How To Format A College Research Paper Easily: Effective Tips

When writing a college research paper, students have many different options for formatting. The main writing styles in college are APA, MLA and Chicago style. Before looking for an example, students should always read through the writing prompt or the course syllabus. The professor will normally have an exact style that they want, so students should make sure that they follow the directions.

Get a Writer's Manual

Each specific style has a writer's manual that will show the student how to format their paper. It will include specific directions for citing different types of sources and tips on making the bibliography. Although looking through a manual can be time-consuming, it is a vital resource for students to have available. Since each writing style uses a different writing guide, students will have to make sure that they find the write manual. They can look in the library for the various guides or even check online for additional resources.

Find an Example

Since most students do not have the time to flip through a manual, an easy way to format a paper is to get an example. With a sample paper, students can copy the exact writing style. They can use the sample as a guide for writing citations, titles and footnotes. Although the student may still need to look up minor details in a writing guide, the sample paper will show them the general way that they should make their paper.

Think About the Thesis

The main requirement for any research paper in college is the thesis statement. This statement is the summation of the entire document and is worth a large portion of the student's grade. If the student has a weak thesis, they will be unable to create supporting points and examples in the ensuing paragraph. As a rule, the thesis statement should always be written so that it is arguable and provable. If the student does not have the research to support their thesis, they need to find a different topic.

Use a Longer Version of the Five-Paragraph Essay

In university, students will almost never use a basic five-paragraph essay. Although the writing requirements are longer, the same concepts will remain true. Each document will begin with an introduction and end with the conclusion. In the ensuing paragraphs, students will have to make their case. If the student does their job correctly, the reader will be swayed to their viewpoint by the end of the document.


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