College research paper format

term paper tips Now being asked to write a college research paper is one thing. Being asked to write it in a particular format and the APA format in particular is what this article is all about. It goes without saying that the quality of your writing, the research for the information to include in your paper and the editing which includes proofreading will be of the highest quality. But that is not the issue of this article.

Here you are to write according to the structure, the college research paper format of the APA. This is a universally recognized and used format. It is not rocket science. It has a number of definite rules and in order for you to get the best possible mark for your research paper, you must know and abide by these rules. Here are some overall college research paper format tips using the APA research paper rules.

  • you must write a research paper in the past tense
  • the title page is a separate page
  • there are no page breaks between the various sections of your research paper
  • your text must be double spaced
  • there is a 1 inch margin all around the page
  • you must use a 12 point font

Basic Structure

research paper topicsThe title page

Now many academics will talk to you at length about the choice of topic for your research paper. Obviously it is very important. But when using the APA format, the actual length of the title of your research paper should be between 10 and 12 words. You might have a fantastic topic but the title you give to it cannot go on forever. Furthermore, the title should be an exact summation of what your research paper is all about.

The title page includes the title, the name of the student and the name of the college. All of these pieces of information are double spaced. Microsoft Word enables you to do all of these things simply. You can create a pre-set and run it through your entire research paper. You need to include a header on all pages of your research paper. This is a short title to identify each and every page.

The abstract

This is a short description, no more than 120 words, in one block paragraph and is double spaced. In the abstract you provide an overview of how you have approached the research in your paper, the results and what you will discuss. The brevity of the abstract is a good learning tool. It forces you to get to the point and to not use any flowery language. If you are not sure how to begin, better visit this essay writing service and get free consultation about your essay.


For many students this can be the most difficult aspect of the research paper. You have to write a summary of what is to follow. You have to create interest in what is to follow. Starting your introduction with a riveting sentence is an excellent idea.

The method

Here you have to describe your research in detail. You must be precise. You must list all the participants in your research and be specific with all details. Bullet point entries can be used to list the participants and the end results.

The same APA format is used in listing apparatus, method, procedure and results.


The citing of references using the correct format is essential. References are listed in alphabetical order according to the last name of the first author. Double spacing is used and the second line of each reference is indented. These types of attributes of the APA format are easy to achieve using Microsoft Word.

There are many web pages which give excellent examples of how the APA research paper should be set out.


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