, or even PowerPoint presentation, you must format your work accordingly to adjust to requirements. For example, you may need different line spacing and font sizes. Follow the formatting rules provided by your institution or publication to ensure its formatting standards are followed as closely as possible. However, to logically structure your document, you need a research paper outline in APA format. You may ask: why is it necessary to create an outline for an APA research paper?
Concept & Purposes of Research Paper Outline
A path, direction, or action plan! Writing short essays without a layout may seem easy, but not for 10,000 or more words. Yet, confusing a table of contents with an outline is a major issue. The table of contents is an orderly list of all the chapters’ front matter, primary, and back matter. It includes sections and, often, figures in your work, labeled by page number. On the other hand, a research APA-style paper outline is a proper structure to follow.
Purpose of research paper outline
An outline is a formalized essay in which you give your own argument to support your point of view. And when you write your apa outline template, you expand on what you already know about the topic. Academic writing papers examine an area of expertise to get the latest and most accurate information to work on that topic. It serves various purposes, including:
- APA paper outline discusses the study’s core concepts.
- The research paper outlines to define the link between your ideas and the thesis.
- It provides you with manageable portions that you can handle.
- The research paper’s APA outline enables the detection of structural faults or gaps.
- As shown in the example, it must clearly comprehend the subject at hand.
APA outline example
This research paper outline example will guide you in formatting the layout for a clear direction to work on. It eliminates the inconsistency along with lacking proper substance in the paper.
Understanding the APA Outline Format
It would not be wrong to say there is no standard outline format. The official publishing handbook does not give precise guidelines for preparing an outline. But, it requires certain basic guidelines to follow regarding typeface, font size, structure, margins, etc.
APA paper outline example
Moreover, the final shape of your work relies on your instructor’s specifications and your particular preferences for APA citation format. Though, it would be better to follow some standards for formatting your outline, for instance:
Times New Roman is a widely accessible standard typeface for an APA essay format in 12-point font. However, serif and sans serif fonts like Arial and Georgia are acceptable in font size 11pt.
The text of your paper format should be double-spaced.
The primary headlines use Roman and Arabic numerals to write an outline.
Headings & Subheadings
While writing an APA essay, there are particular standards for utilizing headings in your outline: I – Main headings are numbered by Roman numerals like I, II, III, IV A – Subheadings are numbered with Capital letters (A, B, C, D) 1 – The APA outline uses Arabic numerals (1-9 type numbers) within those subheadings. a – Below Arabic number subheadings, lower-case letters are used (a, b, a).  – Headings below those subheadings use Arabic numbers enclosed in parenthesis.
APA format offers a standard layout for each paper, such as
- 1-inch margins on the top, bottom, left, and right.
- The page number on the upper right corner.
The structure of writing an outline consists of three major sections:
This section highlights crucial background information.
Explain the primary points that support your ideas.
- Summarize your key arguments.
- Explain how these concepts support your ultimate stance, as shown in APA outline example below.
An outline in APA has three common formats that vary in the numeric sequence of all. To make it easier for you, we have compiled all three templates. You can format your document using these examples for added coherence and structure.
The Basic APA Outline Format
APA Style Outline Template Breakdown
Numbering the APA style format follows five levels of headings that use different alphabets and numbers. For instance, I – Headings use Roman numerals like I, II, and III. A – CAPITAL ALPHABETS”, such as A, B, C, etc. 1 – Headings and subheadings use Arabic numbers (1, 2, 3). a – If there are further headings (the fourth level), use lower-case alphabets.  – Headings below that (the fifth level) use Arabic numerals enclosed in parentheses, such as , , .
Full Sentence Outline Format
As the name specifies, the full-sentence style outline format requires every line to be a proper sentence. Full-sentence APA style outline is best recommended for essays and speeches. It gives your writing process an idea or a logical path to follow.
APA Research Paper Outline Example
If you are looking for how to write a research paper outline APA in Full Sentence Format, here is an example:
Full Sentence APA format heading utilizes Roman numerals I, II, and III. Every heading must be a full sentence. Here is an APA style paper outline template for the full-sentence format that will clear all your confusion on how to write an outline in full-sentence format.
APA Paper Outline Format Example
Decimal Outline Format
The decimal outline format for APA research papers differs from other formats. The decimal APA style is simple and uses paragraphs for structure. It contains three main paragraphs, introduction, main body, and conclusion.
First Paragraph: Hook and Thesis
- The first paragraph is a sentence or two that introduces the central concept of your article.
- Introduce your topic or subject of study where your research is applicable as a context for further research.
- Explain why the mentioned issue is essential or relevant to the audience.
- A thesis statement is a claim that you make throughout your whole essay.
- The topic phrase is the first point in any writing to support a thesis statement.
- Give an explanation or provide evidence to support your point.
- Provide verifiable facts, figures, and/or citations from credible sources in your writing. It helps in the substantiating assertion.
- Include as many supporting statements and related evidence in your decimal outline.
Finally, when you write an outline, provide a concluding remark to support your claims.
Decimal APA outline format example
1.0 The main heading 1.1 Subheading under the main heading 1.2 Second digit is represented by subheadings under the main headings 1.2.1 Further division adds another digit in decimal format 1.2.2 You can number them as per the number of paragraphs or points, or lines An easy way to write in decimal APA outline format is to remember the structure, i.e.; 1.1.1 = Heading.Paragraph.Sentence/point under paragraph.”
Decimal APA outline format layout
1.0 Main heading 1.1 First paragraph for first heading. 1.2 Second paragraph for first heading. 1.2.1 First point or sentence for the second paragraph. 2.0 Second heading 2.1 Second heading, first paragraph. 2.2 Second heading, second paragraph. 2.2.1 Second, heading, second paragraph, first sentence, or point. 3.0 Decimal working 3.1 You must remember that each digit represents a segment. 3.2 It is easier to remember the placement of numbers. 3.2.1 First digit represents the heading 3.2.2 Second digit represents the paragraph under the main heading <3.2.3 The third digit represents any point or sentence under the paragraph.
Tips for Writing an Outline: Organize Your Ideas
You may feel it is easier to write without outlines, but once you start writing, organizing your ideas or thoughts becomes hard. Even if you have some fantastic ideas, producing an engaging story is practically hard. If you are not first creating an outline or conceptual guides while writing a research paper, you may lose track. A well-written outline is essential in completing your paper and maintaining quality. Establishing your point in paper writing is easy if you create an outline first. You can find an APA research paper outline template that best suits your requirement. Moreover, these tips can help you polish your writing. These tips and sample papers can help you write outstanding outlines without making any hassle.
A definite goal
For better expression, make a list of primary objectives on a title page in a single phrase or less. Your goal should be specific and measurable. If it is too broad or imprecise, you will not achieve anything. If you are working on a large paper format that covers a variety of themes or topics, you may have a more general purpose in mind. But, if you plan to write an essay, the aim should be as specific and clear as possible to be effective.
Breaking things up rather than allowing them to become verbose is known as the division rule. Make sure that each subsection in the document corresponds to its parent heading. If it doesn’t compare to the section, removing it or moving it to another location is better.
It is mainly related to the consistency and structure of the document. It keeps your paper’s layout tidy and also ensures relevancy. For instance, if you begin one heading with a verb, make sure all other headings and subheadings also start with a verb.
Having headings aligned is critical to creating a well-organized outline. This rule also applies to subheadings, which is a good thing. If one title is less important than another, consider changing your layout by incorporating it into a subsection instead.
Subordination deals with maintaining a connection between your paper’s headings and subheadings. It helps in the proper sequencing of headings and subheadings. Headings should be broad at the outset. At the same time, the subheadings become more particular as they go further into the document.
While writing a paper outline, look through it many times and cross out any items that aren’t necessary or have no significance. While outlining, make sure to be specific and concise. It will prevent you from adding information that does not supporting your final essay. Remove all the extra information and points while c that weighs you down while you write.
Wrap it up in a good way
Creating an outline does not only help in writing a coherent term paper, but it also helps in ending with precise understanding. Be considerate of your audience’s time and effort when you write an outline in APA, and ensure it serves its purpose. If you still have any doubts about formatting your paper outline, you can use this APA-style research paper outline template to write your document. We have provided Outline Format Example for every style.
People find it hard to write an outline in APA, but if you are aware of the requirements and structure, it’s no breeze. Sometimes, your instructor may alter your paper format by introducing or removing existing sections. As a result, if you come across any templates for an outline in APA, pay close attention to them. If you are looking for a quick answer to how to outline an APA paper, here’s a standard logical sequence of typical parts to include when writing an outline in APA:
- Thesis statement
- Techniques employed
- Body of paper
- Conclusions section
- List of references
A well-written outline is an excellent tool for presenting an outstanding paper. Including the key components while writing an outline for a research paper is necessary.
Readers also enjoyed
WHY WAIT? PLACE AN ORDER RIGHT NOW!
Just fill out the form, press the button, and have no worries!
APA Outline Examples in PDF
If you’re a beginner in writing a research paper or an essay and your instructor asked you to use the APA format, you may not have the faintest idea what APA means, let alone use the format. If your instructor gives you the APA guidelines then good for you. If they haven’t, don’t panic. You’re going through the perfect article that will help you get acquainted and familiarize the APA format outline. You may also see essay outline .
Most college students or teachers who are majoring in social sciences, such as Psychology, Sociology, History, Linguistics, use the American Psychological Association or APA guidelines for writing research papers and assignments in this field of study. Other fields of study also use the APA format but not limited to Business, Economics, Nursing, and Criminology. The APA covers the initial title page to bibliography citation page. APA basically provides the basic layout style and outline to correctly write your paper in the APA format. Of course, other formats are also used by researchers, students, and teachers such as MLA, Harvard, etc. You may also see free outline .
Radio Outline Format Example
Size: 40 KB
APA Style Template Example
Size: 35 KB
APA Essay Outline Example
Size: 41 KB
The Importance of Public Control: Sample Outline
Size: 213 KB
I Wll Build My Church: Sample APA Outline
Size: 59 KB
The Purdue OWL: Sample APA Outline
Size: 63 KB
College Application Process Alphanumeric Outline
Size: 33 KB
Simple Alphanumeric Outline
Size: 11 KB
2. Full-Sentence Outlines
Basic full-sentence outline.
Though there are only a few differences between an alphanumeric outline and a full-sentence outline, you might still need a sample to illustrate these variations. See this simple full-sentence outline sample to learn more.
Full-Sentence Outline Example
Size: 612 KB
3. Decimal Outlines
General decimal outline.
What is an APA Outline Format?
APA stands for American Psychological Association, and an APA outline format is a standardized format for outlining papers and other documents. An APA outline format is typically used for research papers, dissertations, and theses. It is a way to organize your ideas and thoughts in a clear and concise manner before writing your paper.
How to write an APA Outline Format
Using an APA format as your outline might be confusing at first but once you have familiarize yourself with the format, then it is easier for you to organize your topics and sub-topics you want to discuss in your essay or research paper. You may also see book outline .
Having a good outline has more chances of you presenting a well-written research paper or essay. Making an APA outline is the first thing to do in creating a structure on what will be written in the paper and how it is written. There is a grammatical format that you have to follow while writing your paper to make it sound credible. Having a sloppy grammar makes your paper less impressive. Here are some tips:
1. Observe the use of parallelism.
Parallelism means the use of consecutive verbal constructions in a sentence that corresponds to the grammatical structure. In this format, this refers to the structure between the headings and sub-headings. Once you’ve established your structure, it must be consistent with all your headings and subheadings. If you start your headings with a verb, then your subheadings should start with a verb. If you use a noun, then all your headings and sub-headings must use nouns. You may also see write a speech outline .
2. The use of coordination is vital between your headings.
All your headings must be equal in significance or importance of each other. The rule applies to sub-headings as well, but their information may be less significant than the headings. You may also see a speech outline .
3. Make use of subordination.
Subordination is the relationship between the headings and the sub-headings. The headings usually have general information while the information contained in the sub-headings are more specific, and so on to more sub-headings. The subordination is created using Arabic numerals. You may also see the program outline .
4. To organize your outline you should use division.
Each heading must have at least two or three divisions. However, if you have too many divisions, you need to use another heading or sub-heading. You may also see a biography outline .
5. Your headings should always use Roman Numerals (I, II, III, etc.) when you list them.
For example, if you are writing research for The Foundation of Mugs, your heading must look like this:
I. The Foundation of Mugs
Don’t forget to always use Roman Numerals while writing your main headings. Your heading is the first and basic step in formatting your APA outline. You may also see the chapter outline .
6. Next is the subheading.
The subheading follows the main heading. When listing them use a capital letter of the English alphabet. In the example above, your heading was “The Foundation of Mugs”. Suppose your subheading is “History of Mugs” then it should be listed using the English alphabet. Start with the capital letter A. You may also see the presentation outline .
7. Add more than one subheading to your main heading
If you like to add more than one subheading to your main heading, just by adding the next English alphabet in capital letters in the next subheading. Example: If you like to add a second subheading to your main heading, “Foundation of Mugs”, you may write this:
B. Designs and Functions of Mugs to the Society
Your heading and subheading will look like this:
I. Foundation of Mugs A. History of Mugs B. Designs and Functions of Mugs to the Society
Use Arab numerals (1,2,3 and so on). If you want to add another subheading “Decoration” under heading B, you may write it like this:
Your outline would now look something like this:
I. Foundation of Mugs A.History of Mugs B. Designs and Functions of Mugs to the Society 1. Decoration
Finally, if there are still more subheadings you want to add under your last subheadings, use lowercase letters. If there are still subheadings you want to add under the last subheading, use Arab numerals in parenthesis. You may also see the course outline .
What is the purpose of an APA outline format?
The purpose of an APA outline format is to provide a clear and organized structure for your paper. It helps you to plan and organize your ideas before you start writing, and it ensures that your paper is logical and easy to follow.
What are the different types of outlines in APA format?
There are several different types of outlines in APA format, including the thesis outline, script outline, research paper outline, and book outline. Each outline type has its own specific requirements and guidelines.
What are the key elements of an APA outline format?
An APA outline format should include the title page, abstract, introduction, body, and conclusion. It should also have headings and subheadings to organize the information and provide structure to the document.
How do I create an APA outline format?
To create an APA outline format, start by identifying the main points you want to make in your paper. Then, organize those points into sections and subsections using headings and subheadings. Finally, add supporting details and evidence to each section to create a complete and well-organized outline.
In conclusion, an APA outline format is a helpful tool for organizing your ideas and thoughts before you start writing your paper. Whether you are working on a thesis outline, script outline, research paper outline, or book outline, using an APA outline format can help you to create a clear and organized document that is easy to read and follow. By following the guidelines and structure provided by APA outline format, you can ensure that your paper is well-organized, logical, and easy to understand.
10 Examples of Public speaking
20 Examples of Gas lighting
- Bipolar Disorder
- Therapy Center
- When To See a Therapist
- Types of Therapy
- Best Online Therapy
- Best Couples Therapy
- Best Family Therapy
- Managing Stress
- Sleep and Dreaming
- Understanding Emotions
- Healthy Relationships
- Student Resources
- Personality Types
- Verywell Mind Insights
- 2023 Verywell Mind 25
- Mental Health in the Classroom
- Editorial Process
- Meet Our Review Board
- Crisis Support
How to Write an Outline in APA Format
Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."
Amanda Tust is a fact-checker, researcher, and writer with a Master of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.
- Before Starting Your Outline
- How to Create an Outline
Writing a psychology paper can feel like an overwhelming task. From picking a topic to finding sources to cite, each step in the process comes with its own challenges. Luckily, there are strategies to make writing your paper easier—one of which is creating an outline using APA format .
Here we share what APA format entails and the basics of this writing style. Then we get into how to create a research paper outline using APA guidelines, giving you a strong foundation to start crafting your content.
At a Glance
APA format is the standard writing style used for psychology research papers. Creating an outline using APA format can help you develop and organize your paper's structure, also keeping you on task as you sit down to write the content.
APA Format Basics
Formatting dictates how papers are styled, which includes their organizational structure, page layout, and how information is presented. APA format is the official style of the American Psychological Association (APA).
Learning the basics of APA format is necessary for writing effective psychology papers, whether for your school courses or if you're working in the field and want your research published in a professional journal. Here are some general APA rules to keep in mind when creating both your outline and the paper itself.
Font and Spacing
According to APA style, research papers are to be written in a legible and widely available font. Traditionally, Times New Roman is used with a 12-point font size. However, other serif and sans serif fonts like Arial or Georgia in 11-point font sizes are also acceptable.
APA format also dictates that the research paper be double-spaced. Each page has 1-inch margins on all sides (top, bottom, left, and right), and the page number is to be placed in the upper right corner of each page.
Both your psychology research paper and outline should include three key sections:
- Introduction : Highlights the main points and presents your hypothesis
- Body : Details the ideas and research that support your hypothesis
- Conclusion : Briefly reiterates your main points and clarifies support for your position
Headings and Subheadings
APA format provides specific guidelines for using headings and subheadings. They are:
- Main headings : Use Roman numerals (I, II, III, IV)
- Subheadings: Use capital letters (A, B, C, D)
If you need further subheadings within the initial subheadings, start with Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3), then lowercase letters (a, b, c), then Arabic numerals inside parentheses [(1), (2), (3)]
Before Starting Your APA Format Outline
While APA format does not provide specific rules for creating an outline, you can still develop a strong roadmap for your paper using general APA style guidance. Prior to drafting your psychology research paper outline using APA writing style, taking a few important steps can help set you up for greater success.
Review Your Instructor's Requirements
Look over the instructions for your research paper. Your instructor may have provided some type of guidance or stated what they want. They may have even provided specific requirements for what to include in your outline or how it needs to be structured and formatted.
Some instructors require research paper outlines to use decimal format. This structure uses Arabic decimals instead of Roman numerals or letters. In this case, the main headings in an outline would be 1.0, 1.2, and 1.3, while the subheadings would be 1.2.1, 1.2.2, 1.2.3, and so on.
Consider Your Preferences
After reviewing your instructor's requirements, consider your own preferences for organizing your outline. Think about what makes the most sense for you, as well as what type of outline would be most helpful when you begin writing your research paper.
For example, you could choose to format your headings and subheadings as full sentences, or you might decide that you prefer shorter headings that summarize the content. You can also use different approaches to organizing the lettering and numbering in your outline's subheadings.
Whether you are creating your outline according to your instructor's guidelines or following your own organizational preferences, the most important thing is that you are consistent.
When getting ready to start your research paper outline using APA format, it's also helpful to consider how you will format it. Here are a few tips to help:
- Your outline should begin on a new page.
- Before you start writing the outline, check that your word processor does not automatically insert unwanted text or notations (such as letters, numbers, or bullet points) as you type. If it does, turn off auto-formatting.
- If your instructor requires you to specify your hypothesis in your outline, review your assignment instructions to find out where this should be placed. They may want it presented at the top of your outline, for example, or included as a subheading.
How to Create a Research Paper Outline Using APA
Understanding APA format basics can make writing psychology research papers much easier. While APA format does not provide specific rules for creating an outline, you can still develop a strong roadmap for your paper using general APA style guidance, your instructor's requirements, and your own personal organizational preferences.
Typically you won't need to turn your outline in with your final paper. But that doesn't mean you should skip creating one. A strong paper starts with a solid outline. Developing this outline can help you organize your writing and ensure that you effectively communicate your paper's main points and arguments. Here's how to create a research outline using APA format.
Start Your Research
While it may seem like you should create an outline before starting your research, the opposite is actually true. The information you find when researching your psychology research topic will start to reveal the information you'll want to include in your paper—and in your outline.
As you research, consider the main arguments you intend to make in your paper. Look for facts that support your hypothesis, keeping track of where you find these facts so you can cite them when writing your paper. The more organized you are when creating your outline, the easier it becomes to draft the paper itself.
If you are required to turn in your outline before you begin working on your paper, keep in mind that you may need to include a list of references that you plan to use.
Draft Your Outline Using APA Format
Once you have your initial research complete, you have enough information to create an outline. Start with the main headings (which are noted using Roman numerals I, II, III, etc.). Here's an example of the main headings you may use if you were writing an APA format outline for a research paper in support of using cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for anxiety :
- What CBT Is
- How CBT Helps Ease Anxiety
- Research Supporting CBT for Anxiety
- Potential Drawbacks of CBT for Anxiety and How to Overcome Them
Under each main heading, list your main points or key ideas using subheadings (as noted with A, B, C, etc.). Sticking with the same example, subheadings under "What CBT Is" may include:
- Basic CBT Principles
- How CBT Works
- Conditions CBT Has Been Found to Help Treat
You may also decide to include additional subheadings under your initial subheadings to add more information or clarify important points relevant to your hypothesis. Examples of additional subheadings (which are noted with 1, 2, 3, etc.) that could be included under "Basic CBT Principles" include:
- Is Goal-Oriented
- Focuses on Problem-Solving
- Includes Self-Monitoring
Begin Writing Your Research Paper
The reason this step is included when drafting your research paper outline using APA format is that you'll often find that your outline changes as you begin to dive deeper into your proposed topic. New ideas may emerge or you may decide to narrow your topic further, even sometimes changing your hypothesis altogether.
All of these factors can impact what you write about, ultimately changing your outline. When writing your paper, there are a few important points to keep in mind:
- Follow the structure that your instructor specifies.
- Present your strongest points first.
- Support your arguments with research and examples.
- Organize your ideas logically and in order of strength.
- Keep track of your sources.
- Present and debate possible counterarguments, and provide evidence that counters opposing arguments.
Update Your Final Outline
The final version of your outline should reflect your completed draft. Not only does updating your outline at this point help ensure that you've covered the topics you want in your paper, but it also gives you another opportunity to verify that your paper follows a logical sequence.
When reading through your APA-formatted outline, consider whether it flows naturally from one topic to the next. You wouldn't talk about how CBT works before discussing what CBT is, for example. Taking this final step can give you a more solid outline, and a more solid research paper.
American Psychological Association. About APA Style .
Purdue University Online Writing Lab. Types of outlines and samples .
Mississippi College. Writing Center: Outlines .
American Psychological Association. APA style: Style and Grammar Guidelines .
By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."
APA Formatting and Style (7th ed.) for Student Papers
- What's New in the 7th ed.?
- Principles of Plagiarism: An Overview
- Basic Paper Formatting
- Basic Paper Elements
- Punctuation, Capitalization, Abbreviations, Apostrophes, Numbers, Plurals
- Tables and Figures
- Reference Page Format
- Periodicals (Journals, Magazines, Newspapers)
- Books and Reference Works
- Webpage on a Website
- Discussion Post
- Company Information & SWOT Analyses
- Dissertations or Theses
- ChatGPT and other AI Large Language Models
- Online Images
- Online Video
- Computer Software and Mobile Apps
- Missing Information
- Two Authors
- Three or More Authors
- Group Authors
- Missing Author
- Chat GPT and other AI Large Language Models
- Secondary Sources
- Block Quotations
- Fillable Template and Sample Paper
- Government Documents and Legal Materials
- APA Style 7th ed. Tutorials
- Additional APA 7th Resources
- Grammarly - your writing assistant
- Writing Center - Writing Skills This link opens in a new window
- Brainfuse Online Tutoring
APA 7th ed. Fillable Word Template and Sample Paper
- APA 7th ed. Template Download this Word document, fill out the title page and get writing!
- Sample Paper APA 7th ed. Our APA sample paper shows you how to format the main parts of a basic research paper.
- APA 7th Sample Papers from Purdue Owl
- << Previous: Block Quotations
- Next: Government Documents and Legal Materials >>
- Last Updated: Feb 16, 2024 2:28 PM
- URL: https://national.libguides.com/apa_7th
Writing Center Outlines: Outlines
In this section, you'll find resources on creating Outlines. Because outlines are not published works, they do not ordinarily require APA formatting. However, assignment instructions can include APA as a grading criteria for your work, and in those instances, you should use APA standards for formatting (Title page) and use of sources (References).
Creating an Outline
An outline is a drafting tool to help you plan your paper. An outline provides structure for the sections and/or paragraphs of your paper, depending on the scope of your project. Please note that APA style does not require any specific formatting for outlines because APA style is intended for published texts and academic essays.
An outline should illustrate the progression of your thesis statement. Since each paragraph should have a main idea supported by evidence, you can use support from your research to outline your paper, paragraph by paragraph
- A thesis statement is a short statement that introduces the argument of your paper as a whole.
- Every paragraph in your paper should begin with a claim/main idea , which will be a debatable assertion or position that requires support. Claims build off one another in order to develop an argument over the course of an essay.
- Every claim should be supported by evidence or support , the proof that validates your claim. Evidence and support usually come from other sources, like peer-reviewed journal articles. This can include facts, data, statistics, anecdotes, and more.
Keep the following tips in mind when creating an outline:
- Remember, outlines should be helpful for you when writing your paper. You should be able to look at your outline and write major sections or paragraphs using the information and ideas in your outline.
- Level 1 bullet points should outline the major topics and ideas of your paper.
- Level 2 bullet points should plan out sub-topics, supporting ideas, and organizational aspects of your essay.
- Level 3 bullet points illustrate an extra level of thought and detail in your outline that you might not need. However, if you have done a lot of research on your topic already, you can use Level 3 bullet points to plan out your analysis for each piece of evidence or where to address specific counterarguments.
- It is not always required, but it can be a good idea to include a references page after your outline. This way, your sources are already organized when you begin drafting your essay.
Full sentence outlines are often accompanied with an APA reference list on a separate page. Quotes within the outline must also utilize APA in-text citations.
Sample Alphanumeric Outline
This downloadable sample alphanumeric outline will help you understand what a completed outline could look like.
Alphanumeric Outline Template
You can use this downloadable alphanumeric outline template to help get you started with your assignment.
This downloadable sample outline will help you understand what a completed outline could look like.
You can use this downloadable outline template to help you get started with your assignment.
- Last Updated: Feb 15, 2024 11:01 AM
- URL: https://csuglobal.libguides.com/outlines
Have a language expert improve your writing
Run a free plagiarism check in 10 minutes, generate accurate citations for free.
- Knowledge Base
- Research paper
- Research Paper Format | APA, MLA, & Chicago Templates
Research Paper Format | APA, MLA, & Chicago Templates
Published on November 19, 2022 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on January 20, 2023.
The formatting of a research paper is different depending on which style guide you’re following. In addition to citations , APA, MLA, and Chicago provide format guidelines for things like font choices, page layout, format of headings and the format of the reference page.
Scribbr offers free Microsoft Word templates for the most common formats. Simply download and get started on your paper.
APA | MLA | Chicago author-date | Chicago notes & bibliography
- Generate an automatic table of contents
- Generate a list of tables and figures
- Ensure consistent paragraph formatting
- Insert page numbering
Instantly correct all language mistakes in your text
Upload your document to correct all your mistakes in minutes
Table of contents
Formatting an apa paper, formatting an mla paper, formatting a chicago paper, frequently asked questions about research paper formatting.
The main guidelines for formatting a paper in APA Style are as follows:
- Use a standard font like 12 pt Times New Roman or 11 pt Arial.
- Set 1 inch page margins.
- Apply double line spacing.
- If submitting for publication, insert a APA running head on every page.
- Indent every new paragraph ½ inch.
Watch the video below for a quick guide to setting up the format in Google Docs.
The image below shows how to format an APA Style title page for a student paper.
If you are submitting a paper for publication, APA requires you to include a running head on each page. The image below shows you how this should be formatted.
For student papers, no running head is required unless you have been instructed to include one.
APA provides guidelines for formatting up to five levels of heading within your paper. Level 1 headings are the most general, level 5 the most specific.
APA Style citation requires (author-date) APA in-text citations throughout the text and an APA Style reference page at the end. The image below shows how the reference page should be formatted.
Note that the format of reference entries is different depending on the source type. You can easily create your citations and reference list using the free APA Citation Generator.
Generate APA citations for free
Receive feedback on language, structure, and formatting
Professional editors proofread and edit your paper by focusing on:
- Academic style
- Vague sentences
- Style consistency
See an example
The main guidelines for writing an MLA style paper are as follows:
- Use an easily readable font like 12 pt Times New Roman.
- Use title case capitalization for headings .
Check out the video below to see how to set up the format in Google Docs.
On the first page of an MLA paper, a heading appears above your title, featuring some key information:
- Your full name
- Your instructor’s or supervisor’s name
- The course name or number
- The due date of the assignment
A header appears at the top of each page in your paper, including your surname and the page number.
Works Cited page
MLA in-text citations appear wherever you refer to a source in your text. The MLA Works Cited page appears at the end of your text, listing all the sources used. It is formatted as shown below.
You can easily create your MLA citations and save your Works Cited list with the free MLA Citation Generator.
Generate MLA citations for free
The main guidelines for writing a paper in Chicago style (also known as Turabian style) are:
- Use a standard font like 12 pt Times New Roman.
- Use 1 inch margins or larger.
- Place page numbers in the top right or bottom center.
Chicago doesn’t require a title page , but if you want to include one, Turabian (based on Chicago) presents some guidelines. Lay out the title page as shown below.
Bibliography or reference list
Chicago offers two citation styles : author-date citations plus a reference list, or footnote citations plus a bibliography. Choose one style or the other and use it consistently.
The reference list or bibliography appears at the end of the paper. Both styles present this page similarly in terms of formatting, as shown below.
To format a paper in APA Style , follow these guidelines:
- Use a standard font like 12 pt Times New Roman or 11 pt Arial
- Set 1 inch page margins
- Apply double line spacing
- Include a title page
- If submitting for publication, insert a running head on every page
- Indent every new paragraph ½ inch
- Apply APA heading styles
- Cite your sources with APA in-text citations
- List all sources cited on a reference page at the end
The main guidelines for formatting a paper in MLA style are as follows:
- Use an easily readable font like 12 pt Times New Roman
- Include a four-line MLA heading on the first page
- Center the paper’s title
- Use title case capitalization for headings
- Cite your sources with MLA in-text citations
- List all sources cited on a Works Cited page at the end
The main guidelines for formatting a paper in Chicago style are to:
- Use a standard font like 12 pt Times New Roman
- Use 1 inch margins or larger
- Place page numbers in the top right or bottom center
- Cite your sources with author-date citations or Chicago footnotes
- Include a bibliography or reference list
To automatically generate accurate Chicago references, you can use Scribbr’s free Chicago reference generator .
Cite this Scribbr article
If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.
Caulfield, J. (2023, January 20). Research Paper Format | APA, MLA, & Chicago Templates. Scribbr. Retrieved February 26, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/research-paper/research-paper-format/
Is this article helpful?
Other students also liked, apa format for academic papers and essays, mla format for academic papers and essays, chicago style format for papers | requirements & examples, what is your plagiarism score.
APA 7th Edition Style Guide
- The Concise APA Handbook: APA 7th Edition
- Article Examples
- Book Examples
- Internet Resources and Other Examples
- Media Examples
- Finding the DOI
- APA Reference Quick Guide
- Legal Cases
- Sample Annotated Student Paper
- Annotated Bibliography
- Handouts and Guides
Sample Annotated Paper - APA Style 7th Edition
- Annotated Student Sample Paper
- Annotated Professional Sample Paper
- Sample Student Paper (no annotations)
- << Previous: Statutes
- Next: Annotated Bibliography >>
- Last Updated: Feb 20, 2024 5:21 PM
- URL: https://libguides.eku.edu/apastyleguide
EO/AA Statement | Privacy Statement | 103 Libraries Complex Crabbe Library Richmond, KY 40475 | (859) 622-1790 ©
- [email protected]
- Shapiro Library
- SNHU Library Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ: How should I format an outline in APA Style?
- 7 Academic Integrity & Plagiarism
- 63 Academic Support, Writing Help, & Presentation Help
- 28 Access/Remote Access
- 7 Accessibility
- 9 Building/Facilities
- 8 Career/Job Information
- 26 Catalog/Print Books
- 28 Circulation
- 128 Citing Sources
- 14 Copyright
- 309 Databases
- 24 Directions/Location
- 18 Faculty Resources/Needs
- 7 Hours/Contacts
- 1 Innovation Lab & Makerspace/3D Printing
- 25 Interlibrary Loan
- 43 IT/Computer/Printing Support
- 3 Library Instruction
- 40 Library Technology Help
- 8 Multimedia
- 17 Online Programs
- 20 Periodicals
- 25 Policies
- 8 RefWorks/Citation Managers
- 5 Research Guides (LibGuides)
- 221 Research Help
- 23 University Services
Last Updated: Jun 27, 2023 Views: 15285
Section 4.26 of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) discusses the advantages of writing from an outline such as improved flow, logic, and focus in your paper, but it does not provide a specific format for outlines.
Another benefit of using an outline that the Manual mentions is that it makes it very easy to pinpoint the headings and subheadings you will use in your paper. For guidelines on how to format the headings and subheadings, please review the APA Style blog’s Headings Level Template: Student Paper .
Academic Support created a guide on how to create a formal outline This link opens in a new window .
- APA guide (Shapiro Library)
This information is intended to be a guideline, not expert advice. Please be sure to speak to your professor about the appropriate way to cite sources in your class assignments and projects.
To access Academic Support, visit your Brightspace course and select “Tutoring and Mentoring” from the Academic Support pulldown menu.
To access help with citations and more, visit the Academic Support via modules in Brightspace:
- Academic Support Overview: Getting Help with your Schoolwork This link opens in a new window
American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7 th ed.). https://doi.org/10.1037/0000165-000
- Share on Facebook
Was this helpful? Yes 9 No 56
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are a self-serve option for users to search and find answers to their questions.
Use the search box above to type your question to search for an answer or browse existing FAQs by group, topic, etc.
Tell Me More
Link to Question Form
Submit a Question
- About Citing and Citation Styles
- Other Citation Styles
- Citing Artificial Intelligence Tools
- Citation Managers
APA (American Psychological Association) Style is most commonly used in the social and behavioral sciences.
- APA General Format The guidelines for paper format apply to both student assignments and manuscripts being submitted for publication to a journal. If you are using APA Style to create another kind of work (e.g., a website, conference poster, or PowerPoint presentation), you may need to format your work differently in order to optimize its presentation, for example, by using different line spacing and font sizes. Follow the guidelines of your institution or publisher to adapt APA Style formatting guidelines as needed.
- In-text Citations In scholarly writing, it is essential to acknowledge how others contributed to your work. By following the principles of proper citation, writers ensure that readers understand their contribution in the context of the existing literature—how they are building on, critically examining, or otherwise engaging the work that has come before.
- Reference List Check each reference carefully against the original publication to ensure information is accurate and complete. Accurately prepared references help establish your credibility as a careful researcher and writer. Consistency in reference formatting allows readers to focus on the content of your reference list, discerning both the types of works you consulted and the important reference elements (who, when, what, and where) with ease. When you present each reference in a consistent fashion, readers do not need to spend time determining how you organized the information. And when searching the literature yourself, you also save time and effort when reading reference lists in the works of others that are written in APA Style.
- Sample Paper This page contains several sample papers formatted in seventh edition APA Style.
- DOI Lookup: Crossref Search "Metadata". Crossref makes research outputs easy to find, cite, link, assess, and reuse. We’re a not-for-profit membership organization that exists to make scholarly communications better.
- Basics of APA Tutorial This tutorial is designed for writers new to APA Style. Learn the basics of seventh edition APA Style, including paper elements, format, and organization; academic writing style; grammar and usage; bias-free language; mechanics of style; tables and figures; in-text citations, paraphrasing, and quotations; and reference list format and order. The Basics of Seventh Edition APA Style tutorial will permanently stay on this site for free.
APA Style from Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL)
- APA 7th Handout Two page PDF covering common citation and reference types in APA.
- << Previous: MLA
- Next: Chicago >>
- Last Updated: Feb 24, 2024 7:55 AM
- URL: https://guides.library.fresnostate.edu/citationhelp
Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts
Types of Outlines and Samples
Welcome to the Purdue OWL
This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.
Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.
This resource is enhanced by a PowerPoint file. If you have a Microsoft Account, you can view this file with PowerPoint Online .
This is the most common type of outline and usually instantly recognizable to most people. The formatting follows these characters, in this order:
- Roman Numerals
- Capitalized Letters
- Arabic Numerals
- Lowercase Letters
If the outline needs to subdivide beyond these divisions, use Arabic numerals inside parentheses and then lowercase letters inside parentheses. Select the "Sample Outlines" PDF in the Media Box above to download the sample of this outline.
The sample PDF in the Media Box above is an example of an outline that a student might create before writing an essay. In order to organize her thoughts and make sure that she has not forgotten any key points that she wants to address, she creates the outline as a framework for her essay.
What is the assignment?
Your instructor asks the class to write an expository (explanatory) essay on the typical steps a high school student would follow in order to apply to college.
What is the purpose of this essay?
To explain the process for applying to college
Who is the intended audience for this essay?
High school students intending to apply to college and their parents
What is the essay's thesis statement?
When applying to college, a student follows a certain process which includes choosing the right schools and preparing the application materials.
Full Sentence Outlines
The full sentence outline format is essentially the same as the Alphanumeric outline. The main difference (as the title suggests) is that full sentences are required at each level of the outline. This outline is most often used when preparing a traditional essay. Select the "Sample Outlines" PDF in the Media Box above to download the sample of this outline.
The decimal outline is similar in format to the alphanumeric outline. The added benefit is a system of decimal notation that clearly shows how every level of the outline relates to the larger whole. Select the "Sample Outlines" PDF in the Media Box above to download the sample of this outline.