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Research Paper Style Basics (APA & MLA) and Tips  

This guide includes instructions in basic formatting of research papers and tips to save you time and hassles.
Last Updated: Mar 1, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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How this guide can help

This guide is designed to help you with the MECHANICS of writing a research paper NOT the CONTENT. My aim is to help minimize the frustration and time spent on technical and organizational problems that can easily be avoided with a little prior knowledge and preparation.

  • Glossary tab - definitions of common terminology that is typically confusing to students.
  • Read this First tab - steps to take before you even begin your research that will save you time and hassles.
  • APA Style tab - links to online help for APA style; formatting APA style paper, including pre-formatted templates.
  • MLA Style tab - links to online help for MLA style; pre-formatted template for MLA style paper.
  • Formatting Help tab - instructions with screen shots on setting up the basic parts of a research paper including:
    • Margins
    • Fonts
    • Spacing
    • Headers
    • Title pages
    • Documentation (References or Works Cited or Bibliography)

Warning! Warning! Warning!

The ultimate authority for the formatting of your research paper is your instructor.  If your instructor gives you specific guidelines that are different from what is presented here, FOLLOW YOUR INSTRUCTOR'S REQUIREMENTS.

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