The Proper Format For Organizing Your Research Paper

When determining the proper format of your research paper, the first point of contact should be your professor. There is a standard format for handing in your research paper, guided by the two main principles of Modern Languages Association (MLA) and American Psychology Association (APA). The MLA guide is associated with the Faculty of Humanities while the MLA style is associated with the Faculty of Social Sciences. While these serve as the standard for handing in an Academic paper, you must be attentive to how your professor asks you to organize his or her paper. A professor’s standards may differ slightly according to personal preferences.

We will examine how to organize your research paper the proper way by examining it from two perspectives: the general paper and the content.

The General Paper

There is a correct way to format your paper to what might seem as the minutest of details, from the font size, to the margins, to indentations and lots more. Here is a list of what to do:

  1. Number your pages. Your professor may ask you to omit the number from certain pages such as the title page. Numbers should be placed on the upper right corner of each paper.
  2. Use a legible font style with an acceptable size. Times Roman size 12 is widely accepted, if you are not sure which to use. Font style and size should remain consistent throughout the paper.
  3. The margins of the paper should be adjusted to one inch on all four sides of the paper.
  4. The document should be double spaced unless your teacher has other preference.
  5. When printed, your information should be printed on one side of the paper only. Double-sides are not acceptable.
  6. The Content

    Now that you understand how to format your paper in general, you will also be required to organize the material you have written. The body of your paper should be formatted this way:

    1. Title page should include the topic of your research and the institution of your affiliation. Don’t forget your name!
    2. Abstract is included for APA but may not be necessary for MLA format.
    3. Main body written in paragraphs that are indented at one inch, not using the Tab key.
    4. References giving credit for sources you’ve used.

    It is truly a shame when a research paper is well written but the organization is so poor that it negatively affects the quality of the paper. Paying attention to the format of your paper makes it organized and scholarly.