RESEARCH PAPER GUIDELINES AND FORMATTING
• Times New Roman font, size 12
• Double (2.0) spacing
• 1-inch margins on all sides.
• Follow MLA rules for citations and formatting.
o The Purdue Online Writing Lab is a good resource for MLA citation and style
• Per MLA rules, the first page should be prepared as follows:
o In the upper left-hand corner, list your name, your instructor’s name, the course,
and the date (double-spaced).
o Double space again and center the title using standard capitalization (i.e., not all
o Create a header in the upper right-hand corner that includes your last name,
followed by a space with a page number. Number all pages consecutively with
Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.), one-half inch from the top and flush with the right
• Per MLA rules, include a Works Cited page at the end of the paper.
• Do not include an abstract.
• Include in-text citations (using MLA style) when you –
o refer to, summarize, paraphrase, or quote from another source information;
o state facts that are not common knowledge or available in a standard reference
o include any borrowed material that might appear to be your own if there were no
• For every in-text citation in your paper, there must be a corresponding entry in your
Works Cited page.
• Paragraphs should contain only one main point. Generally, the paragraphs in this type of
paper should consist of three to five or more sentences.
• Write clearly and concisely, avoiding wordy language and long sentences. Clear writing
demonstrates clear thinking.
• Use the active voice whenever possible.
• Use formal language. Instead of contractions (e.g. can’t or didn’t), use the long forms
(cannot or did not). Instead of phrasal verbs (e.g. show up), use non-phrasal verbs (appear,
arrive). Avoid you when generalizing (specify the group of people you are referencing,
• Use correct grammar, punctuation, and capitalization. Always use the spell-checker, but
proof-read the document yourself as spell-checkers will not catch problems such as then
vs. than, their vs. there, form vs. from, and similar mistakes. Also see the editing checklist
posted on Blackboard.
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