After spending months and months on your research, you will eventually come to a phase where you have to write a research paper. This is a crucial step because you are going to depict in a paper whatever you have done during your entire research. However, some people may find it challenging to create a research paper format. Do you also want to write an impressive research paper like a pro? Don’t worry! Here, in this blog, we are going to see how to write a research paper step by step.
What is a research paper?
A research paper is more than just an essay. It is a detailed description of your understanding, perception of a particular topic. Simply, a research paper contains a complete explanation of what you have learned about a particular topic after doing in-depth research on it.
A research paper can contain information from the books you referred to, internet sites, lectures, interviews, and other secondary sources.
What are the types of research papers?
There are many types of research papers available. Before creating your research paper format, choose a type that best suits your assignment or requirement. Some of the common types of research papers are listed below.
|No.||Type of the paper||Description|
|1.||Analytical||It involves focusing on a particular issue and making conclusions based on different findings and analyses. This paper seems more neutral than being positive or negative.|
|2.||Argumentative (Persuasive)||This type of paper shows both sides of a controversial topic and tries to make the reader inclined to its favorable side. It should include logistical data and facts to support the most favorable side.|
|3.||Definition||Definition paper provides explanation and information about a particular topic rather than arguing any opinion.|
|4.||Compare and Contrast||This paper deals with comparing the differences between two viewpoints, subjects, or topics. It involves comparing and contrasting the differences between them and supporting one.|
|5.||Interpretative||The interpretative paper involves the usage of knowledge acquired from a particular case study. It can include facts and information that supports the conclusion.|
|6.||Experimental Research||It is the most common type of paper in biology, chemistry, and physics. It explains a particular experiment and analyzing its outcomes.|
|7.||Survey Research||This paper contains a conclusion of a conducted survey. It includes the analyses and information collected from the survey.|
Things to be noted before starting to write
i. Thoughts And Ideas: Before starting to write, it is essential to have a clear understanding of your thoughts and ideas, and be precise in presenting them. Have organized notes about your understandings and conclusions you have drawn from the research. Try to compile them neatly and present them in a way that is easily conveying to the readers.
ii. Clarity in Presentation: Present your understandings and ideas more clearly in the paper. Since your paper will be available worldwide, you have to convey things in an engaging way. Always try to maintain clarity, simplicity, and accuracy while presenting your thoughts on your paper.
iii. Reliable Sources: Before starting to write, conduct a study about the materials and resources you are going to use. Instead of simply using Wikipedia or Quora, try using academics sources that best explain your topic. Credible sources such as scholarly articles, scientific studies, government websites, and news bureaus are good for gathering information. Trust only the reputed and reliable sources for usage.
iv. Thesis Statement: The thesis statement forms the foundation of your research paper. Develop a thesis statement that powerfully depicts your research. Because the entire paper revolves in such a way that it answers whether the thesis is true or not.
v. Outline: After getting the thesis statement ready, and organizing the resources you are going to use, the next step is to prepare an outline. The outline is a great way to draft your paper before going into the body of the paper. It helps to set out your paper’s structure. The outline contains the key points and arguments. Simply, you can grasp how your paper is going to look, by using this outline.
Structure of the Research Paper Format
It is the most crucial part where you are going to work on the body of the paper. By following the outline, it is easy to create the body of the paper with proper formatting. The components of a research paper include:
|Sections of a Research Paper: TitleAbstractTable of ContentsIntroductionBody paragraphs (experiments, materials, methods, tables, figures, and more)Results/ FindingsDiscussionsConclusionBibliographyAppendix|
Title: Clear and interesting title is necessary to give the first impression about your work. The title page should also contain the name of the authors and affiliations.
Abstract: This page is intended to give a wholesome summary of your research work. The sentences used in the abstract should be short and clear. This is an important section, through which the reader is going to get an idea of what the entire paper is about.
Table of Contents: Your paper’s different sections and components should be tabulated here along with the page number for easy reference.
Introduction: Keep the introduction more elaborated and look different from your abstract. Include more background information and the objectives of the research. Properly state the reasons for starting this research, explain the thesis statement, and make it look informative.
Body paragraphs: This section includes all the experiments and methods you have conducted during your research. Say about the materials and sources that helped you during the research. Include tables and figure that explains the experiment. In other words, this is the part where you can say about the heart of your work.
Results/ Findings: Discuss what are the results you have got from conducting this research here. This is the part that says whether you are proving your thesis statement is true or not.
Discussions: In this section, say what do you get or infer from the results you got.
Conclusion: This section briefly speaks about your entire work and the interpretation of your results. You can also include any limitations you have faced, and how you are going to meet them in your future works.
Bibliography: It includes the list of sources and literature used as references for your work.
Appendix: It contains the attachments or supplementary material that can be used for a comprehensive understanding.
Formatting Your Paper
The research paper needs proper formatting according to the style you are going to follow. The most popular formatting styles used for the research papers are APA, MLA, and Chicago. The font style, font size, headings format, and page layout differ according to the style you choose to follow.
APA Research Paper Format:
- Font Style: Times New Roman/ Arial
- Font Size: 12 pt/ 11 pt
- Line Spacing: Double
- Paragraph Indentation: Half an inch.
APA paper has a running head (title) on each page of the paper with page numbers on the top right corner. It has five different levels of headings ranging from Level 1 to 5. It should also contain author citations and a reference page with proper formatting at the end.
MLA Research Paper Format:
- Font Style: Easily readable like Times New Roman
- Font Size: 12 pt
- Line Spacing: Double
- Paragraph Indentation: Half an inch
- Headings should be title case capitalized.
The first page of the MLA paper contains your name, instructor name, course name, and code, and due date mentioned above the paper title. Every page should contain your surname along with the page number at the top right corner. The last page contains the works cited page consisting of all the sources and references used.
Chicago Research Paper Format:
- Font Style and Size: 12 pt Times New Roman or any other standard font
- Margin: 1 or more than 1
- Line Spacing: Double
- Paragraph Indentation: Half an inch
The title page is not required here but you can always if you want to. The page number should be placed either at the bottom center or at the top right. It provides two styles of citations as author data citation with reference list or footnote citation with a bibliography. You can use any of them.
Choose the right formatting style for your research paper format according to your requirement or according to your supervisor’s guidance.
Proofread Your Paper
After getting your final draft ready, proofreading is essential to check whether any errors occur in the paper. Properly check each page of the document and make corrections if required. Look for grammar, punctuation, and spelling mistakes and correct them accordingly. Check whether the paragraphs are within the given word limit and remove redundant lines or words to make them short. Check whether the flow is maintained during the entire paper. Finally, read the entire paper from a reader’s perspective and make adjustments that enhance the readability of your paper’s readability.
Your paper is now ready to be published! Follow the above-mentioned guidelines to write a research paper format like a pro.
Frequently asked questions
1. What is APA style in research?
APA stands for American Psychological Association. It is the style of documentation that provides guidelines for font size, style, and formatting. It is widely used by research papers in the field of sociology, psychology, and more.
2. What is the research paper format?
It is the format and methods we follow while writing a research paper. It covers the contents of the paper, styling, formatting, and components that define the paper.
3. How to make a research paper format?
- Be clear about your thoughts and ideas
- Prepare a thesis statement
- Present your ideas and understandings clearly in an outline
- Make a rough draft
- Work with the paper’s body
- Choose the formatting style