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Research Paper Format

It takes a toll to organize your paper properly in accordance with a particular format. Though, your paper is likely to be poorly graded unless you follow rules of a particular format. Here you will find a number of points that are crucial for organizing your paper within a particular format as well as a set of tips on how to come up with an excellent research paper.

Use of Appendices

This section is normally included into the paper to incorporate figures, data as well as calculations, which allows to keep the flow of the main body of your paper smooth. As a matter of fact, readers of a paper tend to analyze the whole set of details within, thought they will focus on the results alone.The appendix section makes it possible for readers who are interested in your results to look into your research in a more concentrated manner. Even though it might be considered as merely “beating about the bush”, it is still extremely important to organize your appendix section in a proper fashion.

Importance of Back-ups

When writing a research paper, you should ensure that you have a back-up copy of your work on a disk. The thing is that a great number of students tend to lose their write-ups simply because they fail to save a copy of a paper. In case you do not know how to make a back-up of your paper, you need to turn to the computer department.

Making Drafts and Checking your Paper

Once you have completed a paper, you should consider having someone review it. This person will spot mistakes in your write-up. After that, you can organize your paper in accordance with a particular format, as well as avoid obvious mistake across the paper. Which is why, having an independent reviewer is a good idea for any student. When it is done, you can lastly prepare the final version of your paper.

Grammar and Spelling

Despite the fact that you as a student are writing a scientific paper in the first place, you should also mind your spelling and grammar. Thus, you should make sure that your paper complies with all the spelling and grammar rules, which in turn will ensure that your paper is readable and correct.

In case you fail to follow grammatical and spelling rules, your poorly written paper will make readers believe that the research-related side of the matter is also inadequate, which may cause low grades from your instructor.

Naturally, you can rely on the spell-checkers, though this is efficient only in the initial stages of the writing process, which means your spell checker is likely to miss any particular mistake.

In case you are not very skillful in writing, you should consider another person reviewing and editing your paper after you have finished writing it. The majority of students who study English as their major will be glad to earn some money for their editing.


When writing a paper, you should remember that the best way to illustrate the results of your research is to use graphs. They can be easily understood by your readers. When using a graph, you should place it on a full page and number all of graphs in similar manner to diagrams, like 1,2 and so on and so forth. After that, you should refer to them by means of descriptions within the body of the text. Even though graphs are of secondary importance for the format of your research paper, they are still an efficient means of delivering the main points.

Sometimes it is appropriate to include error bars in your graphs just to make it clear for everyone about the level of significance of the results provided.

Another good idea regarding the organization of your graphs is that you should keep them simple, these days they can be completed by means of numerous software programs available on the market.

Even though in some cases it is better to use traditional approach like that involving papers and pens, most universities and schools will show you how computer spreadsheets can be used to spare much and efforts on your part.


It is generally accepted that at the beginning of every experiment there should be placed a hypothesis statement. For example, “Higher temperatures allow bacteria to reproduce at a higher rate”.

At the same time, there is a discussion as to whether it is a good idea to include your hypothesis into the research paper format. This is so because students typically avoid defending their statement across the paper.

You should keep in mind that it is important to clarify in your abstract and introduction what is your objective in the paper, and what you will try to prove.

Illustrations and Photographs

If you want to simplify the research methods that were applied in your paper, you should consider using diagrams. If you can and know how to do that properly, you can easily use your computer for that purpose, though you can always rely on a pencil and paper instead.

It’s better to make photographs with a digital camera, since photocopies and scans have poorer quality. Photographs and illustrations should be numbered in a similar fashion as graphs.

Illustrations and Photographs

Taking into account that the Internet is widely ingrained into the educational sphere, you should make sure that your research can be located on the internet as well as on other internal facilities of your university like intranet.

Numerous scientists are prone to put a section involves up to 15 keywords below the abstract that that will ensure that the search engine will find the paper. These days, it is viewed as a gray-area in the context of report writing, so you should not be too concerned with it.

It is also a good idea to consult your department whether such a practice is acceptable for them. Noteworthy, the keyword-based search was offered by the scientific community called CERN. It enabled researchers to share their write-ups with other scientists. Such an invention served a major advance for the Internet.


In case with the majority of departments, you will be provided with a number of instructions that need to be followed in your paper. It is particularly important to follow instructions regarding the format of you paper. Whilst the style of a paper may vary across different departments, in respect to the way of references for example, these peculiarities are just minor. Provided you are not certain about the format of your research paper, you should consult your supervisor.

Some of the general rules here include that any paper is normally written in 10 or 12 size font and with a double space. You should avoid underlining your headings, as some of the Internet users are likely to see a link in the underlined text.

Map references

Depending on the research you conduct, you might want to include a number of map coordinates into your paper. This practice is particularly appreciated in a field work. In such a way, you will inform other researchers about location of your experiment in case he/she is willing to conduct the same experiment as well.

In addition, you should also include the time and date of your experiment, which is important due to the alterations in the nature. As there have appeared a bunch of mapping software applications like Google Earth, this will not be a problem for you to organize your paper properly in this respect as well.

Passive Voice

There are numerous campaigns targeted at persuading researchers to use casual English in their papers. However, these days, it is accepted among scientists to write papers in the passive voice. You should consider what voice you will need in your paper, for example whether it is active voice that is used primarily for mainstream publications, or it is better to use passive voice within specific scientific reports.

Taking into consideration the fact that most research papers are likely to be read by scientists alone, it is more relevant to use passive voice constructions in your paper. They are normally accepted within the format of any research paper, as it provides scientific style and allows to think that your paper is devoid of any personal idea and theories, instead there are only scientifically-grounded facts in it.

Though, within the APA style it is increasingly acceptable to use active voice.


In case with reports at higher levels, you will be requested to provide presentations in the audience of both lecturers and students. They will spot weak points in your report and ask question in order to assess your knowledge besides the report. As you write a report, you should remember about that and consider that everything you write in a paper will be then delivered to the audience in the form of a presentation. You need to make sure that your background research is consistent enough and that there is the element of self-criticism in your paper in terms of results and discussion.


Needless to say, each and every academic discipline and in some cases an instructor is likely to have a particular scientific approach as to how you should organize your references in the paper. Therefore, you should also be able to use guidelines of how to organize research paper correctly. Furthermore, you might want to look though your scientific journals as well, since they come in handy here as well.

Remember to be consistent and put in all the details that will help other researchers in the replication the experiment.

There are a number of guidelines here.

When dealing with books, you should reference them in the following way: SARGENT, J.R. (1995); Origins and functions of lipids in fish eggs: Nutritional implications. Found in; Broodstock management and egg and larval quality, Edited by Bromage, N.R. and Roberts, R.R, pp 353 - 372, Blackwell Science, Oxford, 1st Ed.

Journal articles are to be organized as follows: NAVARRO, J.C. AMAT, F. SARGENT, J.R. (1991) A study of the variations in lipid levels, lipid class composition and fatty acid composition in the first stages of Artemia sp. Marine Biology, Issue 111, pp 461 - 465.

Websites are referenced in such a way . The majority of articles on the Internet have the identification of the date when they were completed or updated for the last time. It is also necessary to provide the name of the author in case with an online article.

In case with the personal communications, you should put it them this way SARGENT, J. R., (2007), personal communication Within the body of your text, you should make a reference to the article you’ve used by indicating the author’s name and mentioning the year of its publication. In case there were several writers, you should indicate their names and add ‘et al’.

Your reference list should set in an alphabetical order where are indicated the names of first authors, whereas you should always try to be consistent with the organization of your references.

The success of your research paper depends heavily on the adequate presentation of your sources.


Needless to say that research proves to be the basis for any scientific paper, which in turn makes it possible to find about the background information of the paper that resulted in your experiment.

When crafting an introduction, you should draw in a synopsis of the paper as it will serve as the history of the research in a particular field.

As you deal with citations, it is vital to clearly understand at what point you are, as thus you will not lose the idea of how your paper should be structured.

As a matter of fact, the initial resource you should use is the Internet, since it will provide you with a great deal of information. It is better not to use the information form those sites that do not seem to be credible because quite often they are not even peer-reviewed and can be rather inaccurate.

When searching for the information, you should consider only the following domains including, edu, and gov or other sources that are taken from reputable sites.

It is also necessary to include citations to the original site. Basically, journals and books are the best solutions to the search of information. They are normally peer-reviewed and the information given there is accurate. Information obtained personally is another great way of locating the information for your paper. Despite the fact that most researchers are rather busy people, they can be willing to share their knowledge with others. Here, you might consider using email or letters to obtain the information you need for the research.

At the same time, do not forget to incorporate citations in you research in a proper manner.

The Use of Scientific Names

When writing a scientific c paper, you should consider the right usage of scientific names (usually Latin names) when describing species. This is so due to that fact that common names differ depending on the country or even the region in a particular country. For that matter, in order to avoid misunderstandings, you should consider using full names, for example Parus caeruleus. After using that for the first time in you paper, may go on suing an abridged versions of it, like P. caeruleus.

For accuracy reasons, you should be able to provide names of people or organizations who were first to document a particular species. In case with recent discoveries, it is not necessary.


Often times, this word misleads when it comes to the interpretations of the results of a paper. In case with the statistical side of matter, significance normally provides the confirmation of whether any particular finding was proved.

Use of trends and results is extremely important even they are not confirmed by statistical data. Even though you have managed to prove that hypothesis is incorrect, this still constitutes significant part of the work after all, so mention that.


It is common among students to avoid statistical researches. Nevertheless, they are rather important for the paper, as by means of statistics you can properly assess your results. Statistical wizards can help you here with this part of work if you are not sure about the use of statistical data properly. Once you have consulted them, you will know how many samples should be used in your paper to prove its significance.


Table should be a part and parcel of your research paper if you want to assess your data properly and add clarity. Of course, as mentioned above you still can use graphs to describe your findings, though in case you need to present small variations, you will definitely need tables.

They should be properly numbered and referenced to within the text. Alongside with graphs, you are welcome to use tables in the appendix section as well. However, you should not use tables and graphs if you need to talk about the same piece of research.

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