The following recommendations for research paper format are the most commonly accepted by educators but be sure to check with your teacher for any specific requirements.
- PRINTING OR TYPING
If you composed your paper on a computer, use a high-quality printer. Chose a standard, easily readable typeface. Print on one side of the paper only; do not use the other side for any purpose. Be sure to keep a copy of your paper.
Use only white, 8 and half-by-11-inch paper.
Except for page numbers, leave margins of one inch at the top and bottom and on both sides of the text. Indent the first word of each paragraph half inch or five spaces from the left margin. Indent set-off quotations one inch or ten spaces from the left margin.
A research paper must be double-spaced throughout, including quotations, notes, and the list of works cited.
- HEADING AND TITLE
A research paper does not need a title page. Instead, beginning one inch from the top of the first page and even with the left margin, type your name, your teacher’s name, the course title, and the date on separate double-spaced lines. Double-space again and center the title. Double-space again if the title is more than one line in length. Double-space between the title and the first sentence of your text. Do not underline the title or put it in quotation marks. Do not type it in all capital letters. Underline only the words you would underline in your text. An example would be a book title. Do not use a period after the title. If your teacher requires a title page, follow that teacher’s instructions.
The Types of Love Found in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
- PAGE NUMBERS
All pages must be numbered consecutively throughout the research paper in the upper right-hand corner, one half inch from the top and even with the right margin. Type your last name before the page number, as a precaution in the event pages are lost. Do not use the abbreviation p. before a page number or any punctuation mark. Begin writing the text one inch from the top of the page. If your teacher has any preference as to this form, make sure you follow the teacher’s directions.
- CORRECTIONS AND INSERTIONS
Proofread and correct your research paper carefully before you turn it in to your teacher. It may be wise to have a friend do a peer-edit. Be very careful when using a spelling or grammar check. They are often in error when it comes to homonyms or words that have more than one meaning.
Although a plastic folder may seem nice, it is unnecessary. A paper clip or staple may be sufficient. Check with your teacher before you submit your work.