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Tips On Writing A Psychology Research Paper Outline In The APA Style

The APA or American Psychological Association's style is a method or format of presenting written academic material in a particular style. It is a style which is commonly associated with the social sciences which obviously includes a psychological research paper. In this case we're going to concentrate on the outline in that particular genre or format.

Your research paper will contain four sections each of them essential to the success of your work. There is the title page, the abstract, the main body and then the citations or list of references you have used in compiling your work. The outline is your summation or shorthand version of what is to appear in the main body of the research paper and here it is known as the abstract.

Remember the specific requirements

The APA style contains a number of instructions which deal with such things as the layout of the title page, the size of the typeface you choose, the measurements of the margins and the presentation points, etc. Finding details of the APA style is very easy. Your school or college will almost certainly have a handbook on the subject and there are almost countless websites which provide a definition in great detail.

The outline must begin on a new page. It must include the page header and beneath this in the centre of the page will be the word Abstract. The APA guidelines are quite specific. This single word is to have no bold or italics or underlining or quotation marks. Again all this information is provided in APA handbook and on numerous websites.

Your abstract which is an outline of the key points of your research information will include some if not all of the following pieces of information.

  • the research questions you posed in your paper
  • any participants who worked with you
  • the method you employ to carry out your research
  • the results of your research
  • an analysis of the data you collected
  • the conclusions you arrived at

This outline will be presented as a single paragraph and double spaced on a single page and it will contain between 150 and 250 words.

Not only must your outline be well-written, contain the information as listed above in a concise form, but it must also comply strictly with the requirements of the APA style. The outline is probably best written at the end of your writing process.

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