Students write research papers to earn grades. A research paper constitutes a great part of the course grade. Scholars and scientists complete these projects for further printing and protecting intellectual property with rights reserved. A research paper constitutes a significant share of the professional portfolio. No matter what your goal is, it is important to know how to format your research paper.
As far as college acceptance rates are very low today, students must master everything, from the process of research to formatting the final draft. If you want to see your paper published someday, it is critical to format it too. Most teachers and professors recommend selecting American Psychological Association research paper format known as APA. Go to the APA official website of the association to get information regarding any updates as the organization often changes some rules.
In this article, we included information on the basic principles of APA writing style. While MLA from Modern Language Association is much simpler, formatting each page of the research paper in APA is far more responsible.
Different Research Paper Page Formats
Before you start working, it is important to follow the suggested writing style. You are welcome to read the information on when a particular format is used.
- AMA (American Medical Association) is suggested for those who study healthcare and medicine, nursing, and biology-related disciplines
- APA is the best for education, sociology, philosophy, psychology, and other social sciences
- Chicago/Turabian works well when you want to write a piece for printing. If you want to see your article published in a book, magazine, or newspaper, place everything according to Chicago style.
- Please apply MLA format for English language, literature, arts, history, and humanities
You don’t have to wait until your teacher decides whether the chosen the format is fine upon the acceptance – just follow these guidelines to know which format you should use.
Once you look at the table below, you may find that the formatting rules are a bit complicated to understand and memorize by heart. Please don’t hesitate to use online help from the most qualified academic authors with more than 10 years of experience.
Suggested Tips on Formatting Research Paper
While you type your research paper, you have to cite different sources. To avoid problems with copyrights, the writer has to develop Works Cited list with all cited sources. Also, it is important to cite all in-text quotations according to the chosen research paper format. Formatting guidelines, in fact, occupy the greatest share of the assignment's instructions.
Please find these three major tips helpful if you want to get it right:
- Start writing the first page of your research paper upon the instructions acceptance. Do not postpone your work. You may find a lot of resources online with valuable hints on keeping track of the cited sources and other formatting recommendations. One of the best resources you can notice is Purdue OWL.
- Get it right from the very beginning. Don’t leave extra time for formatting – apply the style while you are working on every page of your research paper. It is better to check the usage of words, grammar, and plagiarism at the editing stage.
- Cite only entirely available resources. If you can’t access and read the entire source, do not cite it. Do not include it in the Works Cited page’s list as well. Your teacher may ask for more information, but you won’t be able to respond without having the entire text on hands.
General Guidelines to Follow
Have you decided on the preferred format? Have you consulted Purdue website? Have you learned more about taking notes effectively?
Now, when you type your research paper, try to memorize these basic guidelines:
- Use white pages for printing. Its size should be 8, 5 x 11”
- The other side should remain blank in printing
- Include single-inch margins on the top, bottom, and sides
- The beginning words of each new paragraph line should be indented a half of inch
- Times New Roman or Arial are the recommended fonts according to Purdue website
- Type in using the font size 12
- The entire written content should be double-spaced
- The size of your research paper depends on the number of words or pages double-spaced as specified in the tutor’s instructions
- For the further procedure of obtaining rights reserved for your piece, it is necessary to include a brief title on each page. Place it on the top in the left upper corner
- Include a number for every page in the top, right upper corner
Elements of the Research Paper
Before we provide information on how to format specific pages of the research paper, please notice the general structure of this assignment in APA:
- Title/Cover page
- Abstract instead of Introduction
- Body paragraphs with the following components:
- Headings and potential subheadings centered in bold. Subheadings help to organize the text and make it easier to read
- Direct and indirect quotations from the cited sources
- References page (a.k.a. Works Cited or Bibliography in other formats)
Save all these pages in a single document.
While the rest of the pages look pretty much the same, let’s discuss how to type Title Page and Works Cited.
Developing Cover Page and References
The title page should include a “running head” with the shortened title of the project. It has to be no more than two lines, or 12 words long. Center the entire text of the Title page. Include:
- The name of the research paper in full (starting from the bottom)
- Your name and last name
- Course name
- Professor’s name and date in the end
The title and number of the page must appear on every new page. Fortunately, there is a plenty of academic websites and Word functions that can automatically add these features.
Finally, the page with the sources you cited is called References. When you cite a quote, do not forget to mention the author’s last name, date, and pages with the selected words. Type in the full information on cited sources on the last page based on this example:
Singleton, B., Fricker, K., Moreo, E. (2007) Performing the queer network: Fans and families
at the Eurovision Song Contest. SQS: Journal of Queer Studies in Finland 2: 12–24.
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