What to know about the various formats for research papers

One important aspect related to research paper writing, which all students are expected to learn, is the way you format your research paper. Formatting is not just about the way the paper looks. It is also about making your research paper more comprehensible. There are certain things you should know about the formats for research papers and their significance.

• There are various formats used for documenting academic research papers but the most commonly used one are APA, MLA and Chicago formatting styles. The choice of style is usually at the liberty of the instructor but the preferences are also related to the subject. Certain styles and its presentation methods suit certain subjects better than the others. Once you find out which styles suit your subjects, you can pay more attention to that style and learn the most important points about it.

• The citations form a vital part of a research paper. Citing the sources vaguely will not serve the purpose. There are some standard pieces of information that is necessary for the readers to be able to benefit from the bibliographical section of your research paper. And documentation formats for research papers have been prepared with due consideration to a very organized way of citing the sources. The citation methods of each of the styles are different and it is necessary to have a manual of the style you are using, in hand for reference, while formatting a research paper.

• The most commonly used formats in academic assignments are that of APA, MLA and Chicago formats. MLA is highly preferred by arts and literature subjects due to the liberty it gives to the writer. MLA style is simple and quite flexible. APA research papers, even though developed for the documentation of psychology researches, is used for many other subjects also. Chicago style is preferred by subjects like history. But you must write as per the format for research paper chosen by your teacher. Each of these styles has their own preferences regarding the presentation patterns and it should be duly followed.

• A properly cited research paper saves you from the risk of being accused of plagiarism. Plagiarism is a punishable crime and the rewards you get by resorting to it are not worth it considering the consequences of getting caught. Hence remember to cite each and every source you have used for your research paper, exactly as instructed by the manual of the style you are using. There is a different pattern for citing different types of sources and it should be determined from the latest manual as the pattern might change when the style gets updated.

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