An overview of the formats of research papers

Research paper assignments are quite common methods of academic assessments. These put pressure not only on the students but also on the teachers. Research papers are as difficult to comprehend as it is to write them. Hence, to make sure that the research papers are easily legible, certain formats have been developed for the purpose. Research papers which do not follow the instructions regarding the formats are not accepted. Understanding the formats of research papers and having an idea of the right places to apply them is necessary for the purpose of preparing an impressive assignment.

There are various research paper formats and for each format there are specific methods of presentation. The format of research paper to be used for your assignment should be determined from the assignment guidelines. There are a few of them which are commonly used in academic assignments.

• MLA: The Modern Language Association of America developed the format called MLA to suit the documentation requirements of language and literature subjects. But due to the simplicity of its pattern and flexibility of nature many subjects now use MLA for its documentation purposes. The main aspect which set the MLA style apart from the other formats is the fact that its title page and bibliography section are both a part of the main document itself. They need not be given in separate pages unless specified otherwise, by your instructor. The bibliographical reference list in MLA style is given under the heading of ‘Works Cited’.

• APA: This style was developed by the American Psychological Association, keeping in mind, the specific requirements of social science research documentations. APA style is stricter than the MLA style in its presentation techniques. The usage of footnotes is not permitted for the purpose of citing the sources. If you wish to give additional information on any particular part of the text, you may use footnotes for the purpose. Another specific feature of APA style is the use of a running head. This would be a part of the main title which can stand on its own. This would appear on all the pages of the document, next to the page number. The title page and the bibliographical list must be on separate pages. The sources are to be cited under the heading of ‘References’.

• Chicago style: This style is highly preferred for documentation of historical research data. This style offers two types of formats of research papers for humanities and science subjects named the humanities style and the scientific style respectively. The humanities style asks for footnotes whereas the scientific style citations are in the form of parenthetical references. Both styles require a separate bibliography list to be attached to the end of the document.

In order to use the format of research paper asked for by your instructor, in the right manner, you should know those specifications which distinguish that format. Even the finer aspects count as each style has been developed for different purposes. If you are not sure of how to format your research paper in the style asked for, we can help you there. We can offer you a custom research paper which is formatted exactly as per your assignment guidelines. Your research paper can be outstanding with a little help from our professional academic writers.