Writing a Research Paper: Outline Format
Your research paper should not only be interesting to read, but also easy to navigate. There is a set format for a research paper which must be followed in order to score high marks when being examined by your teacher or professor. In fact, some professors won't hesitate to throw your paper into the 'wrong format' pile if it isn't done correctly, so going that extra mile will save you a lot of hassle with penalties and rewrites later on.
The title page
A whole page should be dedicated to your title. Be sure to add everything the title page requires, namely:
- The title of your paper in large font
- Your name in small font directly below the title
- Your contact details
- The research paper subject and assignment number
- The name of the course the paper pertains to
- The year and semester
- A short abstract of about 300 words (make sure it's titled as the 'Abstract')
- A few keywords or tags that best describe the topic and subject
Your second page should be an introductory page that sums up your work ahead. Consider leaving space for this and writing it later, because you may come across some facts or findings that you're not aware of at the start. Nevertheless, be sure to add some background information on the research topic and also mention previous research done on the same topic. Try not make your introduction longer than about 750 words.
The body of research
Now you come to the research content itself. On a standard research paper, about 25-40 pages is the norm to discuss your research. Don't be afraid to be opinionated in your research writings, but be sure to have the facts to back up any statements that you make.
Remember to write neatly and in paragraphs of no more than 150 words to make the content reader friendly. Try and keep one paragraph limited to one point, and be sure to make that point without hesitation. Go the distance by adding graphs and stat tables, but try to stay away from using pictures unless absolutely necessary. Try following these guidelines as an easy reference in order to make your research content comprehensive and compelling:
- Your suppositions and opinions
- Your research plan
- The gathering of facts and data
- The assessment of that data
- Further testing and experimentation
- The evaluation of experimental outcomes
- A critical analysis of the research
Dedicate a page (about 750 words) to explain all the things you've achieved through your research. Make sure you come to a realistic conclusion to the investigation you've conducted and answer any issues that may have been in question.
Acknowledge any and all of the other writings, videos or website links you've examined by drawing up a bibliography of sources. Do this according to the standard bibliography format.