Research Paper Format

Research paper formats & ideas on how to write a research paper.

It's always a challenge to write a research paper. There is usually more information than necessary to complete the assignment and it is often difficult to decide what to keep and what to get rid of. There are several simple steps involved in preparing a research paper and they are as follow:

1. Consult at least ten sources: books, magazines, online articles, pamphlets, newspapers

2. Seek out only the facts related to the topic at hand.

3. Choose a topic that will be interesting and stimulating to you, the researcher. If you don't you will find the research more of a drag and not turn in an "A" paper.

4. Make sure that you gather enough information to fill the required pages, per your instructor's instructions.

5. As soon as you begin, write a thesis. A thesis is a statement of purpose. It tells you where to do with your research. As your research progresses, it may take on a life of it's own. If it does, do not be afraid to revise your thesis statement.

6. Begin with a tentative outline. An outline will help you in organizing and gathering the information needed to prepare your paper. Begin with the main headings, then move on down to the subheads and the subdivisions. It's sort of like a tree branching out further and further into similar groupings.

7. Prepare your Bibliography as you go along. Every time you take something out of a book, to refer to later, write down the following: list in alphabetical order, last name of author, title of book, publisher, state published in, and copyright date.

8. When you begin to write your paper, remember that a quotation of more than five lines needs to be indented, single-spaced, with no quotation marks. You may also want to use an ellipsis (three dotted lines) when you want to leave out part of a quotation that is not important to the information you are trying to get across.

9. Arrange your paper in the following order: Title Page, Outline, Text with footnotes, and Bibliography.

10. When preparing your footnotes, remember that their main purpose is to indicate the source of that specific information.

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