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How To Write An Apa Research Paper: A Proper Outline Example


An outline is one of the most important parts of the writing process. With a good outline, the student has an exact guide for structuring their paper. It should include the thesis statement, supporting evidence, an introduction and a conclusion. By making an outline, students can easily judge the strength of their argument.

Beginning With the Introduction

The first one or two paragraphs of the essay will be the introduction. This section of the paper will include a thesis statement that discusses the topic of the paper. In the thesis statement, the student makes an argument that they must prove by writing the remainder of the document.

Creating the Background

Once the introduction is complete, the student should provide background information for the reader. Most readers are not highly skilled about a technical topic. This background information will help to narrate the current state of the field. It may discuss gaps in the current research, historical information or current viewpoints.

Building the Major Points

Over the course of the paper, students should develop their argument point by point. To organize their thoughts, they should start by listing the four major points. Beneath of these headings, the student can include two minor points that support their major points. They should also list any of the sources that will be used to support their argument. By including the sources during the outlining process, students can make the writing process easier.

Concluding the Argument

At the very end of the outline, students will need to write a conclusion. This portion of the paper will basically restate the thesis. It may also include the lasting implications of the argument or the research. For most five to seven page papers, the conclusion will just be one or two paragraphs.

Use Example Outlines

Although most students have to create an outline at some point in their academic career, there is always a first time for everyone. Students who are unfamiliar with creating an outline should look up an example online. Many academic websites and university English departments will include samples of the best outline. Free essay websites will also have sample outlines that can be used as a guide.

The basic outline style listed above works for most paper types. In general, this structure works best for five to seven page documents. If the paper will be longer than that, the student will need to create a longer, more in-depth body for their paper.

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