What is the Research Paper Format?

What Is The Research Paper Format?

Research Paper Format Guide

A research paper presents an original study that contributes new knowledge or understanding to a particular topic or field. The format of a research paper follows standard conventions that facilitate clear communication of the study's key information.

Also read: How To Write A Perfect Research Paper For Publication?

Sections of a Research Paper

A typical research paper contains the following sections:

  • Title Page - Includes the title of the paper, the author's name, and institutional affiliation.
  • Abstract - A short summary of the paper, usually 150-250 words. Summarizes the purpose, key findings, and conclusions of the study.
  • Introduction - Provides background information on the topic and explains the study's goals and significance. States the hypotheses or research questions.
  • Methods - Detailed explanation of the procedures and techniques used in the study. Allows others to replicate the study.
  • Results - Presentation of the study's main findings, including statistics, figures, and tables.
  • Discussion - Interpretation of the results and how they relate to existing knowledge on the topic. Notes study limitations and suggestions for future research.
  • References - Full bibliographic details on all sources cited in the paper.

Formatting Guidelines

  • Use 12 pt Times New Roman font, double-spaced lines, and 1-inch margins.
  • Number all pages in the top right corner.
  • Use APA, MLA, or Chicago style for citations and references.
  • Include tables and figures in the text soon after they are referenced.
Also, check: 

Frequently Asked Questions

What tense should I use?

  • Use past tense for the introduction, methods, and results. Use present tense for the discussion section.

How long should each section be?

  • The length depends on the paper's overall word count. Aim for a balanced division between the key sections.

How many references should I include?

  • Cite enough high-quality sources to support your ideas and allow readers to verify your work. For research papers, at least 10-20 references are common.

Should I include an abstract?

  • Yes, an abstract is required for most research papers so readers can quickly understand the topic and findings.

What style guide should I follow?

  • Use the style guide preferred in your academic field. Common choices are APA style, MLA style, and Chicago style. Be consistent throughout the paper.
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