Why Does Research Paper Format Matter?
Before going into details, let’s first find out whether the research paper format is really important. Research paper format matters since it allows you to divide your paper into a few vital components. As a result, you can better organize your ideas and decrease the risks of forgetting something, especially when it comes to crucial details. You will also understand what parts require more attention and which ones shouldn’t be revealed too much to avoid overwhelming. Of course, the research paper format has definite requirements that one must know before starting crafting the assignment.
How to Craft a Research Paper Outline?
The outline’s general structure will not depend on whether you are writing a scientific project or something more general. What is the structure of a research paper? Pay attention that the structure of the research outline is similar to the research paper template. Look at the main components of an outline:
- Main body
The main idea here is to mind each part’s function and do your best to achieve it. That’s why you need to arrange all information properly to stand out from the crowd and please your teacher with a stunning paper format.
The Purposes of Outline Components
Now you know the answer to the question “What are the basic parts of a research paper?”. Let’s look at them more carefully.
The introduction goes first. Hence it requires fundamental work. It is the moment when the reader decides whether to go on reading or not. It is recommended to craft the introductory part last. Exactly after writing the entire paper, you will be able to work out the hook sentence that will grab the attention of a target audience. Otherwise, you will arrange the overall context around the introduction when you should act in the opposite way.
Next, the Body goes. This part includes a thesis statement that provides facts for supporting the mentioned arguments. The Body is made up of a few subsections/ paragraphs and reveals the most important information. Here you need to talk about the methods that you used for performing the research and present investigative points/answers to the asked questions.
A literature review is also crucial. You are expected to include all sources that you have used for writing a research paper. They will support all mentioned hypotheses and theories. All sources must be relevant to a chosen topic.
In case you use some type of data, it will go straight after the literature and methodology sections. In this part, you will present the received results and the rest variables which you have managed to discover during your own research. Using tables and graphs is a good idea, but make sure that your readers will understand them correctly.
At last, the Conclusion comes. It is clear that the final part doesn’t present any new information. Instead, it summarizes all the key points that you revealed in your paper. Remember to restate a thesis and give some ideas on the possibility of future investigations. This is the very moment to come up with a strong statement.
Key Points of Research Paper Format
Are you wondering, “How do you write a basic research paper?” You can pick up dozens of nice examples that demonstrate to you how to format a research paper. It is better to prefer looking through the examples depending on discipline, or field of study, the potential of a topic, etc.
After reading any of the examples, you will understand that writing a good research paper is more than just writing down your ideas, adding a few nice citations, and hoping for the best outcome. You will get the highest grade only when you write top-quality text, add relevant quotes and make sure that the entire document is formatted correctly. It is recommended to find out efficient tips on coming up with a perfect research paper format that will make it look really professional.
How to Format a Research Paper
Look carefully at all important parameters of a good research paper format:
You should use only one side of top-quality white paper – 8 1/2″ x 11″.
Margins on all sides (left, right, bottom, top) should be the same – 2.5 cm. The only exception is a number page that is flushed into the right margin.
The title page
It is an option and should be included only if your teacher asks. For example, MLA Handbook shares general rules on crafting a research paper and citing sources. Hence you always need to adhere to specific guidelines of your teacher to avoid possible conflicts.
In case you do not include a title page, then you can begin with 2.5 cm on the top of the first paper page and type name flashing against the left margin. Also, you need to type the teacher’s name, course code, and date. This information must be placed in separate lines with double spacing.
If your teacher doesn’t require the first page to be numbered, then you should start with page number two. Mind keeping double-space after the date. The title of the essay should be placed on a new line in the center of the page. If your title is long, you should keep double-spacing between lines.
23 February 2019
Gambling Control: Advantages and Disadvantages
Avoid typing titles in capital letters. Also, you should not use quotation marks while formatting the title. Neither underlining nor period is also allowed. You need to capitalize only people’s names, places, and other significant words. This rule doesn’t work for conjunctions and prepositions as they are written in lowercase letters. For example, The Lord of the Rings. The same approach is applied for headings and subheadings.
You should also mind the acronyms that must be written in capital letters despite you mentioning a complete name or a shortened one. Remember to write a full name when you present the notion for the first in your text. Only then can you use acronyms. For example, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) is always watching the city.
In case the teacher expects to include a Title Page, you should place it on a new page. If you didn’t get any requirements from a teacher, then use center lining and double-spacing for each line on a new page: school name (optional), paper title in lower and upper case, course code, name of course (optional), name of the teacher and yours, date.
A separate title page must look like this:
Gambling Control: Advantages and Disadvantages
23 February 2019
This example demonstrates what you should avoid adding:
TITLE OF ESSAY: “Gambling Control: Advantages and Disadvantages”
Course Code: “BRS-4A2-01”
TO MY TEACHER: “MR.BEN JOHN SMITH”
FROM YOUR STUDENT: “BILL ANDREWS MATTEW CORNER”
ASSIGNMENT DUE TO DATE: “FRIDAY, FEBRUARY THE TWENTY THIRD, IN THE YEAR 2019”
You should not describe each word on your title page by adding extra information. In this case, more doesn’t mean better. You should provide minimal important information not to confuse the readers.
Numbers for paragraphs and pages
You should number the pages in the right-hand corner throughout the essay with 1/2” from the top. According to the MLA Handbook, you need to place your name just before the number of the page. For example, the top-right corner of the fifth page should look like this: Andrews 5.
Here you need to use Arabic numerals. Avoid adding something else trying to decorate the number. Exclude parentheses, asterisks, underlining, hyphens, writing “P.”, “Page”, “Pg.”, etc. Look at the examples of how you MUST NOT do:
Page 5, PAGE 5 , (5), #5, P 5, pg.5, -5-, “5”, 5, etc. Just write: 5
Pay attention that no period comes after the number of the page.
The game rules may be slightly different if you are going to submit your project via email. This approach is becoming more popular these days. The teacher may ask you to number your paragraphs like this: , ,  at the beginning of each para.
Spacing between lines and words
It doesn’t matter whether you prepare an essay in typed, printed, or handwritten format. In any case, you should keep double-spacing between lines, minding a 1” margin on all sides. This will allow your teacher to leave important comments.
When it comes to the spacing between words, you should leave one space after each comma, colon, semi-colon, and between words. Usually, two spaces are left at the end of each sentence despite it ending with an exclamation/question mark or a period. Nowadays, it is quite common to leave one space after every punctuation mark. Never leave space in front of a punctuation mark. For instance, op. cit. – would be incorrect.
MLA Handbook will provide you with the information on placing figures, tables, labels, musical notations, captions, etc. (p.134-137).
Mind double-spacing of all lines if you are going to present a handwritten essay. The left margin must start with an indentation of 1”. Your thumb may act as a guide to you for measuring the width. In case you craft an essay on your PC or typewriter, each paragraph must come up with 1/2” or 5 spaces. Also, mind 1” or 10 spaces for set-off quotations indentation from the left margin. The teacher may rely on the choice of indentation on you. Despite what you are going to choose, be consistent across the entire paper.
If you choose not to indent, then start every paragraph with flushing to the left margin. It is significant to leave quadruple-space between paragraphs and double-space between lines. Otherwise, the reader will feel confused because the absence of indentation makes reading more difficult. Set-off quotations must be 10 spaces from the left margin despite quadruple-space between paragraphs.
Automatic hyphens and right justify
You should not do automatic hyphens or apply the right justify for your essay in case you are using a word processor. It is recommended to put hyphens and justify the text on your own, where you think it is necessary. Left justification is better since it doesn’t leave large gaps between the words.
Titles of Journals, Books, Newspapers, Magazines
You should underline the names of long novels and full books if you mention them in your title. For example, Shakespeare’s Theater.
In case you deal with shorter works such as magazines, journals, chapters from books, newspapers, you need to put their titles in quotation marks. For example, “Clinical investigation of nosocomial infections in adult patients after cardiac surgery”.
You should capitalize every word in all title citations if these are not conjunctions (because, however, but), articles (the, an, an), and prepositions (on, under, in, over). These words should be capitalized only if they are at the very beginning of the title. For example, “The Importance of Teacher Leadership Skills in the Classroom”. Here you can see that the first article is capitalized because it is at the very beginning, while the second “the” is not capitalized because it is in the middle of the sentence; the same rule works for “in”, “of”.
If you have some doubts about the correct use of a particular word, it is better to take a dictionary and find out whether “near”, for example, is used as a verb, an adverb, a preposition, or an adjective depending on your context. If you need to clarify more challenging issues, then it is better to consult the MLA Handbook and find out details of citing shortened titles, available exceptions, etc.
Entire essay in capital letters
NEVER TYPE OR WRITE YOUR PAPER IN CAPITAL LETTERS ONLY. IT IS NOT THE BEST IDEA EVEN IF IN SUCH WAY YOU SAVE TIME, DO NOT NEED TO PRESS THE SHIFT KEY OR CHECK WHETHER THE WORD MUST START WITH A CAPITAL LETTER OR NOT. SOME PEOPLE WRITE ALL SENTENCES IN CAPITAL LETTERS ONLY. THEY JUST DIDN’T STUDY THE RULES WHEN THEY ATTENDED ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. AS A RESULT, THESE PEOPLE DO NOT KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN UPPER AND LOWER-CASE LETTERS. THERE ARE ALSO PEOPLE WHO PREFER WRITING EVERYTHING IN CAPITAL LETTERS AS IT HELPS SOUND MORE IMPORTANT AND ATTRACT THE READERS’ ATTENTION. BUT YOU SHOULD UNDERSTAND THAT READING SUCH PAPER IS RATHER DIFFICULT, ESPECIALLY IF THERE ARE NO PUNCTUATION MARKS OR SPACES AFTER THEM. AS A RESULT, THE READER FEELS ANNOYING, AND SPEED AND COMPREHENSION REDUCE. MIND THE MAIN PURPOSE OF ANY TYPE OF WRITING. IT IS COMMUNICATION WITH THE READERS. IN CASE OF USING ONLY CAPITAL LETTERS, IT IS VERY HARD TO REACH THE TARGET AUDIENCE.
Table of contents
You are not required to include a table of contents in a research paper or a short essay. In case you are working on a long research paper or a report, then you may include a table of contents, mentioning the number of the page where every section begins. For lengthy documents such as books, there is a definite set of rules when it comes to a table of contents (Acknowledgements, foreword, introduction, body parts, summary, afterword, etc.). Or contents may include only basic parts (introduction, main body, conclusion, etc.).
Arts and Entertainment….11
There is no need to place any special symbol, phrase, or word at the very end of your paper. A period is everything that you should place at the end of the last sentence.
Keeping paper together
It is better to use a paper clip or keep your paper together with the help of a stapler in the left upper corner. Avoid bringing the project in a folder, a plastic jacket, or using a ribbon until your teacher asks you to do this. Also, you should not use loose sheets no matter how neatly they are put into the envelope. Mind that the condition of the paper that you use for your project indicates your respect towards yourself as well as to your teacher. Avoid using cologne or perfume. When handing in the assignment, ask yourself whether this is the best what you can do.
The topics for the research paper may be different. You can choose any of them depending on your level and discipline. What are the 5 parts of the research paper? They are an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. So, using an outline is very helpful. You can arrange all points with a bullet list, use subheadings and headings to ensure that all-important details are included. It is better to cross out ideas during the writing process.