The process of formatting a research paper should not consume as much time as writing the article itself. You will outline your essay fast if you get to know the vital parts of your paper. You can also get guidance to frame your research.

How to format a research paper

Before you begin writing your paper, it is imperative to understand and know the style guide to employ. It will help you regulate the typography of your writing, the citation, grammar, and bibliography. Several fields apply different style guides.

The APA style gets majorly applied in social and behavioral science research that includes psychological and educational studies. Follow these tips for APA research paper formatting:

  • The paper should have 1-inch margins at the top, sides, and bottom.
  • The font to get used is 12 point, and the type is Times New Roman
  • Double-space your lines
  • Center align your cover pages
  • Every page must have a left-aligned header that runs in the whole document bearing the title of the research
  • Page numbers should appear right-aligned at the page’s top on every page, from the cover page to the last.
  • The first word of each paragraph must get indented apart from the abstract.
  • Do not bold the title, but bold the individual headings
  • Citations include the name of the author and the publication of the year.

Research Paper Parts

Studies begin with a question that lingers in mind. A paper that details a study states the research question, the methods applied, the outcomes or findings of the article, and other information that gets considered relevant. The main sections of a research paper written in the APA style include:

  1. Cover page
  2. The abstract
  3. Introduction to the paper
  4. Background
  5. Methods used
  6. The results/outcome
  7. The conclusion
  8. Appendices


The research paper needs a cover page that bears the title of the study. You can also include your names.


An abstract is a summary of the research. It entails the overview of the text, the study’s significance, the research question, findings, and the methods of analysis. Avoid citations in the abstract.


The intro states to the reader the problem your research is willing to solve. You can as well communicate the significance of the study in the opening. The research question should get highlighted in the form of a thesis statement


This section allows you to infuse historical information and define the prior theories that also give your study its context. You can also consider your readers here.


The readers need to know whether you used qualitative or quantitative research methods in your study. In this section, you can list all the manners and ways you employed to collect your data, including experiments, surveys, or field research. In scientific studies, this section gets referred to as Materials and Methods.


What is the outcome of your study? In this section, state to the reader about your findings and ooze the data here. Remember to apply an objective point of view here and save the evaluation for your conclusion as the next section.


Explain to the readers why your outcomes are essential in the ending of your document. You will evaluate the results and developments in this section, and it will also help you reflect on the processes you have made. If the study requires additional research, mention it here too.


If your paper has dense information that will need clarification, ensure it ends up in the appendix. The appendices come in handy when you want to list material that is considered supplementary but not that integral to the paper.

Now that you are in a position that you can structure your paper find the perfect question that needs an ideal answer.