Vital Things To Remember About The Research Paper Format
When writing your research paper there are a few important things you must include. The format is a huge part of the paper and you are expected to follow tight guidelines. A few components make up the format, and the vital parts you must remember are listed in this quick and handy guide. These are MLA guidelines; APA guidelines differ slightly.
Format for your paper
- Paper – standard size, 8.5 x 11” 20 lb paper
- Page margins – 1” on all sides: top, bottom, left and right
- Font – 12 point serif font such as Times New Roman
- Spacing – double spaced for all sections including bibliography and captions
- Text alignment – flush on the left and an uneven margin on the right (don’t right-justify your type)
- Paragraph indentation – should be ½” or 5 spaces
- End of sentence – one space only is left unless your professor prefers two spaces
- Page numeration – numbers to appear in the upper right corner on each page, ½” from the top and flush with the margin on the right
- Title page – this is required on a teacher’s request basis. They will have the format required for this page. Often there is a standard name, teacher’s name, and course name and date requirement.
- Tables and illustrations – these should be placed as close to the text they refer to as you possibly can. Tables should be given numbers and diagrams or charts should be labelled as figures.
Strategies for using the format
Usually, each requirement on your paper will be marked accordingly. It isn’t worth skipping proper formatting just because you don’t think it’s important or don’t want to take the time to do it. Scholarly papers must meet format requirements with true exactness before they are accepted for publication in a journal or magazine, so most teachers and professors are quite stern about keeping all formatting guidelines.
Other important components to include are correct grammar and spelling. Even though this may be a scientific paper or report, it needs to be both correct and readable. You don’t have to be an English major to do that. You can also get some help from other sources to look over your research paper and make sure you haven’t forgotten any important details. Ask your teacher, parent or librarian to assist you if there is something you need help with.