Research Paper Format

Research paper writing is tough. However, the research paper format makes it more organized and easy to follow. If you consider research paper writing a hurdle, we will tell you the simplest format to follow.

You can connect with expert writers for the best online research paper writing help and advice. However, since you are here, let us give you a brief idea of how to write one:

  1. Title Page

A title page is the very first page of the paper. This gives an idea of the major things you will discuss and personal information. So here is what you need to mention on the title page:

  • Title of the research paper.
  • Author(s) name and affiliation.
  • Contact information (email address)
  1. Abstract

A concise summary of the research is called an abstract. This highlights the research’s objectives, methods, results, and conclusions. It helps the readers to judge what the purpose of the writing is quickly.

  1. Introduction

An introduction is mandatory in any writing form and research writing. This provides an overview of the research problem along with background history. The significance of the topic and the writer’s intention with it are also stated.

This presents the research question or hypothesis to be covered. It also offers a literature review to provide context and background for the study.

  1. Literature Review

Next comes a literature review, which discusses relevant literature and prior research related to the topic. Here, prior work related to the topic is mentioned to give readers on the progress made. This identifies the gaps or shortcomings in existing knowledge that your current study aims to address.

A survey showed that 40% of students are not even proficient with college paper writing. So, research paper writing will be tough. In such cases, get help from seniors and professors to save time from confusion.

  1. Methodology

To conduct research, there are certain methods which are followed. This describes the research methods and materials used in the study. Talking about the samples, sizes, data collection, and analysis techniques also counts.

This gives clarity to the writers about the techniques and how to follow them.

  1. Results

After the methods are performed, the results need to be mentioned too. This can be done utilizing tables, figures, and charts to illustrate data. An accurate representation of the numbers is crucial, or the data can be misleading.

Remember this section is only for stating data and no discussion on results.

  1. Discussion

This is where the results are interpreted in the research question or hypothesis context. Address the research’s implications, limitations, and significance. State the benefits and shortcomings to create awareness for other scholars.

Overall, this provides a critical analysis and synthesis of the findings.

  1. Conclusion

Finally, summarize the key findings and their implications. Restate the research’s contribution to the field. This also offers potential prospects for future research.

  1. References

In the end, cite all sources, studies, and literature referenced in the paper. One should follow a specific citation style (e.g., APA, MLA, and Chicago) per your institution’s guidelines. Not doing this can result in plagiarism issues.

  1. Acknowledgments (optional)

Acknowledge individuals or institutions that supported the research. This adds a final touch to professionalism, although it is not mandatory.

This is the basic research format that stands united for any research topic. Here is more information on how to format using the three most followed formatting styles:

How to Format Using MLA Format?

Formatting a paper using the MLA (Modern Language Association) style involves following specific guidelines. Here is how to format a paper using MLA style:

  • Keep 1-inch margins on all sides of the paper.
  • Use a legible 12-point font (e.g., Times New Roman) throughout your paper
  • Double-space the entire paper, including the title, headings, and the text.
  • In the upper right corner of each page, include your last name followed by the page number (e.g., Brown 1). Use the automatic page numbering feature in your word processor.
  • The MLA style typically does not require a separate title page, but some instructors or institutions may have specific requirements.
  • If required, place your name, instructor’s name, course title, and date in the upper left corner of the first page.
  • Center the title of your paper below these details.
  • Use title capitalization (capitalize the first and last words and all major words).
  • Do not underline, italicize, or enclose the title in quotation marks.
  • Do not add extra lines or formatting to the title page.
  • In-text citations are typically done using the author-page style. This means you include the author’s last name and the page number where the information can be found, enclosed in parentheses (Brown 45).
  • If the author’s name is mentioned in the text, only include the page number in parentheses: “Brown argues that this is true” (45).

How to Format Using APA Format?

Here is how to format a paper using APA style:

  • Set 1-inch margins on all sides of the paper.
  • Use a clear, legible 12-point font (e.g., Times New Roman or Calibri).
  • Double-space the entire paper, including the title, headings, and the text.
  • In the top left corner of each page, include a running head (an abbreviated title) and the page number. The running head should be in uppercase, and the page number should be right-justified.
  • Center the title of your paper in title case (capitalize the first and last words, as well as all major words). Keep it concise and descriptive.
  • Below the title, type your name.
  • Below your name, include the name of your institution.
  • In the header area, insert the running head (title) and the page number in uppercase.
  • The title page is page 1, but the page number does not appear on the title page itself.
  • For direct quotations, include the page number (Brown, 2019, p. 45). If the quotation is longer than 40 words, format it as a block quote.
  • Center the word “References” at the top of a new page.
  • List your sources in alphabetical order by the author’s last name. If there is no author, use the title.

How to Format Using Harvard Style?

Here is how to format a paper using the Harvard style:

  • In Harvard style, in-text citations should include the author’s last name and the publication year in parentheses. If you are quoting directly, you should also include the page number.
  • For multiple authors, list the first author followed by “et al.” when there are more than three authors.


  1. Single author: (Brown, 2019)
  2. Two authors (Brown & Johnson, 2019)
  3. Three authors (Brown, Johnson, and Lou, 2019)
  4. More than three authors (Brown et al. 2019)
  5. Direct quote with page number: (Brown 2019, p. 45)

There, you have all the guidelines for formatting using different styles. However, remember that the format styles may vary depending on the documents to be formatted, like books, journals, etc.

Hopefully, this guide has given you all the information you need to format a research paper effectively. These are the only tips you must follow to format flawlessly. Follow these tips and start enjoying the research paper writing process.



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.