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Research Paper Format

Many students are wondering about the format of their research paper and where they should start. Doing a research paper format or thesis which requires 400 pages or more can be a daunting task. Some of the questions a student might ask is:

  • How do I format my paper and prepare my Manuscript?
  • How do I write different levels of headings in my paper?
  • If I need to make some last minute changes to my paper, can I do it on my manuscript?
  • How do I format quotations?
  • How should I space my paper after periods, commas, etc.?

This is just a few of the questions that students have asked when they are getting ready to write a Research paper or Thesis. Format is very important so everyone has the same style of format and it makes for easier reading for the teacher or professor. The format may vary with some teachers’s requirements but there is a basic style for nearly everyone to follow.

The proper format for a research paper should have one inch margins at the top, bottom, right, and left sides of the paper. This is now required by the APA and was changed from 1 ½” margins. The paper has to be double spaced with double spacing after every line of the title, headings, quotations, references, , etc.. Each page should be numbered and this includes the title and reference page. The numbers should be in the upper right hand corner and Arabic numbers should be used.

The pages of the research paper should be arranged with the title page as number 1. The abstract page is number 2,. The text is number 3 through the end of the paper, and the pages with figures, graphs, etc., should not be numbered. A short title should be used clear through the paper. The short title is a two or three word version of the title of the paper. The short title should be typed one inch below the top of the page flush with the right hand margin. Sometimes the instructor will require a running head which is located flush at the left top of the title page, and is typed in all upper case letters. The title of the paper is to be typed in both upper case and lower case letters. If the title requires more than one line, double space them. Indent the beginning sentence to each paragraph 5 to 7 spaces. The title should also be centered on the page.The typing should have the left side margin even or flush and the right margin uneven. Do not break up a word at the end of the margin.

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