The Types of Research Writing
Academic organizations and some disciplines outline their own styles of
how to cite sources and format research papers. You may have heard of
or used some of the styles before.
MLA: Modern Language Association [Humanities]
APA: American Psychological Association [Social
CMS: Chicago Manual of Style [various subjects]
ACS: American Chemical Society
CBE: Council of Biology Editors
IEEE: Institute of Electronics & Electrical Engineers
NLM: National Library of Medicine or AMA: American
Associated Press. Associated Press is the go-to style for journalists
and news writing. Sometimes this covers magazine writing, too, but
each title is different. AP Style was originally written with the news wire
in mind, and so symbols and “extras” like italics and underlining are
kept to a minimum. For example, Latin names are printed without their
accents in straight AP Style (although many publications correct this in
their house style).
Chicago Manual of Style. CMS is the standard for book publishing,
both fiction and non-fiction. It is not generally used for scholarly
publishing (journals and research), although it is sometimes used for
history. CMS is currently in its 15th edition. For a more compact
approach to CMS, take a look at the Turabian style, below.
MLA. The Modern Language Association style is almost exclusively
used in the academic world, and applies mostly to literature and
humanities. This is likely the style first introduced to most writing
students and undergrads. It does carry some similarities to CMS
American Psychological Association. The APA carries its
own standard for the social sciences such as psychology,
sociology, education and policitcs. (Although the American
Sociological Association produces a style guide specifically for
sociology, see below). APA style is sometimes used for
engineering and business work, too.
Turabian. Turabian style is named after the book’s author, Kate
Turabian, and focuses on style in research work. It is used for
the research or academic arm of many subjects. In fact, many
grad and undergrad students will be directed to use Turabian
despite the availability of another system in their discipline. The
CMS actually refers students to Turabian, and many will find it
much easier to navigate, anyway.
ACS. The American Chemical Society got in
on the act with a style guide specifically for
(you guessed it!) chemists. Chances are that
if you write about chemistry, you already
know about this guide, but here's
a crib sheet on ACS style if you ever need it.
ASA. Is the American Sociological
Association trying to sway some former APA
users? Maybe, although the APA still seems
to be the more popular, even with more
Out line page
The out line page presents a topic or sentence outline and may include the
thesis statement or controlling idea Basically, your outline will constitute
three main parts namely the Introduction, the Body and the Conclusion.
Table of Contents
Review of Literature
3.1 Definitions 3-1
3.2 Basic Concepts to be Understood 3-2
3.3 Concept Model 3-4
Materials and Methods Used
4.1 Population and Sample 4-1
4.2 Survey Development and Design 4-2
4.3 Data Collection Method and Analysis 4-5
Results and Discussions
5.1 Description of the Sample 5-1
5.2 Description of the Responses 5-2
5.3 Analysis of Responses 5-3
6.1 Summary 6-1
6.2 Recommendations 6-6
References and Acknowledgements 8-2
Research Paper Outline Formats – Detailed
Detailed Outline – 1 per body
paragraph (6 total)
Topic sentence topic------Write your subtopic
Set-up for quote-------How do you think you will transition?
Quote , author name, pg. #------- Write ENTIRE quote from research, etc
Significance of quote (What does your source mean by what he or she is
saying? How does it relate to novel? (Write a brief answer to this prompt)
Concluding sentence topic This does not have to be in full sentences –
this is just the info you will use to make your sentences!
(How will you transition to 2nd sub-topic? If this is 2nd sub-topic, how are
you going to wrap up this topic altogether?)
*Remember that 3 of your paragraphs will have quotes from the novel.
Your outlines need to account for that as well. Those will probably be 7
Type your paper on a computer and print it out on standard, white 8.5 x 11-
Double-space the text of your paper, and use a legible font (e.g. Times New
Roman). Whatever font you choose, MLA recommends that the regular and
italics type styles contrast enough that they are recognizable one from another.
The font size should be 12 pt.
Leave only one space after periods or other punctuation marks (unless
otherwise instructed by your instructor(.
Set the margins of your document to 1 inch on all sides.
Indent the first line of paragraphs one half-inch from the left margin. MLA
recommends that you use the Tab key as opposed to pushing the Space Bar
Create a header that numbers all pages consecutively in the upper right-hand
corner, one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin. (Note: Your
instructor may ask that you omit the number on your first page. Always follow
your instructor's guidelines).
Use italics throughout your essay for the titles of longer works and, only when
absolutely necessary, providing emphasis.
If you have any endnotes, include them on a separate page before your
Works Cited page. Entitle the section Notes (centered, unformatted(.
Formatting the First Page of Your Paper
Do not make a title page for your paper unless specifically requested.
In the upper left-hand corner of the first page, list your name, your
instructor's name, the course, and the date. Again, be sure to use doublespaced text.
Double space again and center the title. Do not underline, italicize, or
place your title in quotation marks; write the title in Title Case (standard
capitalization), not in all capital letters.
Text Indentation. For the text body, indent the first line of each paragraph
approximately half-inch from the left margin which also equates to 5-7 spaces.
It is recommended that you make use of the Tab key for uniformity, rather than
pressing the space bar 5-7 times.
Use quotation marks and/or italics when referring to other works in your
title, just as you would in your text: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas as
Morality Play; Human Weariness in "After Apple Picking"
Double space between the title and the first line of the text.
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 margin.
MLA TITLE PAGE FORMAT GUIDE
For the MLA paper, note that:
MLA officially does not require a title page, but your instructor
most likely will ask for one. Thus the examples show you the
actual MLA format, and the common revised title page format.
If you use a title page in MLA, it is not counted in the page
count. Page 1 is ALWAYS the first page containing the text of
If you use a title page, page 1 begins with the title centered 2
inches from the top of your paper. This is the only deviation
allowed from the standard 1 inch margin.
You must include your last name 3 spaces to the left of the page
number in the upper right hand corner of every page of text,
including the Works Cited page. This information should be
located in the Header 1/2 inch from the top of the paper.
:Being a research paper, your paper will also have
1inch margins all around: top, bottom, left and right
everything double spaced.
A Works Cited page that is a numbered page beginning on the first
page following the last page of text.
a sample of the first page of a paper in MLA
Citing sources in the text
In MLA style, writers place references to sources in the paper to briefly identify
them and enable readers to find them in the Works Cited list. These
parenthetical references should be kept as brief and as clear as possible.
Give only the information needed to identify a source. Usually the author's last
name and a page reference suffice.
Place the parenthetical reference as close as possible to its source. Insert the
parenthetical reference where a pause would naturally occur, preferably at the
end of a sentence.
Information in the parenthesis should complement, not repeat, information given
in the text. If you include an author's name in a sentence, you do not need to
repeat it in your parenthetical statement.
The parenthetical reference should precede the punctuation mark that concludes
the sentence, clause, or phrase that contains the cited material.
Electronic and online sources are cited just like print resources in parenthetical
references. If an online source lacks page numbers, omit numbers from the
parenthetical references. If an online source includes fixed page numbers or
section numbering, such as numbering of paragraphs, cite the relevant numbers.
MLA Style Works Cited
Arrange sources alphabetically by the author’s last name, or if no author, by
the first word in the citation.
Include the medium of each source: print, web, CD, DVD, television, radio,
film, email, film, performance.
Indent each source 1 inch from border, double space, and indent second and
Author's name in text
Dover has expressed this concern (118-21).
Author's name in reference This concern has been expressed (Dover
Multiple authors of a work
This hypothesis (Bradley and Rogers 7)
suggested this theory (Sumner, Reichl, and Waugh 23).
Williams alludes to this premise (136-39, 145).
Two works cited
(Burns 54; Thomas 327)
References to volumes and pages
References to an entire volume
(Henderson, vol. 3)
Works with no author
When a work has no author, use the work's title or a shortened version of
the title when citing it in text. (If abbreviating a title, omit initial articles and
begin with the word by which it is alphabetized in the Works Cited list.):
Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 6th ed.
New York: MLA, 2003.
Last name, First name. Title of the Book. City of Publication: Publisher,
Last name, First name. “Title of the Article.” Name of the Scholarly Journal
Volume. Issue (Date): first page-last page.
Last name, First name. “Title of the Newspaper Article.” Title of the
Newspaper Date, edition: Section Pagenumber+.
“The Title of the Article.” Title of Magazine Date: page number. Name of
the Library Database: Name of the Service. Name of the library with city,
state abbreviation. Date of access <URL>.