Simple Guidelines to Help You Flawlessly Format Your Research Paper

When you start putting together a research paper you may have so many other legitimate concerns that formatting seems minor in comparison. It can be just as labor intensive as the research itself if you’re new to it so don’t leave this part til last minute. Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned in the art of formatting research, these are the general guidelines you’ll need to follow.

Learn the rules of your chosen format

Life would be far more simple if there were only one format for academic writing. Unfortunately there are several and the one you may be required to use is not even certain based on your discipline. Verify whether you’re expected to use APA, Chicago Style, MLA or something a little more exotic and then find the booklet of guidelines for your specific format. You can also check out the website of the governing body of the format. This helps to ensure that the material you get includes even the lesser known rules. Learn as many as you can offhand. This may seem unnecessary but if you’ve ever procrastinated, the value of pulling knowledge from your brain directly should be obvious. It’s far faster than searching through your notes.

Use a good template

If you lack the time or patience to familiarize yourself with the format, consider using a template. These are available for free online and can be very effective. Like any online resource, try to get a good review from someone you trust before you put your faith in its accuracy. The internet is full of hoaxes and some are academic in nature.

Get online help with your citations

Whether you use a template or not, citations can be especially difficult or just tedious to include. They are mandatory, however, so you will either have to painstakingly put each one in manually or rely on a site that creates citations in various styles. The latter only requires a few bits of information to spew forth a perfectly formatted citation. This is especially useful for the procrastinators who may find themselves filling in this part of the paper mere hours (or minutes) before submission.

The formatting of a paper will require more than this brief article could cover but this is the basic gist of it and if you follow these guideline the rest should come to you.