Preparing good research paper outlines (APA format)

An example of an outline for an APA style research paper

The main purpose of an outline is to effectively distribute the various points among the various parts of term paper or research paper documents. In order to accomplish this task successfully, you will need to have a good idea of the specifications of the format you are using. The outlines are the frameworks of research papers and hence it must be adjusted to accommodate the main characteristics of the research paper. For example, if you are dealing with economic paper topics, your outline will have to suit the specifications of economics presentation. And if you are preparing a math research paper, your outline will need to fit in all the specific requirements of math presentation. Similarly, the formatting rules of the style must also be considered while preparing research paper outlines (APA format), especially if you are preparing an outline based on the structural components of the paper.

A research paper outline (APA format) will have the following pattern.

  1. The title page
    • The title
    • The running head
    • The page number
    • The name of the author
    • The course title
    • The name of the professor
    • The date of submission.
  2. The introduction
    • The topic
    • The scope of the topic
    • The nature of research
    • Relevant background information
    • The thesis statement
  3. The body paragraphs I, II and III
    • The first, second and third main points respectively
    • The explanation
    • The discussion
    • The justification
    • Presentation of evidence
    • In-text citations (in (author, date) format)
    • Footnotes (for the additional information on the text)
  4. The conclusion
    • The summary of the main points
    • Thesis reinstated
    • Discussion of further scope for research on the topic
    • The concluding line.
  5. References
    • Text sources
    Internet sources
    • Primary sources
    • Secondary sources
    • Tertiary sources



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Joslyn Fresay

Joslyn Fresay


I am work in, an educational firm that specializes in tutoring, test prep, and enrichment programs for students.