RESEARCH PAPER FORMAT
Experience suggests that writing a research paper can be an overwhelming task.
Performing research, reading, organizing one’s thoughts, and writing has frustrated many
students. This handout will help you write your research paper. Writing a research paper
will give you practice on understanding research and following a structured research
This is the research paper format that will be used for this course, but as you are
probably aware there are other formats. Once you master this format (The American
Psychological Association 6 th edition), you should be able to follow other formats by
making a few adjustments.
For this course we will not follow every element of the APA formatting. For
many students this paper may be first attempt at writing a comprehensive paper. As you
follow the links (provided later in this paper) and study APA you may have some
additional questions. A discussion thread has been created in the course room, devoted to
this research paper. Please post you questions there, so others may also read them, and I
will answer them or refer you to additional relevant sources.
Some points to consider are:
This paper is a research paper, not a report or an essay. The paper should
contain information about the topic as found in electronic or print
literature. The information should be paraphrased and/or quoted, from the
available information (make sure and properly cite your reference). A
research paper tells the readers what everybody had to say about the topic.
It is a gathering of available, reliable information.
A research paper should contain an abstract. The abstract should answer
these questions in brief form: 1) What is the purpose of this paper? 2)
What did you do? 3) What did you find? 4) What did you conclude? And
5) What do you recommend? It should be packaged into a short and
concise summary. The abstract should follow the title page. If you
include a table of contents (not necessary for this class), your paper should
follow the table of contents.
The contents of the paper should be supported with valid references. Also,
the references should come from scholarly sources, like books, articles,
and professional journals such as Management Review, Harvard Business
Review, Academy of Management Journal, and magazines like Forbes and
Fortune. (Note: These are examples only—there are many more). Of
course, the Internet is a popular source of information today, use it
sparingly and make sure you are citing from a credible Internet source, not
an opinion page.
Internal citations should be indicated to support your research.
The paper should be organized. Headings should be used to convey the
sequence and level of important (heading are required in this paper).