Research Paper Style Guide

Margins and spacing: All margins should measure one inch. Pagination: Number all pages of your paper in the upper right corner, one-half inch from the top. General format and title page: Your research paper needs to be typed, double-spaced on standard-sized paper (8.5 X 11 inches).

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Do not enlarge the font to make your paper appear longer; do not make the font smaller so you can fit your paper into the prescribed number of pages. This site offers only examples of the more common citations students use.

For a wider range of topics, you need to consult the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers or the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

At the top of your title page, flush right and one-half inch from the top edge of the paper (inside your top margin), you will write what is called a "manuscript header." A manuscript header consists of one or two key words from you title followed by the page number (see example).

Your title will appear centered on this page, written in capital and lower-case letters.

The heading includes your name, your professor's name, the course you are taking, and the date. Double-space the title if it extends past the first line.

Write your title in capital and lower-case letters.

Do not underline your title or put it in quotation marks.

The page number preceded by your last name should appear in the upper right corner one-half inch from the top.

Select a form for each level of division (for example, you might write Level 1 centered, caps and lower case; Level 2 flush left, lower case only, etc.); use the same form for the same level your paper.

Regardless of the system you choose, the title on the title page should conform to MLA standards. The number should appear by itself with no punctuation.


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