Understanding and Applying Research Paper Formats

Thursday, January 7, 2010

There are various terms related to research paper writing and documentation processes. Being aware of these terms and procedures is inevitable while writing a research paper. As you progress in your education level you will find that the guidelines get more and more narrow and more concentrated. The basic terms and instructions on the basic facts will become lesser as it would be taken for granted that you are or should be aware of those. ‘Research paper format’ is one of those terms on which you will find no instructions in advanced level research paper guidelines. If there are any instructions, then it would be regarding the alterations required for the particular project. Even to understand such an instruction, you will need to know the basics about formatting.

There are various aspects related to research paper formatting. In a normal case you will be asked to follow a particular formatting and citation style guide like an APA or MLA manual. But to be able to follow the instructions given in the guide, you still need to have a basic understanding of what to look for. Out of the many aspects, one would be that of the classification of the sections. There are various sections which come together to form a complete research paper. It includes the title page, abstract, literature review, the introduction, body paragraphs, conclusion and citations. Each documentation style has its own preferences regarding what all sections should be submitted separately and which all parts can be merged. For example, some styles require separate citation page whereas some others don’t. Hence, you should find out about the separate sections required for the prescribed style.

Also, each of these sections is supposed to be framed in the pattern or method specified by the manual of the style you are following, unless specified otherwise by your teacher. So that is one point about formatting you will need to look up while preparing a research paper in a particular format.

The next thing to check would be the instructions regarding the line and word spacing and the margins. These instructions are also equally important and to be followed fully. It will not only make your paper look neat, to follow the spacing instructions, but it will also leave a good impression. The margins should also be set according to the given guidelines on that.

Citing the sources which you have used for research is one of the most important tasks involved in research paper writing. Each documentation guide has their own unique method of citation. It has been designed to suit the specific requirements of the subject. If you do not manage to cite the sources in the correct way, you will lose a lot of marks, which wouldn’t be justifiable, considering the trouble you put into the research.

The research paper format is one of the platforms which are used to judge the research paper. Hence it is absolutely necessary for you to stick to every single instruction given on formatting. If you are still confused about the task or if you do not have time to format your research paper, you may consider getting the formatting done by professionals.

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