How to write a formal outline template

It provides the basic template and layout style for writing a research paper or an outline in APA format. However, most of the time students are not aware of the intricacies involved in writing a research paper or an outline in APA format. This article will serve as a guide for those students who are thinking about writing an outline in APA format. Basically, APA format is used in the social sciences but it is not just limited to social sciences alone.

How to write a formal outline template

Never let it be said I am not a woman of my word! When a teacher or supervisor asks you for a formal outline, she or he is requesting a document that has very specific formatting rules.

Some rules will differ according to the kind of project you're working on and any specific instructions given to you, but there are a few general rules you should be aware of that govern all formal outlines.


Items should follow logical order. The higher the heading level, the more general the statement. Use either sentences or phrases in your outline, but not both. Sentences are followed by periods; phrases are NOT. Items must be in parallel structure. The outline should be consistent.

First of all, make sure that the content of your outline is logical before you start nitpicking on the format.

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Do the headings make sense in the order you have placed them? Are items that are closely related placed together for a more natural flow of ideas? All this guideline says is to make your subheadings increase in detail with each subsequent level.

More detailed statement 1.

This article is a part of the guide:

Even more detailed statement To further clarify the levels of specificity, here is a short example. Remember that you need to maintain consistency in the level of specificity you have given each level. Anime is worth watching.

Anime accurately conveys life truths. Bastard demonstrates that bad things can and will happen to good people. Elfen Leid shows the need to face one's past in order to learn from and move past it. If the example given for the previous rule were a completed outline, then it would violate this guideline.

If there is an "A" in your outline, there must be a "B. To give a main point only one subpoint would be to divide it by one, which results in the same main point, so the subpoint is redundant.

As self-explanatory as this rule is, it is one that SO many people forget when writing outlines.


Please, please, please do not mix sentences and phrases in your outlines. If your first main point is a complete sentence, then let that format guide the rest of your main points and subpoints. Sometimes your outline instructions will specify that the points be written as phrases or sentences, but usually the choice is left up to you.

If you want your work to look professional, make sure you choose to write in either sentences or phrases and then stick to it. Hopefully this rule is also self-explanatory.

Making sure you go back and check to make sure you haven't placed a period at the end of any phrases and that all your sentences are followed by periods is one of those final touches that will make your outline look professional.

Because outlines are so textually sparse, readers' eyes WILL notice when some lines have periods and others don't. Parallel structure is, in short, a similar pattern of words. Again, consistency is the key.

If you use one form of phrasing your points, then you need to stick to that format for that heading level. This is another rule that is best explained through illustration. Things to do in the summer A.Writing an outline in APA format is quite different from other formats such as MLA, Harvard, etc.

APA stands for American Psychological Association and the APA writing style has been designed by the association. Help with formal and business letter writing.

how to write a formal outline template

A summary of writing rules including outlines for cover letters and letters of enquiry, and abbreviations used in letters. The example letter below shows you a general format for a formal or business letter. Pass your mouse over the different areas of it.

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A Statement of Work (SOW) is an important part of both project and contract management that helps guarantee that the work for a project will be done according to certain guidelines and expectations. This template covers the basics and narrows the focus, so you can write a killer thesis statement and use strong evidence to support your claim.

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8 Formal Outline Templates - Free Sample, Example, Format Download | Free & Premium Templates