Research Paper Formatting Guide

Writing any research paper is a demanding task in itself. Selecting topics, researching your material, outlining your data and ultimately writing the piece make up a series of to do’s on how to write your perfect paper. It is important to keep in mind that a key element of writing great content is in the proper formatting of your data. Here is a simple guide to assist you in formatting your research document properly.

Type of Paper

Documents should all be written on standard 8 ½“ x 11” white paper always. The use of color paper is unacceptable. Paper of different colors may make the document prettier but always remember to use white paper only.

Margins and Fonts

The margins of any written piece should be 1” all around; top, bottom, left and right and the use of standard fonts, as opposed to the abundant number of fancy fonts available to us today, is pretty much mandatory. Again though a variety of fonts not accessible through Word at some creativity and luster to our document, research materials are not about beauty, physical creativity or luster but rather are about writing skills, a creative mind, a logical sequence of content, and the ability to pull it all together in an acceptable format.

Title Page

Title pages are not typically required for these research papers but should the instructor make it a requirement then you want to be certain to abide by the guidelines that are acceptable to your specific instructor. Most often if a separate title page is required, this page will include data such as your name, your teacher’s name, the course name, and the date and more often than not all this pertinent information will be on separate lines centered on the page with double spaces between each line item. Specific to the title you want to remember not to put a title in all capital letters but rather use initial caps with all proper names and nouns and important words initial capped and all other words lower case, do not underline your title or put it into quotations either, and do not place a period at the end of your title.

Page Numbering

Many times page number is not a required formatting feature but should your professor request that your document be properly numbered you want to place your page numbers at the top upper right hand corner of your paper flush with the right margin and, of course, never number the first page.

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