Research Paper provides an overview, description, and debate based on in-depth research ( which should be independent). They are the same as educational essays but are much longer, detailed, and to evaluate your writing skills as well as research skills. Research paper writing requires to affirm a strong knowledge of your topic, so take part in different sources to have a broader understanding.
Formatting your research paper won’t take too much time other than the research itself. It is important to know essential parts of the research paper that will help you summarize your paper instantly and also help to frame and guide your research.
The most common research paper format includes title page or cover page, abstract, table of content, introduction, body paragraphs, findings, discussion, conclusions, bibliography, and appendices.
Research Paper Formatting depends on the style guide that you are following. In addition to the sources, APA, MLA, and Chicago give format guidelines for page layout, font choices, and reference page format.
Formatting an APA Research Paper
Before starting your paper, you should know which style guide you will use. They govern your paper’s grammar, bibliography, and citations. Style guides differ in fields such as the American Psychological Association (APA) is used for social and behavioral science research, which includes psychological and educational studies.
APA research format is used globally for reference sources and formatting research papers. It not only helps to organize arguments easier but also enhances better readability.
Following are the main guidelines to format an APA research paper;
- Standard fonts should be used like 11 pt Arial or 12 pt Times New Roman.
- Paper is required to be white and on 8 ½ x 11-inch with 1-inch page margins.
- Use double-spaced lines.
- Paragraphs indent ½ inch.
- In an APA paper, cover pages are needed and should be center-aligned.
- The title page should be included.
- Use APA heading styles.
The APA style guide includes the title, abstract, introduction, methods, result, and reference page.
1. Title or Cover Page
Research Paper’s first page will always be a cover or title page, which includes the paper’s name and running header or page header with the study’s title and co-writers name or yours and if any institutional affiliation. It should range between 10 to 12 words.
- Soil pollution effect on plant growth
- Olivia Miller
- University of California, Davis
Running Head is also known as page header. APA research paper needs a running header on every page if your paper is submitted for publication, giving the reader all the essential details. It is not necessarily crucial for students’ papers unless they are instructed to include one.
RUNNING HEADER IS REQUIRED TO BE OF ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. It appears on page’s top with a short title within 55 characters, with spacing and punctuation.
An abstract is your study’s detailed summary which should include your paper’s overview, research questions, study’s significance, research methods, and findings. It is not required to be included in every research paper, but it should be used in those that contain a theory.
- A good abstract should be short and is written in a neutral style.
- Cited work should not be listed in the abstract.
- The abstract should be within one paragraph and not more than 120 words.
- It gives an overview of the discussion, methods, and results.
This section will tell your readers the problem your study is trying to solve, which can be the most challenging part. This introduction section is the significant section of your paper. In this, you have to state research questions in the aspect of thesis statements.
The beginning research paper should be started with the following three questions;
This section is straightforward but needs precision and relatively detailed, providing their readers with details relating to the study’s method.
You need to describe your study’s details whether you have used quantitative or qualitative methods. It includes apparatus or materials, procedures, and participants section and ways from which you have collected data such as surveys, field research, and experiments.
This section is also straightforward.
What are the results of your study? In this section, you have to tell what you have found and the data, and if your data is complex, you can divide it into different subsections, including the descriptive statistics section or type of analysis to test the hypothesis.
6. Reference Page
APA style needs a reference page at the end of your research. Give references alphabetical listing and double-space all of them.
Formatting MLA Research Paper
MLA style means a style that is endorsed by the Modern Language Association (MLA) for preparing student research papers and manuscripts. It is a matter of mechanism of writing such as quotations, punctuation, and documentation of sources.
Following are the main tips for formatting an MLA style research paper;
- Use a font that can be easily read, such as 12 pt Times New Roman.
- Double-spaced lines should be applied.
- Use white 8 ½ inch paper with 1-inch page margins on the sides, bottom, and top.
- A new page should be an indent ½ inch.
- Leave one space after punctuation marks and after a period, unless you were told to leave two spaces.
Word processor has default settings such as paragraph spacing, line height, typeface, and margin. For the MLA style guide, you need not have extra spacing between the paragraph after the title.
1. First Page
Heading should be above the title, pointing up some preliminary information on the MLA first page.
- Your full name
- Your supervisor’s or instructor’s full name
- Course number or name
- Assignment due date
2. Page Header
A header should appear on the top of every page of your research paper with your surname and the page number.
You can use your word processor’s function “Page Header,” automatically adding your surname and the page number.
In-text citations appear in MLA wherever you relate to a source in your text. This circular presumes that you know why you cite such resources (i.e., introduce convincing evidence or avoid plagiarism). They focus on how you will format the page. Whenever citing a resource, it requires the following two stages;
- First is in your paper’s body, “In-text citations.”
- Second at the end of your paper, “Work citations” below.
This appears at the end of your paper, summarizing all the sources used.
Your research paper is not considered a research paper if you don’t end it with bibliographical details on each source that you cited. Save yourself much time to do this part because it can be tricky.
Formatting a Chicago Paper
Chicago research paper format is different from other style guides in which a bibliography is often needed. It was created by the University of Chicago and is most commonly used for citing references in history and sometimes in the sciences, humanities, and social science.
The fundamental guidelines for writing a research paper in Chicago style, also called as Turabian style, is as follow;
- Standard font should be used, such as 12 pt Times New.
- 1-inch margin should be used or larger with double line spacing.
- Page numbers should be placed either on the bottom center or top right.
1. Title Page
Chicago style guides don’t require a title page, but if you want to include a title page, you can add Turabian (Chicago-based).
2. Reference List or Bibliography
Bibliography in your research paper means the record of backing information sources and literature. It contains a list of references from the books or clauses. Chicago gives two citation styles;
- Author-date citation with a reference list
- Footnotes citation with a Bibliography
Bibliography or the reference list comes at the end of the paper.
A Research Paper is a type of essay in which you have to tell what you learned after exploring and understanding your given topic. In this, you have to write information from different sources (for example, interviews, books, articles, and internet blogs). However, you can also use your creativity, thoughts, opinions, and knowledge. In other words, a research paper means that 75% of its data should be in your own words.
Whenever writing your research paper either in BS Degree or finishing a research report for a psychology course, it is highly recommended to organize your research paper format in different style guides like APA, MLA, and Chicago format that you have been instructed to.