Tips for creating an outline in the American Psychological Association format include following a good example outline and knowing the exact purpose of the paper. The APA format is common for citing psychological, educational and social sources.
One tip for creating an effective APA outline is to use a good sample outline. Example APA outlines are available at the Purdue Online Writing Lab and on various college websites.
Another tip is to determine the main purpose of your essay and to discover three or more concepts related to the topic. This helps you form a thesis statement and supporting arguments.
Generally, writing instructors advise students to brainstorm a topic before creating an outline. In addition to helping students develop a purpose for the essay, brainstorming helps them determine the type of research needed to support the thesis statement. Brainstorming can also help organize the student's arguments.
An outline should make writing the essay more efficient. Therefore, it's important to include style aspects such as parallelism directly in the outline. The heading and subheadings should follow a similar style and structure.
Finally, pay attention to the assignment guidelines and instructions. Before and after creating the outline, read the assignment to ensure you're meeting all the requirements.