All You Need to Know About Common Research Paper Formats

As you advance as a student, you will learn there is more than one type of formatting you will need to be familiar with. The three most common types of research paper format include Chicago, MLA, and APA. This article will teach you what you need to know about each, as well as some major differences between the writing styles.

Chicago Style

The Chicago style of formatting has the most rigorous requirements of the three styles.

Another major different in Chicago style is the spacing on

You should note that Chicago style is also sometimes referred to as Turabian style. This is because the lengthy version of Chicago style was condensed by a woman named Kate Turabian. Her manual is considered easier to use by most scholars.

A Few Similarities between Chicago and the Other Styles

Of all the writing styles, you should note that 1-inch margins are used on all sides. The exception to this rule is dissertations and theses, which are commonly written in bound-style and require 1.5-inch margins.

The spacing rules are also similar, since all require double spacing throughout the paper. There are two differences. First, Chicago style requires single spacing for footnotes, reference lists, bibliographies, and tables of contents. Second, Chicago style requires single spacing for block quotations.

Other Considerations for Chicago Format

One of the major differences between Chicago and the other styles is the use of chapter titles and subheadings throughout the work. Not all papers require this, so ask your instructor if you are unsure. For additional writing guidelines and research paper help, look around for templates online.

MLA Style

Unlike the other formats mentioned in this article, MLA style does not have a title page. Instead, students should include 4 lines of information- their name, their teacher’s name, the classes name, and the date. Following this, the title of the paper is placed centered before the body of the paper.

Another major difference between the different styles is the reference page. In MLA format it is called the ‘Works Cited’ page. In APA and Chicago styles, the page is titled ‘References’ and ‘Bibliography’, respectively.

APA Style

As you write research paper assignments through your school career, APA is one you will become familiar with. Sometimes, your teacher may request section be added to your paper- this is especially true in advanced years. These sections include the abstract, introduction, method, results, discussion, and supplemental materials. It is important to set an APA paper apart from similar studies. In your introduction, make sure the reader knows what makes your study unique. Like Chicago style, your APA paper should have headed sections according to its specific style, with each section containing a few paragraphs.

While three types of formatting for your research papers seems like a lot to remember, you can cut down on the work by knowing the major differences. Then, brush up on the guidelines each time you write a paper. Make a checklist and run through it before submitting your final paper.

Topic

Before you can begin to do research for your paper, you need to know what you are writing about. If you are fortunate enough to be able to choose your own topic, choose something that interests you. For topic ideas, ask your fellow students, brainstorm for 5-10 minutes, or browse writing help sites.

Thesis statement

If you already have a research question, your tentative thesis statement will be easy to write. Now that you have an idea of what your main points will be, assemble a thesis statement. Remember to clearly state your purpose and intentions for writing the paper, as well as introduce the main points that you will cover in the body paragraphs.

Proofread

Students who are experts when they write papers place emphasis on proofreading. Proofreading is an easy task. When skipped, however, you can lose easy points. Read through at least twice- focus on readability and organization the first time and spelling and grammar the second.

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