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How to Write a Research Paper

General Formatting Guidelines

❶Document all ideas borrowed or quotes used very accurately. Depending on which text editor you're pasting into, you might have to add the italics to the site name.

13.1 Formatting a Research Paper

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Couponing in America
APA In-Text Citation

College students must make sure that their papers are logical, flow well and follow the format that the professor assigns. Fortunately, the APA format, which is used for many papers in the social sciences, has clear, specific and easy-to-follow formatting rules.

Write down notes as you find relevant information. As themes develop in your research, jot them down in the margins of your notes. You can also use color-coded highlighters, sticky notes or pens to differentiate between the major themes or main ideas that you find. Write down the major themes or main ideas that you found in your research on a sheet of paper. Organize them in a logical manner, such as order of importance or chronological order. Create an outline with the major themes that you found as section headers.

Organize the main points from your notes on your outline. If you find that some of your notes don't fit into the main ideas that you've developed, don't include them in your paper. Double-space your paper and set the font to 10 to point Times New Roman or similar. Set the margins to one-inch all around. The paper should be left-aligned, with a "ragged right" margin.

Type your title and the page number in the header of your document. When a given source does not list an individual author, you may provide the source title or the name of the organization that published the material instead. When directly quoting a source, it is also required that you include the page number where the quote appears in your citation.

This information may be included within the sentence or in a parenthetical reference at the end of the sentence, as in these examples.

The page number appears in parentheses after the closing quotation marks and before the period that ends the sentence. Again, the parenthetical citation is placed after the closing quotation marks and before the period at the end of the sentence. Here, the writer chose to mention the source title in the sentence an optional piece of information to include and followed the title with a parenthetical citation.

Note that the parenthetical citation is placed before the comma that signals the end of the introductory phrase. Another variation is to introduce the author and the source title in your sentence and include the publication date and page number in parentheses within the sentence or at the end of the sentence.

As long as you have included the essential information, you can choose the option that works best for that particular sentence and source. Citing a book with a single author is usually a straightforward task.

Of course, your research may require that you cite many other types of sources, such as books or articles with more than one author or sources with no individual author listed. You may also need to cite sources available in both print and online and nonprint sources, such as websites and personal interviews.

APA is just one of several different styles with its own guidelines for documentation, formatting, and language usage. Depending on your field of interest, you may be exposed to additional styles, such as the following:.

The brief citations included in the body of your paper correspond to the more detailed citations provided at the end of the paper in the references section. Again, this information allows your reader to follow up on the sources you cited and do additional reading about the topic if desired.

The specific format of entries in the list of references varies slightly for different source types, but the entries generally include the following information:.

If an entry continues for more than one line, the second line and each subsequent line are indented five spaces. Review the following example. In APA style, book and article titles are formatted in sentence case, not title case. Sentence case means that only the first word is capitalized, along with any proper nouns. This is a derivative of Writing for Success by a publisher who has requested that they and the original author not receive attribution, originally released and is used under CC BY-NC-SA.

For uses beyond those covered by law or the Creative Commons license, permission to reuse should be sought directly from the copyright owner. Apply general APA style and formatting conventions in a research paper. General Formatting Guidelines This chapter provides detailed guidelines for using the citation and formatting conventions developed by the American Psychological Association, or APA. These are the major components of an APA-style paper: Title page Abstract Body, which includes the following: Headings and, if necessary, subheadings to organize the content In-text citations of research sources References page All these components must be saved in one document, not as separate documents.

Title Page The title page of your paper includes the following information: Abstract The next page of your paper provides an abstract , or brief summary of your findings. Exercise 1 Write an abstract summarizing your paper. Tip Depending on your field of study, you may sometimes write research papers that present extensive primary research, such as your own experiment or survey.

Margins, Pagination, and Headings APA style requirements also address specific formatting concerns, such as margins, pagination, and heading styles, within the body of the paper. Use these general guidelines to format the paper: Set the top, bottom, and side margins of your paper at 1 inch.

Use double-spaced text throughout your paper. Use a standard font, such as Times New Roman or Arial, in a legible size to point. Use continuous pagination throughout the paper, including the title page and the references section. Page numbers appear flush right within your header. Section headings and subsection headings within the body of your paper use different types of formatting depending on the level of information you are presenting.

Exercise 2 Begin formatting the final draft of your paper according to APA guidelines. Your title page The abstract you created in Note The following heading styles used in APA formatting are listed in order of greatest to least importance: Section headings use centered, boldface type. Headings use title case, with important words in the heading capitalized.

Subsection headings use left-aligned, boldface type. Did I follow my outline? Did I miss anything? Are my arguments presented in a logical sequence?

Are all sources properly cited to ensure that I am not plagiarizing? Have I proved my thesis with strong supporting arguments? Have I made my intentions and points clear in the essay? Re-read your paper for grammatical errors.

Use a dictionary or a thesaurus as needed. Do a spell check. Correct all errors that you can spot and improve the overall quality of the paper to the best of your ability. Get someone else to read it over. Sometimes a second pair of eyes can see mistakes that you missed. Did I begin each paragraph with a proper topic sentence? Have I supported my arguments with documented proof or examples? Any run-on or unfinished sentences? Any unnecessary or repetitious words? Varying lengths of sentences?

Does one paragraph or idea flow smoothly into the next? Any spelling or grammatical errors? Quotes accurate in source, spelling, and punctuation? Are all my citations accurate and in correct format? Did I avoid using contractions?

Did I use third person as much as possible? Have I made my points clear and interesting but remained objective?

Did I leave a sense of completion for my reader s at the end of the paper? For an excellent source on English composition, check out this classic book by William Strunk, Jr. Place yourself in the background, Revise and rewrite, Avoid fancy words, Be clear, Do not inject opinion, Do not take shortcuts at the cost of clarity, … and much more. The Elements of Style was first published in There is also a particular formatting style you must follow. There are several formatting styles typically used.

APA American Psychological Association style is mostly used to cite sources within the field of social sciences. Instead of providing individual recommendations for each publishing format printed, online, e-books etc.

You should necessarily ask your instuctor which formatting style is required for your paper and format it accordingly before submitting. All formal reports or essays should be typewritten and printed, preferably on a good quality printer. Read the assignment sheet again to be sure that you understand fully what is expected of you, and that your essay meets the requirements as specified by your teacher. Know how your essay will be evaluated.

Proofread final paper carefully for spelling, punctuation, missing or duplicated words. Make the effort to ensure that your final paper is clean, tidy, neat, and attractive. Aim to have your final paper ready a day or two before the deadline. This gives you peace of mind and a chance to triple check.

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Write down the major themes or main ideas that you found in your research on a sheet of paper. Organize them in a logical manner, such as order of importance or chronological order. Create an outline with the major themes that you found as section headers.

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The American Psychological Association prescribes a format called the APA for research paper writing. This is one of the two regularly used formats, the other one being MLA format. Before you start writing your research paper keep in mind that people generally read research papers selectively.

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APA provides guidelines for how to organize and format your paper, including the following: How numbers should look in your essay, such as when numbers should be spelled out versus written as numerals, how to write out decimal fractions, and the style to use for metric units. Papers, review free APA Research how to organize a research paper generate MLA or APA citations, and correct reynaldaeryeagley.tk ultimate guide to writing perfect research papers, essays, Organize Guide to writing an APA style research paper An APA-style.

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The American Psychological Association (APA) provides APA format as a way to organize research papers. Required in many academic departments, particularly in the social and behavioral sciences, APA style is best known as a way to document and organize sources used in research papers. Organizing your paper can be a daunting task if you begin too late, so organizing a paper should take place during the reading and note-taking process. As you read and take notes, make sure to group your data into self-contained categories.