Basic Guidelines for a Research Paper - Writing Center at TCC
Writing Center at TCC : Self-help Handouts : How to Format an MLA Research Paper
Basic Guidelines for a Research Paper
Questions to Ask Your Instructor
- Plan on spending about 60% of your time planning, researching, and preparing
the first draft.
- It must be typed unless your teacher states otherwise. Statistics point
to higher grades for typed papers.
- Use 10 or 12 point type and a standard font such as Arial or Times New Roman.
- Type on only one side of the page and double space all text.
- The margins are to be 1 inch all around unless otherwise stated.
- Use parenthetical in-text documentation.
- When you look at any possible source material, always copy down the
bibliographical information (See Works Cited).
- Even if you use note cards, it helps to photo copy pages you might use.
- You must give credit to both exact quotes, summaries, and paraphrases. You
must credit your source if this is material you personally did not know.
- TCC offers special writing workshops
- Should I use MLA? Other guidelines include APA, Turabian, or Chicago Manual.
- How long should my paper be? Does that length include the outline and Works
- Does my instructor require approval of the topic and/or thesis statement
- Does my instructor require an outline?
- Will my instructor want to see my outline, note cards, copies of Web pages,
or rough draft.
- Does my instructor want a report cover on the paper? Some may not want plastic
- What information does my instructor want on the title page?
- Will my instructor expect all research turned in with the paper?
- Does my instructor want a Works Cited (only the sources referenced in the
paper) or a Bibliography (all sources you reviewed).
- Is this an informative or a persuasive paper?
- Are all types of sources (encyclopedias, magazines, Internet, etc.)?
How many and are there any restrictions?
Ask your questions now because excuses aren't accepted later.
Questions and General Guidelines : Cover Page : Outline
Page : Body Pages : Works Cited
Page : Preparing a Schedule
June 27, 2002