Research paper structure mla
Mar 26, 2018
24 Jul 2017
It is told that the mode of writing of an outline for the research paper is a necessary thing to understand. However, the point is in comprehending of a reason why one should draw it up at all. Evidently, in some cases the outline could be a requirement for paper, but what creates this aureole of necessity for such a thing?
Importance of the outline
Outline`s first assisting aim is in breaking information down into smaller pieces of a sense. Simplified navigation through text is great, but after navigation goes part that is more valuable: managing and applying of this information.
Talking about dissertations or any other kinds of papers with numerous amounts of pages, the presence of outline or simply plan is an obvious thing to be. It must be quite hard to navigate through the enormous text without visual structure support. Concerning less weighty papers, outline helps to concentrate on the key aspects that are under the survey.
Having writing plan in small papers is not vital, because its main goal is simply to structure the text, and Modern Language Association (MLA) writing standard doesn`t demand it in research papers. It still doesn`t mean that intentional omission of plan of whole survey is a sensible decision. It helps to follow all formal aspects of the research study.
As sometimes it is the requirement, there should be special way of formatting it. Here the most used technique exactly is the MLA writing standard. It provides coherent set of rules that guides you composing the plan.
Everything has its start and for the outline, this start is a thesis statement. It usually includes two or three and, sometimes, even a single sentence. It is not important how many words would you use for the thesis in contrast to the sense of these words. Thesis statement aims to reflect the main idea of survey and to set accents on what research is about.
After opening part of plan – thesis statement – usually goes the body of the work. In order to make it more convenient to write, MLA writing standard proposes to divide subsequent thoughts into chapters. Important to know, that all information divided into chapters should support thesis statement.
As every chapter needs a structural designation, MLA formatting advices are the following.
- Headings of sections are numbered with roman numerals (I, II, III).
- If these sections are hereinafter subdivided, Capitalized letters are used (A, B, C).
- For next level go Arabic numerals (1,2,3),
- and small letters (a, b, c) for the last subdivision of the section.
The page numeration of MLA research paper uses small roman numerals (i, ii, iii). MLA standard also recommends writing plan in accomplished sentences.
Thinking of a reader
Initial outline of the research paper consists of separate sections, which are united by a single logic of a study. It is also worth noting, because absence of consecution in plan dooms all the work to failure.
The simple example of using writing plan is referring to previously aligned ideas of the author while losing sight of the main thought of research. While writing the research paper author concentrates on his own ideas, but outline gives a chance to think about a reader. Information included in writing plan helps readers to orient themselves throughout the structure of study. Still being not compulsory to use, the outline shows only pros of efforts spent on its creation.
If you are a high school or college student, then there will definitely be a time when you find yourself in a position in which you need to cite a research paper, dissertation, annotated bibliography, etc. There are various styles of formatting, but the most commonly used ones are the MLA, APA, and Chicago styles. Using these formatting styles helps to ensure that the writers do not engage in plagiarism and it also simplifies the process of locating sources used within the essay. EssayPro team will teach you how to correctly cite a research paper using MLA Format.
What is MLA Formatting?
MLA is the formatting style of the Modern Language Association. It is used in areas such as English studies, comparative literature, foreign language, and literature or cultural studies. It is an academic style guide extensively used in the United States, Canada, and other countries. It mostly provides guidelines for writing and documentation of research in humanities and English literature.
Formatting The Front Page
There are four key components that come with setting up within proper MLA rules:
- Page Margins should be EXACTLY 1 inch on both sides of the text.
- Set the line spacing from single to double-spaced. This makes reading the text less crammed on the eye and allows the professor to make necessary comments in a neat and organized manner.
- Create a header that has your last name as well as the automatic page number. This is done to keep track of the page order and it also looks pleasant on the eye!
- Lastly, enter the required course information on the top-left corner of the front page. It should look like this:
- Full Name
- Name of Teacher/Professor
- Name of Course
- Due Date for Assignment
The In-text Citation
When citing a research paper, include references within two sections:
- The quotes used within the essay
- The Works Cited page at the end
The citation information in the body of the paper itself is called the "in-text citation”. The most obvious time to use it in text is when you use a quote from a source directly or refer to it by title or author.
Generally, you need to list the writer’s last name and page number enclosed within parentheses straight after the quote. If the author's name is included as a feature of your sentence, then you only have to include the page number in the bracket.
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference” (Frost 1).
Kenneth Burke has described human beings as "symbol-using animals" (3).
As you can see, Burke’s name was included in the sentence, so there is no need for repetition in the citation.
The Detailed Information
References: When providing references within your research paper, the readers must be informed about the origin of the sources from where you are citing your information. The reference page is known as the "Works Cited". This page is where the author gives credit to the source. Things that are placed within a citation include: alphabetical order of authors last name, title of article and date issued.
Follow this format exactly: Author(s)-> "Title of Article." ->Title of Journal Volume.->Issue (Year): pages
Electronic Sources. For electronic sources utilize the inventor's name and page number or area number for in-substance references. This is only if the information does not have page or section numbers by any methods. By then, you would basically include the author's name in the section after you have referred to the recorded information.
Selecting An Appropriate Method of the In-text Citation.
In-text citations are most times parenthetical, which means that information are always added to the end of the sentence in parentheses. But if you include that necessary information in the language of the sentence itself, you should not include the parenthetical citation.
For example, if the author's name is found within the in-text citation, then there is no need to add it at the end; simply add the page number and your referencing is finished!
Arrangement of the In-text Citation
Having two sources from the same author may confuse the reader. When they check the source, they will find two different articles. To avoid this confusion, you must include a short title of the research citation, so the readers know which of the citations to look for.
When a source has two or three authors, you should include all authors' last names. Whereas, when you have four or more authors then you have to write them all out following the last name of the first Author.
Example of a Research Paper in MLA Format
Essay Writing Advice From Our Professional Team
This article is great at articulating how to format an MLA citation style research paper. However, it alleviates a style of quotation integration: the block quotes. In MLA style, any quote that is over 4 lines should be made into a blockquote. The formatting for this is easy. Once you’ve inserted the text into your essay, leave a space before and after it. Then, select the text and move it over an inch to the left. This should isolate the quote clearly from the rest of the paper. That being said, my advice is that you do not use integrated quotations unless you absolutely have to. Your essay would flow much better with integrated quotations that contextually connect your idea to the idea in the quote. Paraphrase as much of your quote as you can and don’t forget to include a citation! This is especially important in more formal research papers.
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Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty. Thomas Jefferson
Reports of research studies usually follow the IMRAD format. IMRAD (Introduction, Methods, Results, [and] Discussion) is a mnemonic for the major components of a scientific paper. These elements are included in the overall structure outlined below.
I. The Title Page
Title: Tells the reader what to expect in the paper.
Author(s): Most papers are written by one or two primary authors. The remaining authors have reviewed the work and/or aided in study design or data analysis (International Committee of Medical Editors, 1997). Check the Instructions to Authors for the target journal for specifics about authorship.
Keywords [according to the journal]
Corresponding Author: Full name and affiliation for the primary contact author for persons who have questions about the research.
Financial & Equipment Support [if needed]: Specific information about organizations, agencies, or companies that supported the research.
Conflicts of Interest [if needed]: List and explain any conflicts of interest.
II. Abstract: “Structured abstract” has become the standard for research papers (introduction, objective, methods, results and conclusions), while reviews, case reports and other articles have non-structured abstracts. The abstract should be a summary/synopsis of the paper.
III. Introduction: The “why did you do the study”; setting the scene or laying the foundation or background for the paper.
IV. Methods: The “how did you do the study.”
Describe the --
Context and setting of the study
Specify the study design
Population (patients, etc. if applicable)
Intervention (if applicable)
Identify the main study variables
Data collection instruments and procedures
Outline analysis methods
V. Results: The “what did you find” --
Report on data collection and/or recruitment
Participants (demographic, clinical condition, etc.)
Present key findings with respect to the central research question
Secondary findings (secondary outcomes, subgroup analyses, etc.)
VI. Discussion: Place for interpreting the results
Main findings of the study
Discuss the main results with reference to previous research
Policy and practice implications of the results
Strengths and limitations of the study
VII. Conclusions: [occasionally optional or not required]. Do not reiterate the data or discussion. Can state hunches, inferences or speculations. Offer perspectives for future work.
VIII. Acknowledgements: Names people who contributed to the work, but did not contribute sufficiently to earn authorship. You must have permission from any individuals mentioned in the acknowledgements sections.
IX. References: Complete citations for any articles or other materials referenced in the text of the article.