Format for a Research Paper on the Example of APA Writing Guidelines

Format for a Research Paper on the Example of APA Writing Guidelines

A research paper is a serious college task which is usually time-consuming. So, the first thing you should realize is you will have to start as soon as you receive paper’s instructions. It is important to dedicate a sufficient amount of time to writing every page of this assignment. Besides, you have to follow the generally accepted format. Take some time to read information on it.

First of all, you need to understand that only a well-formatted research paper is worth printing. No matter if it a simple essay or a dissertation. If you prepare your research for further printing or publication, it is better to choose APA or Turabian format. MLA paper format is the simplest one, so students prefer using it.

Most of the teachers will ask you to follow APA format writing guidelines. There are many academic websites where you can read additional information, but currently, we suggest that you read the basics of research paper page formatting.

Research paper format is not only about citing a Reference Page correctly. A student has to format the entire text according to APA writing style guidelines.

Find detailed writing guidelines and other useful information on the official Purdue site.

General Research Paper Page Guidelines

Once you have reserved the preferred writing style, you should read the basic information before you start working on it. Purdue Online Writing Lab which covers all possible types of academic writing in English offers the following basic guidelines:

  • The standard white paper for printing is 8, 5 x 11 inches
  • Do not type anything on the other side of the paper for printing
  • Page’s top, bottom, and sides should contain one-inch margins
  • Every first sentence must be indented 1/2 inch.
  • Official APA website says that Times New Roman font is recommended
  • The size of your font should be 12
  • The text of every page must be double-spaced. Pay attention to how many words your research paper must include instead of counting the pages only
  • Just like any official article or report must have a copyright, your research paper must have a title on the top of every page. The title page should include it is “running head” with the shortened title of your research paper (unless it is not too long)
  • Luckily, there are special websites and Word functions that can automatically insert these elements on each new page
  • The page number should appear on the right-hand side of the paper

Research Paper Sections

Any study material or educational website like Purdue will tell you that a research paper has the following components:

  1. Title Page
  2. Abstract (1/3 of the page)
  3. Main Body (2-5 paragraphs)
  4. Conclusion paragraph
  5. Reference Page

The name of the last section may vary depending on your chosen format. In any case, Bibliography is necessary when you cite materials which their authors reserve rights. In order to avoid problems with copyrights, it is important to include references to all used sources. Sometimes, you may need a special permission to use particular sources. First, you must make sure you have permission to use your college library.

Also, in MLA style, there is no need to provide any information in the abstract. The entire paragraph should be no longer than 250 words. The text must be double-spaced as well, with the summary of your main points/arguments. You may read more information on writing an abstract on Purdue site.

Creating Title Page

To have the rights reserved, you need to develop a title page with the author’s details. Write down the name of your research paper’s topic, your name and last name, and the name of the educational institution (school, college, or university). These details should be on the bottom, all centered. Put the date at the end of the title page. Center it. You may also write down the name of your instructor.

Avoid abbreviations in your title. The entire title should not occupy more than two lines of the text (no more than 12 words).

The title page is not an exception from the general formatting rules: double space it. If you conducted in-depth research based on your own study in addition to available materials and sources with rights reserved, name the institutional affiliation where you conducted the research.

The example of information on the title page is:

                                       Interpersonal conflict in television: Modern Family

                                                                         Name Last Name

                                                                           College Name

The Running Head on the top will then look this way:


As you can see, APA format does not require the writer to capitalize all letters. There is no need to insert quotation marks as well: use them later for your in-text citations once you receive the permission to use the selected sources with copyrights.

More free examples are available here.

If a student constitutes a research paper according to MLA guidelines, he should capitalize all words except for the articles and prepositions. Please mind the acceptance rates of many colleges are rather low, so if you write your paper to win the admissions process, it is better to follow APA format. It constitutes the great share of your final score.

References Page Format

Once you’re done with your writing, the last step to perfect formatting and avoiding any troubles with copyrights is referencing all used sources.

The page with the sources you cited in your research paper goes at the end of your project. In-text citations should include the author’s last name, date, and pages with quotes you have chosen in the brackets. You may find a suggested example below.

This sort of passive aggression is identified as another pattern of behavior which stands for “denying that one has aggressive feelings” (Floyd, 2011, p. 359).

When you type in the same information in the Reference List, turn it this way:

Floyd, K. (2011). About communications. Interpersonal communications (2nd ed., pp.

               359-373). New York, New York: McGraw-Hill.

If you lack permission to use necessary sources or have some troubles with the specific writing style, welcome to the website full of academic writing specialists! They will format your research paper and other documents in any style using all necessary materials. They have permission to use any sources with rights reserved in the world. Please feel free to make your first order!