A Comprehensive Guide To The Research Paper Format

There are many formats for research papers. The most frequently used styles are APA and MLA. Although there are plenty of differences between these formats, the basic structure of a paper should be the same for both of them. You should know how to put together your document no matter the style that your instructor has stated in the assignment guidelines.

The Format of a Good Research Paper

  1. A title page.
  2. On the first page of your document, you should place the title of your work, your name, information about your instructor and college, and date of submission.

  3. An abstract.
  4. This is a brief summary of an entire paper. Usually, it’s needed for search purposes. An abstract should occupy not more than one page.

  5. An introduction.
  6. Here, you present the general topic of your study and elaborate on particular questions that you’re going to answer in your academic work.

  7. A literature review.
  8. This is the section where you describe the schools of thought behind your study and list the main sources that you consulted during your work.

  9. A methodology description.
  10. In this chapter, you should explain what methods you’ve chosen to achieve your results and thoroughly describe all your tests and experiments.

  11. A discussion of results.
  12. After you’ve explained the sequence of your actions, you should introduce the actual outcomes of your work and discuss their significance.

  13. A conclusion.
  14. The last body chapter should provide a summation of your points and offer ways to conduct further research in your study area.

  15. A bibliography.
  16. Here, you should provide a list of every source that you’ve used in your study and referenced in your text.

  17. Appendices.
  18. This section is needed for different additional materials, like large graphs or tables that would be inconvenient to place in the body.

How to Organize Your Work

It’s important to remember that you shouldn’t start writing until your exact topic is chosen and your study is carried out. To select the best methodology for conducting your research, you should consult your instructor and follow their advice. Creating a comprehensive outline is also essential because it’ll be very difficult to compose a well-structured paper without a thought-out plan. It’s not advisable to start writing with an introduction. Complete core chapters first. Don’t expect to compose a perfect academic work on the first attempt. It’s very likely that you’ll have to create a few drafts. To play it safe, ask a professional editor to look through your paper before submitting it.