Below you will find a detailed explanation on how to write an outline in APA format.
Presentation vs. outline
In the good old times when PowerPoint presentations were not that common, as the use of computer was very rare, college students were still able to present their work in written form. Outlines are still important for everyone who wants to present their work in a coherent and logical way. In contrast to the presentations elaborated on the computer, outlines are more focused on the logical connections between the ideas contained in a given work (usually assignment). Presentations, on the other hand, employ multimedia in order to show their object as existing in different dimensions. Regrettably, the quantity of information presented through PowerPoint (for instance) is very often inversely proportional to its quality; this is a flaw which outlines avoid, because the reader is concentrated only on the quality of information available there.
Here only one version is presented: the alphanumerical form. According to it, you should use roman numbers (I) for the main headings, and capital letters (A) for the sub-headings. Inside the sub-headings you should employ Arabic numbers (1) and lower-case letters (a).
There should be logical order throughout the paper. That means, headings should be headings and not sub-headings; and vice versa. Remember: the outline reminds in some way a plan of your work that you want to present; however, it also summarizes the main ideas exposed in different parts of the work. Try to follow inner coherence of the work: the outline should reflect it perfectly.
There are four main principles you should follow:
–parallelism– your outline should have several headings, “equal” to each other. That means, every heading contains equal quantity of information and is equally important. Parallelism also implies using of the appropriate language and similar syntactic structure (the sentences begin only with a verb, or with a noun, and so forth).
–coordination– the significance of each chapter should be equal. The principles of parallelism and coordination seem one and the same, but actually there is a slight difference between both: parallelism refers more to the language used in the title of the headings.
–subordination– this is the principle according to which the information in the sub-headings should be more detailed.
–division– headings are divided into several equal subheadings. If we add here the principle of parallelism, it is better to have one and the same number of subheadings for each main heading.
Example outline in APA format
The following is the so-called alphanumeric outline on the topic “Existentialism.” You can also use the full sentence format, or the decimal format. Remember: before you start writing your outline, you should be sure that it contains all the information that you need to present.
I. HISTORY OF EXISTENTIALISM
A. Existentialism of the 19th century
1. Religious existentialism
2. Atheistic existentialism
B. Existentialism of the 20th century
1. Personalist existentialism
2. French atheistic existentialism
II. MAIN IDEAS
1. Freedom as a burden
2. Freedom as an opportunity
1. Personality and authenticity
2. Crowd and authenticity
III. CRITICISM AGAINST EXISTENTIALISM
1. Existentialism and the reality of God
2. Human freedom and the reality of God
1. De-valuated ethics
2. Relativist ethics
IV. INFLUENCE OF EXISTENTIALISM
A. In Philosophy
1. The problem of freedom
2. The problem of personality
B. In sociology
1. Individual and society
2. Personality and crowd
C. In psychology
1. Personality and choice
2. Freedom and psychic
Frequently Asked Questions About Writing an Outline in APA Format
What is the purpose of APA format outline?
The purpose of an outline is to organize your thoughts and ideas before writing a paper in APA style. An outline can help you to structure your paper in a logical and clear way, and can also help you to ensure that all of the necessary information is included.
How do I format an outline in APA style?
To format an outline in APA style, you should use Roman numerals for the main headings, capital letters for subheadings, and Arabic numerals for sub-subheadings, if necessary. Additionally, each level of the outline should be indented to show the hierarchy of the information.
What should be included in an APA style outline?
An outline in APA style should include the main headings, subheadings, and sub-subheadings of your paper, along with brief descriptions of the information that will be included in each section. You should also include your thesis statement in the introduction of your outline.
Is it necessary to include sub-subheadings in an APA outline?
Including sub-subheadings in your APA outline is not necessary, but it can be helpful if your paper includes a lot of detailed information. If you do choose to include sub-subheadings, they should be formatted with Arabic numerals.
Can I use bullet points in my APA style outline?
Yes, you can use bullet points in your outline. However, you should still follow the basic formatting guidelines for an outline in APA style, such as using Roman numerals for main headings and capital letters for subheadings. Bullet points can be used to list specific examples or details under each main point or subheading.
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