Guide on APA style research paper outline rules

If you are studying at the Faculty of Psychology, sooner or later you will have to write a research paper outline, and most likely it will need to be done in the APA (American Psychological Association) format. If you have never heard of this essay format before and primarily have not used it, it is better to immediately get acquainted with all its features and understand how it differs from other essay formats and requirements that you used before.

Of course, like any other subject, you will need some time to get used to using all the requirements for the research paper. However, this skill will be beneficial to you in the future. The fact is that as part of your studies at the university, you will often have to deal with the writing of research paper outline and therefore it is better to master all the skills, like for example personal statement that you will need for an essay in advance.

A little discourse in the history of the format

The APA assignment requirements have initially been the official writing format for all types of academic papers proposed by the American Psychological Association (all rights reserved). This format can often be found when quoting various sources in educational sciences and also in other college disciplines that are related to the social subject.

The first mention of this style was published in a research paper under the name Psychological Bulletin in 1929. In the framework of the article, the authors tried to accurately reveal the basic policy of this style and what was the meaning of its use in the research paper. Later, these principles became the basis for the development of guidelines for the publication of research papers in the APA.

The importance of using APA in a research paper

Why is the use of this style in the assignment so important today? The fact is that when writing materials on psychology or other social studies, researchers wanted to come to a standard assignment format for presenting data and author’s personal attitude. Thus, scientists and experts were able to write materials according to previously agreed principles. And this, in turn, was the result of the fact that for a reader it is much easier to read and analyze various specialized journals and articles on psychology.

APA style

If earlier you did not have to write an assignment on subjects related to social sciences, then most likely you used such a format as MLA (Modern Language Association) for your academic articles. Therefore, many first-year students are surprised why universities often prefer to use the APA style for an essay. Of course, getting used to the new format of outline at first will be somewhat tricky even if you use ready-made templates of various works.

Nevertheless, we assure you that as soon as you fully familiarize yourself with all the template requirements of this essay style and also learn how to use various tips and tricks, a term paper writing will become a reasonably simple process for you.

APA style research paper template

Research paper example is a handy source of data, especially for those students who are not familiar with all the requirements and parameters of the APA format. However, thanks to this example, it will be more comfortable than ever to write a thesis statement and edit your argumentative essay in APA style. When you have a ready-made outline template for formatting your text, subject review, text links and quotes, all you need to do is adjust the written material to this outline template.

In order to compile a competent and effective APA research template, it is necessary to review whether it contains the main features of this format, which include:

  • Thesis statement for a research essay. It should be brief and has some specific and robust message for an essay.
  • Research essay title page. You will need to indicate the name of your essay, the name of an author who wrote, the date when the argumentative essay is submitted for verification and the name of your college or university.
  • Four central sections of a research essay. Each research work compiled in this format should consist of four primary essay sections, namely the title, abstract, the central text of the research paper, and a correctly composed list of references.
  • Essay page title. Each new heading in an essay should begin on a new page and be located at the top of the document. Remember to check all the headings after your paper is complete.
  • Font and margin settings of an essay. When writing your research essay for admission in this format, you must use margins with a 1/2-inch border. In this instance, the essay font should be Times New Roman 12 sizes.
  • Citation in your essay. Regardless of how many quotes will be used in the essay outline, the citation should be made in brackets or parenthesis.
  • Making a list of links in an APA essay. After writing your research paper, you need to indicate on a separate sheet of paper a complete list of links that you used in the essay.
  • Indication of authors in APA essay format. Do not forget that you need to indicate the surname and name of the author of the materials used in your research essay writing.

What is a paper outline anyway?

In order for you to be able to visualize better what APA outline is and why you should use it, try to imagine the outline in the form of a frame that is installed when building a house. Thus, you get a structure that consists of bricks and boards and on which other elements are subsequently attached, and a finished house is obtained.

The same thing happens with the outline in articles that are written in APA style. The finished research essay writing has an outline made in such a way that all the headings and the presentation of the material receive a unique logical sequence and the outline thus becomes very easy to read.

In essence, an essay outline is necessary so that the reader can find data written in your research essay, writing much more comfortable and faster, and there is no need to review every line. It goes without saying that an outline, has certain principles and requirements that have been established by the Association and are currently used by most colleges and universities. The same goes for all other parameters that are used to write a research paper in the APA format.

Moreover, educational institutions provide students with an opportunity to familiarize themselves with all APA requirements for an essay in special report booklets. Already within the framework of the educational process, one of the teachers explains APA paper standards in more detail. This comes along with all the case study principles and requirements of this format right before you need to complete the outline writing using this style.

A Detailed Outline: The most vital paper components to consider

The writing of your research paper should begin directly with the preparation of a plan and the writing of the document structure following all the requirements of the APA style. This process without fail includes the search and fixing of ideas for the argumentation of the paper, the analysis of data on the selected topic, and the preparation of sources to which you will subsequently refer.

After analyzing a sufficient amount of information, writers will need to weed out the excess and compose in outline the remaining ideas in the order of their relevance. After that, you can start writing your admission essay and confirm each of your arguments with relevant facts and statistics.

Subject to all the regulations of this style, you should eventually get a good paper that will demonstrate the logical chain of your thoughts and will contain annotated bibliography. In order to facilitate your research paper, we offer you one of the options for the structure of writing that can be used for educational purposes:

  • Title page of the paper. This section demonstrates the main details of the article outline you are submitting. Regarding APA volume requirements, the length of the header should not exceed 60 characters.
  • Essay paper annotation. Writing a research essay is a prerequisite in this case. The length of the APA abstract you need to write consists of 250 – 300 words. This roughly corresponds to 1/3 of an A4 page.

! This section must necessarily include the main conclusions about your APA paper, their significance as well as the conclusions that you make based on the results.

  • Introduction part of the paper. According to most professional writers, before you start writing a paper, you need to conduct an in-depth analysis of the topic and sources of data. This, in turn, will help you to logically explain why you decided to choose a particular problem and discuss it, starting from the introduction section.

! Do not forget to indicate the results that you planned to get in the process of analysis and paper writing, and formulate a hypothesis that will contain the main thesis.

  • The methodology of the paper. In this instance, the point is that you should indicate what methods of APA formatting and analysis of information collection you used for the outline to conduct the personal study. When describing the techniques, you will need to write the material in such a way that any reader has the opportunity to repeat your research step by step.

! The primary purpose of this APA paper section is to enable other scientists and experts who are interested in this issue to be able to continue the investigation and analysis of the topic more deeply.

  • Results of a research paper. Most often, APA paper writers indicate the results of analysis together with a discussion of the topic itself in one large section. In fact, this has its own logic, since both elements are interconnected. In turn, you could start by indicating the results of the study and later tell us in more detail how this affects society. At the same time, when writing this section, it is important to operate on three central components, that is, numbers, facts, and statistics.


Remember that the more logical and interconnected the results of work are with the body of your term paper, the easier it will be for the reader to analyze the type of material you wrote and make a specific summary conclusion.

Though if you still feel unconfident whether you can manage to write such type of essay you are free to contact an online writing service. This, in turn, can help you to save a lot of time and nerves and guarantees privacy.

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