When you are sure about research paper formats, your marks are assured

As a research level student, it is important to understand the need to work on your writing skills. It is equally important to be fully aware of the formats for these research papers. There are various formats that are followed depending upon the university or college in which you study. However, most colleges insist that a uniform format is followed for all disciplines. This makes it easier for teachers to follow a uniform grading system. Getting complete info on research paper formats is therefore the first thing that you should perfect if you want to ensure that your marks and grades are high.

Formats and citation styles:

Since there are quite a few citation styles that are used today, it is necessary for the student to be aware of the basic requirements of each style. Whether your research paper is done in MLA format or the one that is prescribed by APA, it is important that you know where the relevant information has to be placed on the page. Both these formats have different structures for the cover page as well. Though the information given is the same, it is the way of presentation that differs from style to style.

It should also be remembered that you are bound to face problems if the info that you give is incomplete. For instance, you might be aware of the year of publication of a particular book. So you have ensured that this info is incorporated into the ‘works cited’ page. You have not given the exact page number of the book. This might pose a problem as the guide or the teacher might imagine that you have not read the entire book (or at the least the relevant portion of it) and hence not included the number. The format requires you to put in the number. So please follow the format as is expected.

Type and size of font:

There is always an urge to use a font that is attractive to look at. A lot of students like the look of the Comic Sans font or the more flowery Georgia font. Both these fonts might be good to look at; but for academic writing, these are not favored. It gives the impression that this paper is far from serious and contains more light-hearted info than a research paper is supposed to contain. So using the right kind of font, in all research paper formats, is certainly an important point to consider.

It is also necessary to maintain a size of at least 12 point for the font that you use. Times New Roman is the most favored font, while some universities specify Verdana. Some teachers also recommend that you use a little bigger font for the sub-headings and titles. 16 is the usual size that they recommend for this.


In order to get a complete idea of what research paper formats should be like, do go through a couple of sample research papers. It is the best way you can get the info, without getting a little too confused.