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Set Specific Goals

Writing a research paper is a lot easier on you, the student, when you set yourself certain goals. All of this takes place before you start the research and the writing. The saying goes that if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail. So rather than rushing in to begin writing your research paper, stop, take stock of the situation and list your goals. Here are a few possible specific goals.

  • set up a timetable
  • create an ideal topic
  • create an ideal thesis statement
  • become an expert note taker
  • create an outstanding plan
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4 Tips On How To Find A Solid Sample Of An APA Outline For Your Research Paper


Every type of organization tends to have a style of writing that they prefer and the psychology arena is no different. The psychology field follows the guidelines outlined by the American Psychology Association or APA and provides the formatting that should be used for all research papers including everything from the title pages to the citations, notations and outlines.

When you are searching for a sample outline for an APA formatted paper consider these four tips to ensure that the works you find will meet the requirements of your field.

Tip One – Roman Numerals


One of the first things that you will need to review your document for is to see that they use roman numerals for the main headings. While Arabic numerals are preferred in other types of writing the APA format prefers that top level headings use roman numerals. For subheadings the follow styles should be followed capital letters for sub-headings, then Arabic numerals, lower case letters and finally, if needed, use Arabic numerals enclosed in parenthesis.

Tip Two – Full Sentences


When writing and APA formatted outline you want to ensure that each line is written in a full and complete sentence. Other styles allow phrases and sentence fragments but this is not allowed in the APA formatting requirements.

Tip Three – Decimal Format


Another formatting requirement that could come into play is using the decimal formatting system for the outline. For example:

  1. Visit a Preferred University
    1. Evaluate the campus
    2. Evaluate the website
    3. Evaluate the library
      1. Review the collection of works available.

This format is also used when creating an outline.

Tip Four – Wording Preferences


Another thought to keep in mind when looking for a sample APA outline is to see that they used parallelism when structuring the outline. Parallelism relates to the structure between the headings and sub-headings between sections. For example, each heading should begin with the same type of word, such as a noun or verb. If you review the sample above you will see that each line begins with a verb per the APA requirements.

It may seem that there are many requirements to keep in mind but following the accepted format is essential. By using these four tips you will find an outline that will meet the requirements of your department and be prepared for any upcoming written assignments.

Paper Structure Guides

Citation Styles

Research Sources

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