8 Things To Know About The Format Of A Research Paper

Students first learn to write a research paper with the help of an instructor who usually walks them through the procedure from start to finish. While this might help students with the first one, they rarely get to have a chance to practice with some help before they are left to their own devices to write their own. Fortunately, there are several places that will help students craft their independent research papers. You can check out this company for one such place. Here are eight things to know about formatting a research paper:

  1. Know the style you need to use. Every research paper will need to use a formal style. Instructors usually ask their students to use APA, MLA, or Chicago Style. These styles include formatting for margins, sections, page numbers, title pages, bibliography pages, and appendices. It can be helpful to purchase a manual so you know what goes where.
  2. Format the header and page number. Set up the page settings as soon as you know what to do. Make sure that you use the proper header on every page and make sure the page numbers are exactly the same, too. Sometimes, computers can get glitchy when setting up the format, so double check.
  3. Know what sections you should write. Each style requires different sections to be written. Know what you need and make sure you have enough information to fill them.
  4. Keep a running bibliography page. It is easy to lose the sources you use, so keep track of them all. There are online bibliography resources that make it easy to keep track of every source. Create an account on your favorite one and store your information there.
  5. Cite everything as you write. Some students think they can write their entire paper, then go back and add citations. This never works because students forget what sources their quotations and paraphrases came from. So, as you write, add the citations. It is not difficult to do, especially if you have a running bibliography that you can access at any time.
  6. Get as much information as you can. It is always better to have too much information than not enough. It is easier to throw out what you do not need than to scramble to fill pages.
  7. Write long paragraphs full of information. Your paragraphs should be full of information that is properly cited. You want to prove your point clearly and not leave your reader considering other alternatives.
  8. Use tables and charts when possible. These make research papers look professional. Tables and charts can illustrate points clearly and they are fun to read.
 

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