The detailed nature of a research paper requires one to have a proper outline of the main document. An outline is the guideline that one uses to fill in the details of any document. If one misses something in the outline, then the main document is bound to have issues. There are different formats of doing academic papers. Among the many is the MLA style which has its unique characteristics to distinguish it from other styles of writing. This is the generally acceptable style by the Modern Language Association. When a student is asked to present their paper in this style, they are being asked to put their work in a particular way governed by specific guidelines.
Research papers demand a lot of mind input from the writer and the MLA style is enough to jog the mind of the writer. One must be keen on details to put together a complete and sensible paper. The following are directions on how to do a paper outline in MLA.
- The title should be in block and of the of same font as the rest of the paper
- Citations are done both in the main body of the paper and again on a separate page at the end.
- There should be no extra space up and below the topic
- Parenthetical citation must appear outside the quoted material
- Paraphrased ideas must also be cited
- There should not be a comma between the page number and the author’s name.
- Citations should be sorted alphabetically unless otherwise instructed
- The paragraph format used should be the hanging indent one
- The title should contain a general topic and the precise opinion of the writer
- Wordy introductions should be avoided when citing quotations
Completing a research paper is usually a major milestone in the academic life of every student. This is especially so for those who choose to do it all without seeking any professional assistance. It’s quite a process from choosing a topic, doing the proposal and finally the main paper characterized by a lot of literature review and data collection. Doing an accurate outline makes work easier.
All academic papers must have a specific format which is used to distinguish one type of paper from the other. There are also different styles of writing that are used to achieve the same results even though their requirements and rules differ. Research papers take a quite detailed format that requires the student to have proper arrangement of thought. This particular kind of paper has several sections and each section is rated individually. Even though there must be a continuous flow of ideas, the sections differ in objective. Proper articulation of ideas and organizational skills are very crucial when it comes to academic writing. This is important in order to produce a coherent piece of writing in the end.
The main components of a research paper remain the same regardless of the style of writing used. The only difference is the approach used in each section in terms of what to include or omit. The following are guidelines on how to approach the major components of a research paper APA style. Use them to produce a high quality APA research paper that will attract good grades.
- Title page: Your title page contains the topic of study, the name of the author and also the institutional affiliation. The title should also have a maximum of twelve words without abbreviations
Abstract: The abstract must contain a running head. On the starting line of this page, the word ‘abstract’ should be centered without underlining or writing it in bold. It should also not be written in italics
- Introduction: This is a brief description of the entire paper which should contain names of authors from whom theoretical information was taken.
- Literature Review: This is one of the most crucial components of a research paper APA style. The various theoretical sources of information are elaborated in this section.
- Method: This is a description of the research designs used, data collection and analysis methods. The APA style demands the inclusion of these details in an elaborate manner.
- Results: A detailed description of your findings is given in this section. Results are normally presented in tables or figures. These should only be added to what is already in text form but should not replace it. The results should be descriptive so that it does not flow to the next section
- Discussion: in this section, one says all that they had not said in the results section. Findings are discussed in depth with reference to the questions of study. Limitations of the study and future recommendations are also made here
- Reference list: APA citations rules are applied here. Not more than six authors should be named in one citation. Apart from the list of references, in-text citations should carefully be put indicating the surname of the author and the date (year) when the source was published. This is the format: (Surname, Date), for example, (McCain, 2014).
A research paper has some constant crucial components that do not change regardless of the topic of study or institution. Other minor components can be omitted depending on the given instructions and the purpose of the study. It is required for all learners to follow this standard procedure in order to excel in this type of style. Click to read more about the APA style.