Everything You Should Know About Formatting A Research Paper
When asked to write a research paper by your professor in college or in the university, he or she expects you to follow a certain outlined format. This helps in the organization of your paper in a way that is readable and provides a proper presentation of ideas and thoughts. Therefore, it is important to adhere to this requirement if you want to be successful at what you are doing. You will come across different formatting styles such as APA, MLA, Harvard, Chicago style of formatting and so on. It is upon you to research on what is required of you and apply it.
What counts in the formatting of written papers?
There are standard elements that define the format of any one given paper. There is what differentiates one formatting style from the other. Therefore, students are advised to take a keen look on this. Well, your research paper format looks basic to the writing of your paper but it is a very important aspect to be considered for anyone who wants to score a good grade in that paper. Below are some of the elements to look at:
- Title Page – for some writing formats, like Harvard and APA, a title page is needed. The title page includes details of your name, course title, institutional affiliation, date of submission, topic of your assignment among other details. That is not the case with an MLA formatted paper where your research paper introduction starts on the page you have indicated your name, course and the date.
- Referencing – when citing sources in the course of your writing, you will be expected to reference the authors and their works. Inside the text, you will be required to cite the author and the date of publication if you are working with APA formatting i.e. (Author’s Surname, 2017), for example. For MLA, you will be required to include the Author’s Surname and the page number of reference. The most important details needed when doing your citations include the author’s name, title, date and place of publication. All these details must be captured though in different ways based on the chosen format.
- Outline for your paper – your research paper outline must match the formatting style given for your assignment. Include headers and page numbers as required. Some papers will require an abstract while others won’t. Therefore, make sure that to look into this before getting started with your writing to establish what sections of your paper you need to include. This is also another defining factor in research paper formatting.
Different research paper topics require different styles and approach. For some with technical details, the methodology used at arriving at your results will follow a different format compared to writing a social ethics paper. Ideally, a research paper should have an introduction, body and conclusion. In the body, you will present a review of literature, your methodology, discussion of your findings and presentation of the same. These sub-sections in the body vary based on the type of topic you are handling.