How To: Start A Research Paper

We are about to enter college – a place where your cornell style notes do not exist, unless you want them to, and a place where what matters are your essays and your tests. The rest is up to you. Many of us, in our last year of high school, have been given the assignment of learning to write research papers the way they are intended to be written in college. Although, for those of us who have yet to write a research paper – this is for you, in case you’re anxious and worried. This is how to start a research paper, where eventually, in a later post, I will reveal to you my own as an example.

It's not as scary as it seems. (photo by th0mi)

It’s not as scary as it seems. (photo by th0mi)

Of course, considering you should already have the works you will use compiled together, and notes or a notion on what you would like to write about in your paper – we are about to start!

However, before doing anything, you will want to set your font to Times New Roman at 12 points. This is the standard font set for papers of any sort. You will also want to set your document to double-spacing, which in Microsoft Word is 2.0 under Format, then Paragraph. Then, you will want to correctly establish that you are the writer of this paper. You must do so by aligning your text to the left, at the utmost top of the paper. Do so by utilizing the Header setting on your document writer. You will use your last name, and the page number, as I will depict below.

Now, you are ready to start your paper. Do not indent, for you will need to further signify who you are and what this paper is for. Then you will write as follows, in double spacing of course, your name, your teacher or professor’s name, the class and period (or when the class takes place,) then the date.

This is what your paper should look like currently:

Last Name 1

Your name (First and Last)

Professor’s or Teacher’s name

Class name and time (or Period)

Date (In Number, Month, Year Order)

Now, your paper is started Р which is lovely because here is where the actual work comes into play.

Go ahead and skip the next line, then center your text. Here’s where the title of your paper is going to be. Be sure to make it short, simple, and to the point. For example, my research paper was on Oscar Wilde, with a focus on sexuality. Therefore, I titled my paper “Oscar Wilde: Background, Sexuality, and Perhaps Why.” Of course, I felt I could not outright state “why” considering I will never know his true intentions, and no article on the internet that I used could simply state why he did what he did. Nonetheless, your title should be fairly simple.

Skip another line, indent, and run free. Remember, research papers are much like any other paper. They have introductions and conclusions too!

Stay tuned for the next post: it will reveal an example of a research paper in entirety, followed by a post on how to cite.

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