Set your paper's top, bottom, and side margins to 1 inch. Throughout your article, use double-spaced text. Use a conventional typeface at a legible size, such as Times New Roman or Arial (10-to 12-point). Throughout the document, including the title page and references, use continuous pagination. Start each new paragraph with a left-justified line of text followed by a blank space.
The preferred length for articles is between 6,000 and 8,000 words (about five to six pages long), but shorter articles are possible. The goal is to provide sufficient detail so that any subsequent researcher would be able to repeat the work successfully. Longer articles are more difficult to review and may not be appropriate for some journals. However, most journals allow you to split an article into two or more parts - if necessary.
When writing your abstract, focus on readers rather than on yourself. Try to explain what the study was about and what it found. Avoid using jargon when writing your abstract because researchers will not know what you're talking about. Also avoid subjective terms such as "important" or "relevant". Finally, make sure that the reader can find your article easily via keywords. Using keywords in the abstract area helps readers find relevant articles in databases.
References should be listed in order of appearance, not in alphabetical order.
To format the document, use these general guidelines:
Page margins of one inch on both sides (top, bottom, right, and left). Each page should have a header with your last name and page number 1/2 inch from the top-right corner. The study paper is double-spaced throughout. The first page includes your name, professor's name, course title, and paper due date. The title of your research paper is centered. Type the body of the paper in 12-point typeface using a space of 1/4 inch between words. Use footnotes instead of endnotes for references. Footnotes are placed at the bottom of the page beside the annotation column. Leave room for a 1-inch margin on all sides of the page.
The reference list should be placed at the end of the paper, alphabetically ordered by author's last name. Use a numbered list if you have more than 10 sources. Make sure that you include parenthetical citations with page numbers within the text itself (not in the bibliography). In general, follow these steps: Start with an empty document. Select the style sheet from the drop-down menu. Click on the "Update" button to apply changes to the current document.
How to Write a Research Paper
|Paper||Standard size (8.5 x 11″ in the U.S.)|
|Page Margins||1″ on all sides (top, bottom, left, right)|
|Font||12-pt. easily readable (e.g., Times Roman)|
|Spacing||Double-spaced throughout, including captions and bibliography|
The page should be printed on white 8 1/2 x 11-inch paper with 1-inch margins on the top, bottom, and sides. Times New Roman 12 point is the typeface. Lines are spaced evenly. In APA papers, cover pages must be center-aligned. Each page should have a left-aligned running header with the title of your research. The running header should be set in 10-point bold type. Leave 1/4 inch between the heading and the text on that page. Type directly into the body of the document without using headings. Use at least 30 words per line for readability. Include page numbers when they are relevant to the text.
In addition to the standard elements of academic writing, researchers often use other forms such as charts, graphs, and tables to help make their points. These additional materials are called supplements or appendices. Forms that present new information or evidence rather than restating what is in the main text are called expansions. Examples include examples, cases, and experiments. Groups of related items may be placed in separate sections of the paper or under specific headings within the text itself. For example, if you were studying the effects of stress on illness rates, some topics that could appear under this heading include work hours, unemployment, marital status, age, gender, religion, race, income, education, environment, technology, substance abuse, and self-care.
APA guidelines specify that the reference list should come after the body of the paper.
MLA Paper Formatting Fundamentals
Here's what you should expect from a normal manuscript format.