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Outlining Research Papers In APA Format: 3 Helpful Tricks

There are a lot of different ways in which you cold outline your information for research papers, but when it comes to writing research papers in APA format, there really is only one way to actually outline your research paper. APA is one of the most popular formats used in the writing world, especially when it comes to papers for school and College. APA stands for the American Psychological Association and is used for doing assignments and or writing papers in the classes that deal with social sciences. There are a set of specific guidelines used for the research paper, starting all the way from the very first page to the last page and even the works cited page.

In order to create a perfect outline for an APA research paper, you need to better understand the APA outline format. It may seem very complicated, but in reality it is just a pattern. You start off using Roman numerals for the main headings and then capital letters for the sub-headings. Within the sub-headings you then use Arab numerals and then you use lower case letters. And then if need be, depending on the length and intensity of the paper, you can use Arab numerals in parenthesis. The best way to fully grasp this method is to just simply look at examples of papers in an APA format.

There are also two other APA formats that can be used, but are not highly recommended or referred to; these are the decimal outline and the full sentence outline. In a full sentence outline you make a full sentence at each bullet point and a full sentence outline is also handed in with an APA reference list on a separate page to go along with the full sentences listed in the outline. A decimal format starts with 1.0 and each tidbit under that is 1.1, 1.2 and so on, then the next topic, or paragraph, is 2.0 and then 2.1 and 2.2 and so on. The basic format and the decimal format are similar in the way of only labeling the basics in short hand throughout the outline whereas the full sentence format is just last, full sentences in which really leaves no surprise to the reader or the audience. Examples of the APA formats:

Full Sentence Outline:

Decimal Outline:

Basic Format: