Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Devising a Well-Organized Research Paper Format

While composing a sound thesis and strong arguments should be your focal points in writing a research paper, it is also important to know how to present your writing in a professional way.

Remember that the keys to a good research paper are:

Ø A clear research paper format;

Ø An appropriate referencing style;

Ø Adherence to basic principles of composition.

In a nutshell, it is important to keep in mind that writing and formatting should go hand in hand.

Whereas writing style and flair are crucial to create a good research paper, the importance of formatting can not be underestimated. Often the constraints of format for research papers are rather rigid, requiring a great deal of attention to detail. The plus side of strict formatting specifications is that you know exactly what is expected, having a little room for subjective evaluation.

Thus, a clear and accurate research paper format can prevent poor performance and become a strong point of your paper.

So, it is important to know exactly how to ….

  • Devise and contrive a thorough research paper format to come up with a spick-and-span research paper.
  • Properly organize your research paper to move up the ladder of research paper writing successively, taking one step at a time.

  • Develop a clear research paper format to give your readers an opportunity to read research paper selectively.

  • Give shape to your paper and make it look as the whole by composing an accurate format for research papers.

While formatting your research paper, you should pay attention to the following points:

1. Title Page

To begin with, MLA research paper format does not require writing a separate title page:

You place your name, your instructor’s name, the course number and title, and the date in the left-hand corner of the first page of text.

Before the text you put the title of your paper that should be centered with first letters capitalized, and place a header in the right-hand corner, which includes your last name and page number.

Speaking about APA research paper format, it is important to mention that APA style requires writing a separate title page:

You place a running head with a brief title of your paper, which should appear in all capital letters, in the top left corner of the title page. Whilst, in the top right corner you put a page header, which appears with first letters capitalized and includes a concise title of your work.

In fact, design of your title page depends on the requirements of your instructor.

2. Table of Contents

Ø If you were assigned to write a short research paper, then you do not have to care about making up a table of contents. Though, if you research paper is rather lengthy, it will definitely need a table of contents, which will guide the readers through your work.

Ø Developing a table of contents is one of the steps in the planning process of your research paper. Remember that a table of contents is more than just a list of topics, it is your research paper outline, where the topics appear in the order they are presented in the research paper.

Ø Before composing a table of contents, you will have to logically break up your research paper into meaningful parts that present different stages of the carried research. Then you should fiddle with the headings of research paper parts to make them clear and substantial.

Ø In the end, you should include these headings in the table of contents with the corresponding page numbers.

  1. Paper

    Print your research project in good quality paper. Never use scented or colored paper, this way you will only distract your instructor and do not let him focus on the research paper itself. Always hand in your research paper neatly placed in a folder with toughly bounded sheets.

  2. Margins

    Leave about 1-inch margins at the top, bottom, left and right sides of every page of your paper. Though, always consult manual guidelines of a particular referencing style you are using in your research paper.

  3. Indentation

Remember to double-space all lines and begin each paragraph with an indentation of 1-inch from the left margin. You can use the width of your thumb as a rough guide. If you are using a word-processor on a computer, you have to indent 5 spaces at the beginning of each paragraph.

6. Numbering pages

You should number pages throughout your paper consecutively in the upper right hand corner. MLA research paper format recommends placing your last name before page number; whilst, APA research paper format offers to put a concise title of your work with first capitalized letters.

7. Spacing between words and paragraphs

Overall, you have to leave one space between words and one space after every semi-colon, comma, or colon. Nowadays it is acceptable to leave only one space after each punctuation mark.

Follow these simple strategies to make a well-organized research paper format and be sure to take a closer look at APA research paper format and MLA research paper format examples papers that will help you format your own paper according to the style specifications of APA or MLA referencing styles.