Research Paper Outline Format: APA Guide

As a student, whether in college or high school, there is no doubt that you will have met the mightily dreaded research paper. The reason why students tend to dislike this type of writing is due to the fact that it requires a considerable amount of time to write up. Most of your time might not even be taken up by the writing up part, but rather by the amount of time you need to put in to find high quality sources to use in your paper. You can greatly reduce the amount of time spent, and increase your efficiency by making an outline format before you officially begin writing your APA paper.


A research paper outline acts as a blueprint for the student when they are writing their work. In essence, it is a guide for you to look at in case you become stuck during the process of writing your paper. Another advantage of having an outline is the fact that, many times, students have a brilliant idea in their mind, however they may not be able to retain and forget about it when it comes to writing their essay. With an outline, you no longer need to keep a hold of your ideas all in your mind.


A large aspect of your APA paper will include putting in sources and research into your writing to strengthen your arguments. Thus, a large part of the research paper outline apa, is to also include the sources you will aim to implement in your paper.

There are several ways in which you can find these sources, and we will discuss the best avenues for you to take. Perhaps the best way to compile sources to put into your paper is the library. With a huge selection of books, you can search up most of the sources you need and make a note of them. If you are not keen on taking out a bunch of library books, you can take a photo of the relevant parts you need to create a reference for it.

Another advantage to the library is the fact that many will have important newspaper and magazine clippings that can come into use when using sources. Online academic papers can also be excellent sources to use in your paper. They can usually be found in academic journal, or through a simple search on ‘Google Scholar’.


For an APA paper, there is a specific format that needs to be followed, or else your essay submission will not be accepted. The research paper outline format is as follows:

It is pivotal to ensure that you paper follows this format, and you should do your plan in a similar format also.

As you can see, diligent research is required to complete a high quality APA paper outline. You can also buy papers online, if you feel that it will be a better option for you.