How To Format An Academic Research Papers

It’s important to follow the guidelines given to you by the instructor in order to comprehend the required information of the research paper. They are different styles to use when formatting academic research papers such as;

Use of tense

Use of numbers and persons

Titles / headings


Text citations



Type of font


When writing someone else’s work, make sure to use past tense but when referring to a theory use present tense. If you are also referring to work which has not been approved use future tense. Before submission of   your work, change future tense to past tense.

It is preferably to use third person when constructing your sentences. Also minimize the use of personal pronouns e.g. we, I , my, to express personal opinion use phrases as such as (Margaret’s opinion) use  roman numbers when the number is above ten.

The headings of every academic paper should be centered and be of upper case. Major topics or sub topics should be centered or italicized and of upper or lower case.

The vital factor while formatting an academic research paper is the connections between list of references and citation to the list in the text of the paper

When it comes to citation they are two types the primary and the secondary sources. The primary contains are those listed in the references list simply identify the surnames of your authors and the year of the publication where page number is only used for quotation. While for secondary is the material you have not personally attained, therefore identify the surname of the author and the year and include the phrase in your academic research paper. As cited or as quotation

Be extremely careful in your academic research paper in regards of plagiarism not to present other peoples work ideas or words as your own findings or work. Therefore if you have to use other people’s words, ideas, product put them in your references in order for your academic research paper to appear authentic instead of looking like it has been copied or pasted.

Ensure you space your work after every sentence and word. For every paragraph typed make certain that you space or double space. Double spacing is not often used but if given as a guideline for the research then use it.

Academic research papers only use Times New Romans font. It is important to use font size 12 for the body text. As for margins, they vary according to inches e.g. left margin 1.50 inches, top margins 1.70 inches, bottom margin 1.0 inches and right margin 1.0 inches.


You can be told to format accounting research papers or abstracts for research papers but when it comes to academic research papers ensure it is formatted according to the directions given by the instructor. If you have important phrases or keywords make sure they are bold or italicized for recognition. Your work should be readable and comprehensible for ease of appraisal.




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