Research Paper Format
In writing a research paper, coming up with great content and compelling ideas is only half the challenge; like transforming a lump of quality clay into a fine, well-made sculpture, you have to know how to form and shape your ideas into a serviceable research paper format.
It may be difficult to believe, but even the type of paper you use can make a real difference in a research paper format. Always use white, 81/2- by 11-inch paper in the preparation of your research paper; save the novelty colors and paper stock for another time, and don’t waste your money on flashy, garish binders. A basic binder will be fine, and probably even preferable to ensure the appearance of a neat, professional-looking paper.
Margins also make a crucial difference in transforming a (ahem!) ‘marginal’ research paper format into a truly great one. Set all four page margins (left side, right side, top and bottom) at one inch throughout, and indent each paragraph by half an inch.
Double space all components of your research paper, even your notes and ‘works cited’ list. And when starting off your research paper format, be sure to write your name, your instructor’s name, the course name and number, as well as the date in the top left-hand margin of the first page. Contrary to popular belief, a title page is not required for a research paper unless the course instructor specifically requests it. Be sure, though, to center the title above your text, capitalizing all principal words.
Page numbers also play a major role in any research paper format, and should be placed in the upper right-hand corner of each page, one-half inch from the top and an inch from the paper’s right hand edge, with your last name typed neatly before the page number.
All auxiliary material (tables, maps, illustrations, etc.) included within the context of a research paper format should be labeled, numbered and captioned properly.
The body of the research paper format should be clear and cohesive, taking the reader smoothly from point to point and including a complete and identifiable introduction, middle section (in which the point(s) presented in the introduction will be presented and proven) and conclusion.
When writing a class paper, it’s important that you literally ‘do your homework’ by coming up with solid ideas and cohesive, well-researched points. Yet it’s equally important to present this information in a well-structured and organized manner; that’s why one’s research paper format makes all the difference.