Research Paper Format

  1. Title Page: I will provide you with a format for this page. This does not count as one of your pages.
  2. Introductory Paragraph: This is a basic summary of what is going to be explained in your research paper. You should set the tone and time period.
  3. Body: The paper will be at least three full pages, typed and double spaced.
  4. Conclusion: See above.
  5. Works Cited: This is the page with the sources you used in your research paper, properly formatted.

STEP 1 – Pick a topc

STEP 2 – Thesis

The thesis is the overall point that you are attempting to make about your topic. You are not simply regurgitating information. Whether you realize it or not, when you write, you always take a viewpoint. Your thesis will put this in words and keep you focused when writing your research paper. In future courses, you will learn more in-depth on how to properly create a thesis statement. For the sake of our class, we will keep it simple. If you do not know much about your topic, you may want or choose to conduct your research before coming up with your thesis.

EXAMPLE TOPIC: Prisoners of War in the Vietnam War

EXAMPLE THESIS: While the United Nations has laws concerning how prisoners of war are treated, evidence demonstrates that American troops captured by the Viet Cong soldiers were treated unfairly – and perhaps illegally.

As you can see, the example topic is about POWs in the Vietnam War. The thesis focuses where I will be going with my research paper: captured American troops were treated very poorly. I can even use the thesis in my introductory paragraph. My research will then need to support this thesis, perhaps by using statistics (e.g. death toll of American POWs), personal stories, or other established scholarly research.

STEP 3 – Record Sources

You will need to record your sources in the proper APA format for use in your Works Cited page. Record them as you get them, either on note cards or a single piece of paper. When you have at least five, show them to the teacher for critique and credit. Follow the examples below very carefully.

Citation Examples

  • Book
    • Lastname, Firstname. Title of Book. City of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. Print.
      • g.: Smith, James. The Life of Teddy Roosevelt. New York: Great Books Publications, 2003. Print.
    • Internet
      • Author (if available).  “Article/Page Title.” Name of Site. Date of creation (if available). Web. Date of access.
        • g.: Jones, Paul. “Teddy Roosevelt’s Family.” The History Channel. 24 Feb. 2008. Web. 27 Oct. 2010.