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Research Paper Style

The commonly used research paper styles and their specifications

Academic research papers are also documented formally, as per the specifications of the chosen documentation style. It is meant to help the students become familiar with the rules and methods of the documentation styles used commonly in their subjects of study. The most commonly used research paper styles in academia are the MLA style and the APA style. A basic understanding of the specifications of these styles would help in understanding the finer aspects of the styles.

The APA style

The American Psychological Association developed the APA style with respect to the documentation requirements of psychology. But as it is quite similar to the ASA style which was developed for sociology documentation, academic research papers in sociology are also documented in this style. In addition to psychology and sociology, this research paper style is highly favored by teachers of other subjects also. Let us take a look at the unique features of the APA style.

• The running head: The most unique feature of the APA style, the running head is a part of the complete title of the research paper. It appears on the title page as well as on all the consecutive pages.

• The in-text citations: APA style follows the ‘(author, date)’ format for in-text citations. The surname of the author and the year of publishing are given within parentheses, next to the cited information.

• The bibliography: APA style bibliography section carries the heading of ‘References’ and should begin on a fresh page.

• The footnotes: APA style employs the use of footnotes for providing additional information on the text. However, the use of footnotes for referencing purposes is strictly forbidden.

The MLA style

One of the most flexible documentation styles, MLA is one of the most commonly used documentation style within and outside academia. Its liberal nature was aimed at providing freedom of thought and creativity to the authors of literature research papers. But, it is used for academic papers in almost all subjects as it is liberal enough to accommodate all kinds of documentation requirements. The most unique features of this research paper style are as follows.

1. The title page: MLA prefers its title page to be a part of the first page of the research paper.

2. The in-text citations: The citations within the text, in MLA style, are known as parenthetical references. The surname of the author and the page number are given within parentheses next to the cited portion.

3. The bibliography: With the heading of ‘Works Cited’, the bibliography section of an MLA style paper starts on a fresh page.

4. The content notes: Content notes are used for providing extra information on the text. Content notes could be footnotes or end notes, as preferred by the instructor or author.

Professional formatting assistance

All research paper styles are updated at regular intervals and for the same reason, it is necessary that you refer to the latest edition of the style manual before formatting your paper. You might also be able to find research outline templates which are formatted with reference to the specifications of various styles. If you wish to get professional assistance with the formatting of your paper we can assist you. We offer expert assistance with research paper and term paper formats as well as with research paper topics, process paper ideas, term paper topics and so on.

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