Defining an Outline
An outline is a plan of your paper. It states what details to include in your writing and at what point. Apart from simplifying the writing process, it assists in understanding the structure of your paper, allowing you to follow each instruction to the letter. It also enables you to write a well-structured, coherent, and error-free article, which reduces your chances of getting shallow marks.
Components of an APA Paper Outline
Writing an APA paper outline is easy as long as you know the specific components to include. Here is a breakdown of the general structure:
An introduction paragraph should have the following information:
- The title of your paper
- Your name
- The course title
- The lecturer’s name
Write this information in a single row and column on a separate page. Use a 12-point size (A4) and 50% font Times New Roman.
What to Include in the Paper Outline
Most papers that students have to write have topic sentences. Explain the essential meaning of the tasks and use concrete examples to back your arguments. Do not forget to identify the concept and explain its relevance. Add supporting evidence and reference any online materials that you used to help come up with your ideas. Add a conclusion summarizing all your points.
A great introduction paragraph should start with an attention-grabbing statement, then provide the background information needed to understand the topic further and decide on a side. It is often recommended to start with general information and add details as the paper develops.
Outlining the Body Section of the Paper
Use the body outline as a guide to writing the main points. Each paragraph in the body section should start with a topic sentence, have facts supporting your arguments, and explain how the evidence supports the argument. In scientific papers, the introduction of a fact is often known as a citation. For a modern academic paper, you can simply use an expert quote that helps support your topic further.
Do not forget to discuss other supporting evidence and refute the opposing arguments. Every fact included in the body should have its paragraph to explain its importance. Facts that contribute to a particular aspect of the topic should appear in higher paragraphs while those that cast doubts on the same side should be in the lowest paragraphs.
Outline for a Standard Paper
A standard paper should have these components:
It should begin with a topic sentence and state the issue under study and its relevance. The introductory part should be a sufficient foundation for your paper.