Research Paper Formatting Guidelines for Your Success

Students in college will always face the arduous task of writing research papers. It, therefore, becomes crucial to understand the different types of research papers and their formats. However, research papers, irrespective of their format type, always prove pretty much similar. For this reason, it becomes easier to learn the correct research paper format, regardless of the contents of your write-up.

Research papers get referred to as expanded essays by the SESC. It refers to research papers as documents that contain your presentation of the interpretation, evaluation, or argument regarding a particular aspect of the study topic. As such, you have to become organized besides proving adept at everything, including becoming capable of doing the research promptly, writing effectively, and comprehending how to do an effective research paper outline. Additionally, you also have to understand how to write the research paper’s methodology, introduction, and conclusion segments.

Guidelines on Formatting Your Research Paper

Like almost every task, comprehending the appropriate formatting guidelines for your research paper takes time and learning. Therefore, if you cannot pinpoint the best way to go about it currently, you do not need to worry, but consider the following guidelines.

  • Understand the research paper type you have to write. The type of study you have to do will determine the type of paper that comes in the end. Therefore, it becomes crucial to comprehend the type of study you have to conduct to develop the correct paper format when writing. For instance, you can adopt two of the leading writing approaches: argumentative or analytical. For an analytical piece, you have to aggregate every relevant information, study the information closely before deducing your conclusions based on the information. On the other hand, an argumentative piece will encompass having a persuasion goal. Here, you will have to present relevant arguments regarding a particular subject before proving your perspective or arguments. 
  • Pick a relevant research topic. Instructors can assign students topics or leave them to come up with their own. In the first instance, students can dive in and start researching because the research goals always prove set, while in the second instance, you will have to develop your title and study objectives. In this instance, it becomes crucial to pick the correct subject, which has to prove neither too narrow nor too broad.
  • Pick a title. The title you pick has to prove concise and compelling to capture the attention of your audience.

Format for a Research Paper

The format for a research paper often comes in its outline, and this proves straightforward. It includes the following.

  1. Title page. It should include your unique title, full name, date, and submission statement.
  2. Abstract. It should summarize the paper by presenting the most crucial findings and data. All these should give the reader an excellent understanding of every piece of information presented in your paper. Remember to write the abstract last after completing the paper and should not exceed two-hundred and fifty words.
  3. Introduction. The section introduces your reader to the paper; therefore, ensure that it comprises a maximum of two pages. It should contain the research question besides informing the reader on what to anticipate. The introduction should have the topic, the purpose of the study, the background information, the research plan, and the definition of concepts and terms used if applicable.
  4. Materials and methods. The section should give the audience sufficient information to comprehend the primary study objectives and the topic.
  5. Results. The segment should contain all the presented data, including the statistics, analysis, tables, graphs, and figures. Remember to present everything objectively to refer to them in the discussion.
  6. Discussion. Here, you have to discuss your results by supporting them with evidence. Further, you have to discuss your findings.
  7. Conclusion. In this segment, wrap your research up and remember to avoid incorporating new information.


If you want to write an excellent research paper, it is important to consider the formatting guidelines.