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Methods of Outlines Writing Guide

Creating a research paper or thesis can be a great deal of work, and adhering to proper formatting standards is critical. APA standards are the most common in terms of collegiate formatting, and you will find that these rules apply to every section of your paper. At BestEssayHelp, we can help ensure that your entire paper properly adheres to APA or any other set of formatting standards. In this guide, we can help you understand the proper methods of outlines for an APA style paper.

What follows is the APA formatting style in terms of how to begin each heading and subheading type. This formatting makes use of Roman numerals, the alphabet, and Arabic numerals. Roman numerals are used for the main headings, capital letters for sub headings, Arabic numerals for headings within these, and lowercase alphabetic letters for the fourth branch of headings.

Example: I. Create Research Paper A. Selecting a topic 1. Choose the right area of study 2. Ensure adequate information a. accurate web data b. reproducible experiments

While this is an example of the proper way to create subheadings using the APA style, there are two different approaches to the text used in your outline. Both methods of outlines offered do conform to APA standards, and the correct answer can depend on your personal preference or the requirements of your professor.

The above example is considered to be a topic outline. Each heading and subheading addresses the main topic of the section in a succinct and concise manner. The second type of outline is called the full sentence outline, and uses full sentences for each heading. Traditionally, this latter form of outline will be accompanied by an APA formatted reference page and will offer summaries of each topic.

Example: I. Energy efficient vehicles are the key to lower carbon emissions during travel. A. Researchers have long reported that vehicular carbon emissions are the primary reason that cars are damaging to the environment. 1. The release of carbon during fuel combustion releases significant levels of pollution into the environment. A. The implementation of vehicles that do not use fossil fuels would eliminate this carbon output.

Both of these formatting styles are considered to be acceptable according to APA formatting standards, but determining the best one for your paper could be important if it has not been specified by your professor. Research intensive papers can often lend themselves far better to the second outline, which serves as an excellent tool for locating certain parts of a thesis within the paper.