Research Guidelines

Composing a research paper can be made simpler if you are aware of where to start and the common pitfalls to avoid. To aid you in this task, we have created a concise guide that can help minimize the challenge. The guide provides valuable insights on how to format your research paper, including the essential sections that must be included, how to select a suitable title and dependable sources, and other pertinent details. It places a particular emphasis on the specifics of research paper format, structure, and related components that must not be overlooked. In essence, academic writing requires attention to detail, patience, and ample time for reviewing each assignment. To put it simply, stay composed and keep writing!

How to Write a Research Paper Format

As required by the most widespread essay paper format, a good assignment should include Introduction, Body, and Conclusion:

  • Introduction

This part of an essay is one of the most difficult to write. It is supposed to take only 10% of the general word count, but that’s also where you need to shortly outline the topic and provide the necessary background information, as well as identify a strong thesis statement or a key argument. The key thing is to make the reader interested in the rest of your work and clearly state your main idea.

  • Body

Composing the introduction of an essay can be a challenging task. Although it should make up only 10% of the total word count, it is crucial to briefly introduce the topic, provide necessary background information, and present a strong thesis statement or main argument. The objective is to capture the reader’s attention and persuade them to read further.

  • Conclusion

In the conclusion of your essay, avoid introducing any novel facts or citations. Instead, focus on summarizing how the evidence you presented earlier supports your thesis statement.

Research Paper Format Tips

Following the college research paper format can be quite challenging, requiring careful attention to detail. However, mastering the skill of formatting can make the process more efficient in the future. The format of a research paper largely depends on whether it is theoretical or experimental in nature. For papers with an experimental component, there are multiple sections to consider. Various formatting styles exist for research papers, such as MLA, APA, ASA, Chicago, each with its own unique requirements.

Here is a list of key details:

  • Use standard, white 8.5 x 11-inch paper for your essay.
  • Set 1-inch margins on all sides for MLA and APA formats.
  • Check if a title page is required (not needed in MLA format).
  • Double-space your essay for MLA and APA formats.
  • Use Times New Roman 12-point font.
  • Add headers with page numbers at the top-right corner of each page. Do not number paragraphs unless instructed.
  • Indent the first line of each paragraph half an inch from the left margin.
  • For essays larger than 5-6 pages, include a table of contents and consider adding headings and subheadings for better readability.
  • For essays in APA format, write the Abstract and Conclusion on separate pages..

Main Sections of a Research Paper

As stated in most research paper guidelines, the main sections are:

  • Title page

It includes the title of your essay, as well as your name and institutional affiliation. 

  • Abstract

This is a broad overview of a paper. It takes from 100 to 300 words, so short assignments don’t require abstracts.

  • Introduction

State the thesis statement and explains why the issue is important.

  • Literature review

Describe the previous researches related to your topic.

  • Materials and Methods

This part explains the research methodology. In particular, you’re to write how you collected data and what methods you used.

  • Results

Present the results of your research.

  • Discussion/Conclusion

Analyze the results and discuss how they relate to the previous researches.

  • References

Provide an alphabetized list of all the sources you were using. Among other things you should include in a research paper are: graphs and tables depicting experimental results and statistics-in order to ensure better readability, you might want to include them in the appendices section.

How to Choose a Title, find Reliable Sources and Proofread your Research Paper

Creating a strong thesis statement, providing supporting arguments, and following the research paper format instructions are important, but there are other details to consider as well.

Choosing an appropriate title can be challenging but it should accurately reflect the content and intrigue readers. Writing the title after completing the essay can help clarify its main focus.

Using credible sources, such as books and scholarly journals, is crucial. Avoid using unreliable sources like Wikipedia. A list of reliable sources on the reference page can improve the credibility of your paper.

After completing your assignment, it’s crucial to proofread it for any errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Additionally, aim to remove any unnecessary words to make your writing more concise and effective.

Steps of Writing Process

Before beginning to write your research paper, it’s crucial to clearly define the subject matter. While you want to present new and interesting information to your audience, it’s important to avoid overly complicated subjects. Once you have defined the subject, brainstorm the existing literature and choose the sources you will use when writing. Remember that your thesis is the endpoint and each paragraph in your paper should be a step taken to reach it.

When writing a research paper, it’s a good idea to start by describing the goals of the research, the objectives, and the hypotheses. Then, list all evidence (such as experimental data), materials, and methods before concluding the paper. While the literature review can be written at the end, it’s important to research the topic thoroughly before starting to write.

After completing the research and gathering information, it’s time to write a rough draft. This draft shouldn’t take much time, as you’ll need to edit it later and write the final version. However, make sure to cite all the sources you’ve used. Review your draft and ensure that each paragraph has a topic sentence and that your ideas are supported by evidence. Finally, write the final version, which should be well-organized, properly formatted, and directly support your thesis statement. If you need help writing your research paper, you can seek assistance from JHERF.

Writing Tips for your Research Paper

Writing a research paper for college is by far less difficult than writing an academic paper. Nevertheless higher rigors apply compared to average college tasks.

Here are several tips you might find useful:

  • Make sure your introduction is strong and engaging.
  • Follow the specific requirements for in-text citations and the Reference page based on the chosen format (APA, MLA, etc.).
  • Be mindful of the word count and aim to keep your sentences concise.
  • Avoid overusing linking words and phrases, as they can make your essay appear wordy if used excessively.

In Summary

It’s essential to give yourself sufficient time to complete your research paper. Begin by defining the topic, thoroughly reviewing the literature, and developing an outline and a strong thesis statement. When writing, be mindful of the research paper format and utilize online guides to ensure you don’t overlook any critical details. After writing, be sure to proofread your work for errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Lastly, ask yourself if your paper is engaging and informative. If the answer is yes, you’ve likely accomplished your goal.

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