Fundamentals of an APA Essay Outline

Interpretation of the APA Formatting Style

The APA formatting style specifies recommendations on the style and structure of academic articles. However, it is imperative to point out that even though the formatting style is usually used in paper created for the social science field, it does not mean that the design of writing is reserved for this field alone. It is prevalent and is used in almost every study field nowadays.

Specifics of the Formatting Design

As we have seen above, the APA formatting style provides writers with recommendations on how they should structure their paper, the page layout to be implemented, and how information should be presented from the beginning of the article until the end. To understand more about the style, here are some of the specifications of the design;

  1. Use a readable font most preferably times new roman. The font size should be 12
  2. Double-space your text
  3. Have a 1-inch margin on all sides of your paper
  4. Always ensure to number your pages and place the page number on the top right corner of each page
  5. Use roman numerals for all the headings in the outline
  6. For the first level of subheadings, you are supposed to use capital letters
  7. When numbering these subheadings, make sure to use Arab numbers
  8. For those subheadings that appear after the first level, only use lower case letters
  9. After these subheadings, ensure that any Arab numbers you use are placed in brackets/parentheses

Significance of an Outline to Essay Writing

Anytime you are given an essay writing assignment, the first thing you should do is get to understand all the requirements your teacher has given you on how to write the document. This is important as it will help you create a document that conforms to your teacher’s specifications. This is how you will know specific detail about the essay, such as its word count and formatting styles.

Understand that even when your teacher does not require you to hand in an outline, it is always best to ensure that you create it anyway. Realize that having an outline will be very beneficial to you. It will, in the first place, help you classify your points to identify the main ones. It enables you to organize all the paragraphs so that they complement each other, which leads to creating a free-flowing paper.

By having an outline, you will pick only those points you can fully expound upon as input for your essay. This is important as it will eliminate any chance of getting stuck when you start drafting the paper.

Your outline provides you with a map of where you are supposed to go regarding the essay's theme. Having a good sense of direction enables you to stay focused on the topic of the paper. It allows you to create a document that only contains the most relevant information. Therefore, whenever you are given an essay writing assignment, remember that it is always in your best interest to create an outline first.

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