Research paper

How to Write an APA Research Paper Outline

How to Make a Good APA Research Paper Outline

Before we dive into how one should go about creating an outline for their research paper, it is best first to understand precisely what an outline is. An outline is the framework from which you will craft the paper. It is a road map, showing you what to do at each stage of the writing process. It acts as a guide, ensuring that you do not stray and waste time.

Crafting an outline for an APA research paper is a very time-consuming process. First and foremost, it requires that you learn how to do over a specific research paper prompt or question. The outline will then be used as a visual aid to help the writer remember the critical information or points they require to have at the end of the paper.

Types of APA Research Paper Outlines

There are four main types of outlines, each requiring the specific skills and knowledge to craft a standard one. They include;

  • Process Outline
  • Analysis Outline
  • Evaluation Outline
  • Argumentative Outline

Therefore, knowing what to outline is an essential first step in paper writing. APA paper outlines can be classified into three broad categories based on the information required to write each paper. These include;

  1. Process Outlines

These are mostly common in practical research papers. For this type of outline, the information to be covered must come about as a result of a specific process. For instance, one could be writing a lab report and encountering some data. It is the writer’s job to apply the skills learned in the lab and interpret the material into something useful and relevant for the audience. Process Outlines can be categorized into;

  1. Analysis Outlines

These are also known as qualitative formats. They make use of verbal descriptions of specific material. When writing an analysis outline, you must use your own words to describe the material and the occurrences of key phrases. This can be quite tricky for most writers who typically use other techniques such as graphs, statistics and charts to make their work visually appealing. Analysis Outlines can be categorized into;

  1. Evaluation Outlines

For this type of outline, you are required to analyze a specific phenomenon and then give a judgment on your interpretation of the said phenomenon. As such, it falls under the category of providing our understanding of a phenomenon. Our understanding is then backed up by evidence and facts. It is then our responsibility to provide a reasonable hypothesis to explain the phenomenon. Evaluation Outlines can be categorized into;