Crafting An Outline For An APA Research Paper

Developing an outline for a piece of writing will help to guide your work and your research throughout your project. When you need to craft an outline for an APA research paper, consider these important guidelines to help you through this task and get on with the writing.

Utilize parallelism in the components

The concept of parallelism in the outline helps to keep it concise and allow the reader to follow the logical progression of the work. For example, when doing research on schools and colleges, the first heading would be “choose acceptable colleges” and the second would be “submit college applications”. These two headings tie together in a logical manner and use verbs in the present tense so that you have a logical sequence of events. By following the guideline of parallelism throughout the outline it will maintain structure and be useful in the writing.

Coordination and structure throughout the outline

The next step in composing an outline is to ensure that it ties together throughout each section. The headings and subheadings should have some significance to each other and be structured in similar topic areas in order to make logical sense. This coordination throughout the outline will eventually help to structure your writing later on and make the final writing easier to accomplish.

Utilize subordination within the outline

Subordination means that topics in subheadings should relate in some manner to the top level heading. For example, if you are looking at members of a family as the top level heading then appropriate subheadings would be mother, father, sister, etc. By grouping the topics and subject matter using subordination in the early stages of the outline you will have a better structure for the work as you progress through the final project.

Division of the subject matter

Division of the subject matter is the final tip to crafting an outline in the APA format. Division means that when you compose the outline, each subheading should have at least two or possibly more subsections. There should be no heading with only one subheading as that would be redundant.

Composing the outline gives you a template to follow for the remainder of your research and writing. Take time in the beginning to structure your work so that it will be easy, effective and thorough to guide you through the project quickly and effectively.