A research paper is an explanation of something that has been done, or a summary of what someone else says about the topic. They can be either in-depth or brief depending on your needs. This guide will help you decide which type and how to go about creating it

Prowritingaid is a website that provides tips and tricks for creating a good research paper format. The website also has an interactive guide to help you create the best possible research paper.

How To Create A Good Research Paper Format: An Ultimate Guide

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When you’re assigned to write a research paper, you’ll need to gather relevant information and plan out the topic of your work. That isn’t all, however; with written work, there are usually standards for style and formatting. As a result, understanding the specifics of research paper style is critical. Our post will show you how to correctly cite a research paper as well as other important formatting and reference requirements.

APA style research paper

The American Psychological Association (APA) created the APA format to standardize official requirements for papers across a variety of fields. The American Psychological Association (APA) has guidelines for citation and reference styles, typefaces, and margins, among other things.

The following are the key characteristics of an APA research paper:

  • 12 point Times New Roman font
  • The spacing is doubled.
  • Margin of one inch
  • Each page has a page number in the upper right corner (including title page)

The following are the essential components of the APA research paper format:

  • Page 1 of the title
  • Abstract
  • Body with (optional) headers and subheadings, as well as source citations
  • References

Keep in mind that all of these elements must be part of a single, cohesive document. Let’s take a deeper look at each component of an APA research paper:

In APA format, a title page is required.

On the title page, provide the following information:

The following information appears on the title page of your paper:

1) the research paper’s title 2) the author’s name and surname 3) the name of your college or institution

The title page’s first three elements must be in the middle of the page.

4) At the top of the title page, there must be a header with the title in capital letters. Select the “add the header” option and place the title text in the left of the upper-right corner of the page, depending on the software you’re using for formatting. 5) The page number must appear in the upper-right corner of the page.

APA style abstract

The abstract in the APA research paper style highlights all of the study’s main ideas and results. For research articles containing a hypothesis, an abstract is required. Make an abstract precise and laconic rather than bloated with unnecessary words. To illustrate the importance of your study and reveal the key facts, two to four lines should enough. Assume a maximum of 250 words for the abstract in APA paper style.

In APA, the body

Headings, subheadings, and in-text citations are important parts of the body in APA style:

In APA, the headings are called subheadings.

It all relies on the study paper’s topic and length. To properly organize the material, you’ll usually need to use both section and subsection headers. The purpose of adding headers is to make it easier to go through the major topics of the study and to give the document a hierarchical structure:

Section headers are often written in a strong typeface with title case in the page’s center.

Subsection headers are bold and in title case, yet they are on the page’s left side. The lower level headers are also on the left side. They’re indented, bolded, and the phrase finishes with a period. The only difference between the third and fourth level headers is the italic font used for the fourth level. The fifth level also differs from the preceding levels in terms of typefaces, since it does not use bold or italic.

In-text APA citations

In APA style, here’s how to reference a document. Even if you paraphrase the original contents, you must provide in-text citations. Include the author’s name, followed by the year of publication. For direct quotes, provide the page number as well. Citations should be included in the middle or at the conclusion of the sentence.

In APA, there is a page for references.

Unlike in-text citations, the references page provides more detailed information about the sources in a separate list organized alphabetically. There are some guidelines to follow:

  • List the website’s location, the author’s name, the date it was published, when it was published, the kind of web source, and the title of the online source.
  • Add the author’s name, title, year of publication, and page range to articles.
  • Books: include the author’s name, the title of the book, the publisher’s name, and the year of publication.
  • Add the name of the source where the article was published if it’s an essay.

Format for a research paper in MLA

The MLA format, which is often used for research papers in humanities subjects, is established by the Modern Language Association.

The following are the most important characteristics of an MLA research paper format:

  • 12 point Times New Roman font
  • 8 12×11” white paper
  • Each paragraph begins with an indentation.
  • The spacing is doubled.
  • Margin of one inch
  • In the upper left corner, there is a page number, as well as the last name (in the heading)

The following are the essential components of an MLA research paper format:

  • The first page and the header
  • The body
  • List of references

MLA format includes a header on the first page.

In MLA format, a separate title page is not usually required, although in certain fields, a title page for a research paper is required. Include your complete name, the name of your supervisor, the course, and the due date for the assignment in the header. On the first page, the heading must be in the top left corner. The initial page’s page number must be in the top right corner.

In MLA format, the body

Lists must be included in the body of the document. If the numbers are one or two words long, you should write them in words. You may, however, utilize integers for measurements and fractions. If you use quotes, make sure the in-text citations are in the same phrase and that the quote’s author is mentioned.

MLA format references list

References should be included on the final page of the research paper. In the middle of the list, write “Works Cited.” Before you write your first reference, leave a double space. Then, for the whole page, use double spacing.

Format of a Chicago paper

The Chicago Manual of Style’s paper format is not as often used for research papers as other styles. It may, however, be used to humanities subjects. Turabian is the most often used variant of Chicago for research papers.

The following are the major characteristics of the Chicago/Turabian format:

  • It is suggested, but not required, to use 12 point Times New Roman font
  • The spacing is doubled.
  • Margin of one inch (could be more significant)
  • New paragraphs must be 12 inch indented.
  • Text that is oriented to the left
  • Page numbers are either in the top right corner or the bottom center of the page.

The following are the essential components of the Chicago research paper format:

  • Page 1 of the title
  • Body with (optional) headers and subheadings, notes, and in-text citations
  • Page of references and bibliography

Chicago style title page

Include just the title in bold in the middle of the page for many research articles. For certain papers, however, the title page should contain subtitles (bold font below the title), the student’s name, the course name, and the date. Except for the title and subtitle, all of the information is in the middle of the page, around two-thirds of the way down. It’s worth noting that a number isn’t required on the title page in Chicago style. It must, however, be included as part of the page count, and the following page will begin with the number 2.

The body, as seen in Chicago


In Chicago style, headline capitalization is always used for headers. Make sure that all level headers are presented in the same way, and that the higher levels are in a bigger type, italic, or bold.

Acronyms and numbers

Use words to represent all numbers less than one hundred. When mentioning an abbreviation for the first time, it’s critical to place it at the beginning of the sentence and explain its full meaning.

Notes and citations in the text

In the Chicago research paper format, there are two acceptable citation styles:

  • Author-date citations are in-text citations that may be formatted in a variety of ways.
  • Notes-bibliography: Use superscript numbers on the pages for footnotes and endnotes, and provide a separate reference page for readers to refer to.

Chicago style bibliography/reference list page

The bibliography page for a Chicago-style academic paper must be at the conclusion of the work, with two different reference styles depending on the citation style you select. There must be a blank line between items in both the bibliography and the references.

Format of ASA paper

The American Sociological Association is abbreviated as ASA. This is a common research paper format for studies in sociology and related fields. Students and academics, on the other hand, prefer the ASA style for articles; assignments may sometimes include criteria for writing a research paper in ASA.

The following are the major characteristics of the ASA paper format:

  • Times New Roman font size 12
  • All four sides have one-inch margins.
  • The spacing is doubled (for everything, including references)
  • First lines of paragraphs are indented.

The following are essential components of the ASA paper format:

  • Page 1 of the title
  • Abstract
  • Subheadings in the body
  • List of references

ASA’s title page

A separate page should be created with the title in upper case in the middle. You must write the author’s name, professor’s name, and course’s name below.

ASA’s abstract

An abstract containing a description of the research paper’s key points must be included, and it must be at least 200 words long. Make a new page for it.

In ASA, the body

It is critical to organize the body’s subheadings in the following manner:

  • There must be no strong font on the first level.
  • The second level must be written in italics, with each word’s first letter capitalized (except prepositions).
  • Only the initial letter of the first word must be in upper case, and the third level must be in italics. The third level must be indented and finish with a period.

ASA’s bibliography

In alphabetical order, list all of the sources you used in the body of the work. Include the writers’ full names. All journal titles must be italicized and uppercase (excluding prepositions). Put the chapter names in quotation marks.

Do you need assistance with formatting or writing?

We hope that our advice to adopting the proper research paper structure was useful in helping you complete your tasks properly. On our site, you may also learn how to structure your essay.

By the way, enlisting the help of experienced writers ahead of time may spare you from stress and poor marks. Our team of professional writers can assist you with any research paper style and much more. Apply to work with one of our expert writers now for help with editing, formatting, and writing any academic papers you may need.

Pixabay photo by Wortwerk Hamburg

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best format for a research paper?

How do you research for an excellent essay The Complete Guide?

A: To research for an excellent essay, you should start by finding out what type of writing prompt was given to you. For example, if it says write about your favorite cereal then first ask yourself why and how this came up in the assignment. You could find that they are looking for a personal experience or opinion on something specific like ones relationship with breakfast cereals.
If there is no mention made of any particular topic then getting started can be difficult unless the professor gives them some guidelines like tell us who won the presidential election which would provide more information as to where people should begin their research from but not necessarily end it because every teacher has different requirements/suggestions when assigning essays/research projects

What are the 10 steps to writing a research paper?

A: The 10 steps to writing a research paper are as follows:
1. Plan your topic;
2. Select appropriate methods of data collection and analysis;
3. Brainstorm possible sources for evidence you need/want in that field;
4. Develop the research question(s), hypotheses, aims, etc.;
5. State any assumptions or limitations you have about what can be done with this project (e.g., all participants will consent to participate, no one else has already studied this subject);
6-10) Write the introduction, main body paragraph 1-2 pages long each with headings from #1 and 2 respectively above them — use paragraphs 3+4 for subheadings if needed!

  • what is an abstract
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