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APA Writing Guide: Formatting for Graduate Students
- Formatting for Undergraduates
- Formatting for Graduate Students
- In-text Citations
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The Liberty University Writing Center is available to provide writing coaching to students. Residential students should contact the On-Campus Writing Center for assistance. Online students should contact the Online Writing Center for assistance.
Liberty University has determined that graduate students will use APA 7’s formatting guidelines for professional papers. To assist you, Liberty University's Writing Center provides a template paper and a sample paper .
For professional papers, the following four sections are required:
- Title Page with Running Head
- Abstract with Keywords
- Reference List
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you format your paper:
- Fonts - LU recommends that papers be typed in 12-point Times New Roman or 11-point Calibri fonts.
- Use only one space at the end of each sentence in the body of your paper.
- In general, APA papers should be double spaced throughout. A list of exceptions can be found here.
- To make sure that your paper is double spaced throughout, select the text , right click , select ' Paragraph ,' and look under the section ' Line Spacing ' as shown below:
- Margins/Alignment - Your paper should use 1-inch margins on standard-sized paper (8.5' X 11'). Make sure that you use Align Left (CTRL + L) on the paper, except for the title page.
- Indentation – The first sentence in each new paragraph in the body of the paper should be indented a half inch. The abstract, however, should not be indented. References use hanging indentation .
- Headings: Please note that all headings are in title case. Level 1 headings should be centered (and in bold), and Level 2 and 3 headings should be left-aligned (and in bold or bold italic, respectively). Level 4 and 5 headings are indented like regular paragraphs. An example of formatting headings in a paper is available here
Title Page: When setting up the professional title page, please note the following elements should be present on the page:
- There is no limit to the number of words in the title.
- Add an extra blank double-spaced line between the title and author’s name.
- Name of each author (centered)
- Name of department and institution/affiliation (centered)
- Place the author note in the bottom half of the title page. Center and bold the label “Author Note.” Align the paragraphs of the author note to the left. For an example, see the LU Writing Center template for graduate students here .
- Page number in top right corner of the header, starting with page 1 on the title page
- The running head is an abbreviated version of the title of your paper (or the full title if the title is already short).
- Type the running head in all-capital letters.
- Ensure the running head is no more than 50 characters, including spaces and punctuation.
- The running head appears in the same format on every page, including the first page.
- Do not use the label “Running head:” before the running head.
- Align the running head to the left margin of the page header, across from the right-aligned page number.
Abstract Page: The abstract page includes the abstract and related keywords.
The abstract is a brief but comprehensive summary of your paper. Here are guidelines for formatting the abstract:
- It should be the second page of a professional (graduate level) paper.
- The first line should say “Abstract” centered and in bold.
- The abstract should start one line below the section label.
- It should be a single paragraph and should not be indented.
- It should not exceed 250 words.
Keywords are used for indexing in databases and as search terms. Your keywords should capture the most important aspects of your paper in three to five words, phrases, or acronyms. Here are formatting guidelines:
- Label “ Keywords ” one line below the abstract, indented and in italics (not bolded).
- The keywords should be written on the same line as and one space after the label “ Keywords ”.
- The keywords should be lowercase (but capitalize proper nouns) and not italic or bold.
- Each keyword should be separated by a comma and a space and followed by a colon.
- There should be no ending punctuation.
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- Last Updated: Feb 6, 2023 2:38 PM
- URL: https://libguides.liberty.edu/APAguide
Research Paper Guidelines | Graduate School | SIU
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Graduate School 1263 Lincoln Dr. - MC 4716 Student Services Building - Third Floor Carbondale, Illinois 62901
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Standards for the preparation of research papers are established by the graduate faculty at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and the administration of the Graduate School. All revisions are subject to the approval of the Graduate School. EdD students submitting a capstone report to the Graduate School should follow the guidelines for research papers. Guidelines for Preparation of Dissertations, Theses, and Research Papers A research paper may have chapters or may be a continuous document (without chapters). If you are unclear as to whether you are completing a thesis or a research paper, please consult with your advisor.
Each department has selected one or more preferred style manuals , and all students within the department are to use one of those styles.
Mr. John Russell [email protected] 618-453-4529 Student Services Building 325
Filing of Research Papers with the Graduate School
Submit electronically through OpenSIUC . A Microsoft Word document is preferred, Adobe pdf documents are acceptable.
Approval Form. All research papers submitted to the Graduate School must have an original approval form signed by the student's committee, and generally the department chair. This must be submitted to the Graduate School.
Human Subjects . All copies of research papers submitted to the Graduate School that need the human subjects approval as defined by the Human Subjects Committee must file a copy with the Graduate School.
Deadline Dates for Submission. The dates are posted at the Graduate School for both deadlines to apply for graduation and the submission of papers. These deadlines are firm dates and no extensions will be given.
Organization Of Material
Download the Research Paper Template to use for your research paper. It contains all of the required formatting.
Organizational format should be as follows:
- Approval page
- Abstract (optional)
- Acknowledgments / Dedication (not required)
- Table of Contents
- List of tables with page references
- List of figures with page references
- Exhibits (tables, figures, photographs, etc. when not distributed in the text)
- Bibliography (or appropriate title prescribed by style manual chosen)
- Appendices (not required)
- Human subjects committee approval form when required (photocopy)
- Vita sheet (should have a page number)
If a research paper is to be copyrighted, an extra page must be inserted after the title page. The copyright statement is to be centered on the page as follows:
Copyright by (your name) 20__
All Rights Reserved
Charts, Tables, and Figures
- Generally, students will use the computer to design figures and graphs.
- Table heading and style of headings must follow the style manual chosen. Generally, table titles are above the table and figure titles are below the figure, but the placement selected must be followed consistently.
- Spacing within the table may be single or double spaced based on the readability of the data.
- Font style and size should be consistent throughout the document, unless a table requires a smaller size. Six (6) point font should be the smallest used. Titles should be consistent in size and style of font as used throughout the document.
- There should be a judicious use of spacing to "set off" tables, charts, and figures; typically one or two double-spaces before and after the table. Again, once spacing is chosen, you must be consistent throughout.
MAPS. Oversize maps may be included as a supplemental file.
APPENDICES. List of terms, definitions, questionnaires, and other supplemental information which is useful, but not essential, to the body of the research paper may be included in an appendix.
MARGINS. Margins are flexible within the appendix but keep in mind that the left binding edge will cover approximately 1 inch of data. Page numbers need to continue within the appendix with the same font and the same position on the page as in the text. The Graduate School consultants can advise you about this if needed.
COLOR. Color is permitted.
ADDITIONAL FILES. You may upload multimedia files (video or audio files). Follow instructions at OpenSIUC .
- Ariel, Bookman, Courier, Times New Roman
- The body of the document should use a 10 or 12 point font. Headings and subheadings may go up one size and up to 14 point but must be of the same font style as the body of the text.
- Bold format may be used only as specified by the style manual chosen.
- Italics may be used only as specified by the style manual chosen. In general, it may be used for Genera, species, letters, words or phrases cited as an linguistic example, and foreign words.
- The body of the document must be double spaced.
- Extended direct quotations should be presented consistently with the style manual selected.
MARGINS AND INDENTATIONS
** MARGINS ARE ONE INCH ON ALL SIDES.
- Opening pages (Table of Contents, Chapters, Bibliography, etc.) that are required by the style manual to have a set top margin may have a larger than one inch top margin on those pages. Charts, tables, and figures may have greater margins than listed but may not go into the required margins.
- Paragraph indentations should be uniform five spaces. There should be no extra spacing between paragraphs.
The following guidelines are for the pages preceding the text, i.e. Abstract, Acknowledgments, and Table of Contents.
- The pages preceding the text should be numbered in small Roman numbers. The numerals should be centered between the one and one-half inch margin on the left, the one inch margin on the right, and one-half inch up from the bottom edge of the paper.
- Text pages, bibliography, and appendices should follow the style manual chosen. Numbers should consist of numerals only, without punctuation, embellishment, or running headers. Paging should be continuous including the bibliography, appendices, and vita. Except for preceding pages, the style must be adhered to throughout the document. The first page of text starts with Arabic numeral 1.
This recent guideline revision supersedes all previous editions. Take this into consideration as you review previous research papers from the library or your department.
Roles And Responsibilities
The Graduate Student's Responsibility
- Subject matter and content
- Organization and format
- Editorial, linguistic, and bibliographic quality
- Quality of text, figures, and photocopy
- Quality of data, evidence, and logical reasoning presented
- Presentation of the manuscript based on current style manual of the field and Graduate School guidelines
The Advisory Committee's Responsibility
- Approval of the subject matter and methodology of the research
- Approval of the organization, content, and format
- Review of the quality of data and evidence, logical reasoning, and the editorial, linguistic, and bibliographic quality
- Evaluation of the research paper as a basis for certification that the student has fulfilled the requirements of the degree for which the student is a candidate
The Research Paper Consultant's Responsibility
- Providing counsel and advice upon request by students and members of the student's committee about the format aspects of research paper preparation
- Checking the final draft of each research paper to insure that it has been prepared in conformity with the requirements of this guide
Departmental Style Manual
Each department has selected one or more preferred style manuals and all students within the department are to use one of those styles.
*APA: American Psychological Association Publication Manual
*MLA: Modern Language Association Handbook for Writers of Research Papers
HOW TO SUBMIT RESEARCH PAPERS TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL (At a Glance)
Submission site - OpenSIUC
ALL REVISIONS ARE DUE BY THE DEADLINE DATE! NO EXCEPTIONS!
KEYWORD: Be Consistent
- Write your paper following the Graduate School Guidelines and the Departmental Style Manual.
- Apply for graduation by the 4th week of the term you plan to graduate for Fall / Spring and by the 2nd week of the Summer term.
- Defend your paper.
- Margins: Left, right, top, and bottom margins = 1 inch.
- Spacing: Double spacing throughout; no right justification.
- Headings: Be consistent with top margin, font style, and size. Primary / Chapter headings should be in all caps.
- Pagination: Front matter should have Roman numeral page numbers bottom centered.
- Submit to OpenSIUC.
- Make changes as indicated by the consultant.
- Submit one approval form and one oral defense form.
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- Research Paper Format | APA, MLA, & Chicago Templates
Research Paper Format | APA, MLA, & Chicago Templates
Published on November 19, 2022 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on January 20, 2023.
The formatting of a research paper is different depending on which style guide you’re following. In addition to citations , APA, MLA, and Chicago provide format guidelines for things like font choices, page layout, format of headings and the format of the reference page.
Scribbr offers free Microsoft Word templates for the most common formats. Simply download and get started on your paper.
APA | MLA | Chicago author-date | Chicago notes & bibliography
- Generate an automatic table of contents
- Generate a list of tables and figures
- Ensure consistent paragraph formatting
- Insert page numbering
Table of contents
Formatting an apa paper, formatting an mla paper, formatting a chicago paper, frequently asked questions about research paper formatting.
The main guidelines for formatting a paper in APA Style are as follows:
- Use a standard font like 12 pt Times New Roman or 11 pt Arial.
- Set 1 inch page margins.
- Apply double line spacing.
- If submitting for publication, insert a APA running head on every page.
- Indent every new paragraph ½ inch.
Watch the video below for a quick guide to setting up the format in Google Docs.
The image below shows how to format an APA Style title page for a student paper.
If you are submitting a paper for publication, APA requires you to include a running head on each page. The image below shows you how this should be formatted.
For student papers, no running head is required unless you have been instructed to include one.
APA provides guidelines for formatting up to five levels of heading within your paper. Level 1 headings are the most general, level 5 the most specific.
APA Style citation requires (author-date) APA in-text citations throughout the text and an APA Style reference page at the end. The image below shows how the reference page should be formatted.
Note that the format of reference entries is different depending on the source type. You can easily create your citations and reference list using the free APA Citation Generator.
Generate APA citations for free
The main guidelines for writing an MLA style paper are as follows:
- Use an easily readable font like 12 pt Times New Roman.
- Use title case capitalization for headings .
Check out the video below to see how to set up the format in Google Docs.
On the first page of an MLA paper, a heading appears above your title, featuring some key information:
- Your full name
- Your instructor’s or supervisor’s name
- The course name or number
- The due date of the assignment
A header appears at the top of each page in your paper, including your surname and the page number.
Works Cited page
MLA in-text citations appear wherever you refer to a source in your text. The MLA Works Cited page appears at the end of your text, listing all the sources used. It is formatted as shown below.
You can easily create your MLA citations and save your Works Cited list with the free MLA Citation Generator.
Generate MLA citations for free
What can proofreading do for your paper?
Scribbr editors not only correct grammar and spelling mistakes, but also strengthen your writing by making sure your paper is free of vague language, redundant words, and awkward phrasing.
See editing example
The main guidelines for writing a paper in Chicago style (also known as Turabian style) are:
- Use a standard font like 12 pt Times New Roman.
- Use 1 inch margins or larger.
- Place page numbers in the top right or bottom center.
Chicago doesn’t require a title page , but if you want to include one, Turabian (based on Chicago) presents some guidelines. Lay out the title page as shown below.
Bibliography or reference list
Chicago offers two citation styles : author-date citations plus a reference list, or footnote citations plus a bibliography. Choose one style or the other and use it consistently.
The reference list or bibliography appears at the end of the paper. Both styles present this page similarly in terms of formatting, as shown below.
To format a paper in APA Style , follow these guidelines:
- Use a standard font like 12 pt Times New Roman or 11 pt Arial
- Set 1 inch page margins
- Apply double line spacing
- Include a title page
- If submitting for publication, insert a running head on every page
- Indent every new paragraph ½ inch
- Apply APA heading styles
- Cite your sources with APA in-text citations
- List all sources cited on a reference page at the end
The main guidelines for formatting a paper in MLA style are as follows:
- Use an easily readable font like 12 pt Times New Roman
- Include a four-line MLA heading on the first page
- Center the paper’s title
- Use title case capitalization for headings
- Cite your sources with MLA in-text citations
- List all sources cited on a Works Cited page at the end
The main guidelines for formatting a paper in Chicago style are to:
- Use a standard font like 12 pt Times New Roman
- Use 1 inch margins or larger
- Place page numbers in the top right or bottom center
- Cite your sources with author-date citations or Chicago footnotes
- Include a bibliography or reference list
To automatically generate accurate Chicago references, you can use Scribbr’s free Chicago reference generator .
Cite this Scribbr article
If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.
Caulfield, J. (2023, January 20). Research Paper Format | APA, MLA, & Chicago Templates. Scribbr. Retrieved March 2, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/research-paper/research-paper-format/
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/images/cornell/logo35pt_cornell_white.svg" alt="grad school paper format"> Cornell University --> Graduate School
Requirements for format and final production of the dissertation and thesis, as specified below, meet UMI standards and American Library Association (ALA) suggestions for preserving archival copies of the dissertation and thesis.
The dissertation or thesis must be written in English.
2. Page Size and Specifications
- Page size must be 8.5 x 11 inches (or 216 x 279 millimeters), also known as “letter” size in U.S. standards. (ISO standard paper sizes, such as A4, are not allowed.)
- The inclusion of oversized pages or sheets of paper larger than 8.5 x 11 inches (known as “foldouts”) is discouraged. When necessary, 11 x 17 inch pages may be used for large tables, illustrations, etc.
- Text must be embedded, 11-point or larger font.
- Smaller font size may be appropriate for footnotes or other material outside of the main text.
- Black text is recommended; although, color may be appropriate in some limited parts of the document.
- Font requirements apply to all text, including captions, footnotes, citations, etc.
Margins should be at least 1 inch with page numbers at least 3/4 inch from the edge of the page. The templates use 1.6 inches for the left margin and 1.1 inches for the right.
Document must be double-spaced with the exception of quotations as paragraphs, captions, lists, graphs, charts, footnotes/endnotes, bibliographic entries, items within tables, and lists in appendices.
Exceptions may include the following:
- Quotations and footnotes may be single-spaced within each entry.
- Lengthy tables may be single-spaced.
- Irregular spacing may be used to accommodate poetry or other creative writing.
Tables should be consecutively numbered.
Figures should be consecutively numbered.
MLA, APA, & CMS: How to Properly Format Your Papers
Knowing the styles and when to use them.
In academic writing, how you present your information (technically) is often seen as important as the ideas you are putting forth. Proper citing, quoting and referencing of source material allows you to convey your breadth of research in a language commonly shared by others in your discipline. Giving others a chance to review and compare your work under these established guidelines enables your instructors to better see the work on its own merits, opposed to getting sidetracked by technical inefficiencies.
You MUST follow the rules like every other student: this is not an area where you want to stand out for doing things your own way. Writing for any academic purpose carries with it certain expectations and formatting consistencies, and a failure to properly understand how or why you cite your sources in a specific way can have negative effects on your written projects and communications.
The Big Three: APA, MLA, and CMS
There are three main "Schools of Style" used to properly format an academic paper, referred to as APA, MLA, or CMS.
- APA style : These are the official guidelines put forth by the American Psychological Association, now in its sixth edition. This is the preference of the social sciences, so if you are studying sociology, psychology, medicine, or social work you are going to know APA style.
- MLA style : The Modern Language Association provides guidelines you will be familiar with if you are focused on the Humanities: so artists, English majors, and theatre students will know MLA as they have used this style now for more than half a century.
- CMS style : These are the style guidelines put forth in the Chicago Manual of Style , now in its 16th edition. CMS style is predominantly seen in the humanities, particularly with literature students and those who study advanced segments of history and/or the arts.
While these formatting methods will share many characteristics such as margins and spacing, how they attribute references to source materials is the main differentiator. For example, APA lists "references" while MLA calls the same thing "works cited" - a small but important distinction that might actually affect your grade.
Typically, you are going to use one style for most of your classes and communications, but there is certainly the possibility that you'll need to know how to use any one of these three common styles. The good news is it is not hard to get up-to-speed on any one of them and use them properly.
Get the Latest Updates Regardless of which style you are using, it is imperative to get the most recent version of the guidelines to ensure your paper is as accurate as it can be. Each of the sources have updated their guidelines multiple times over the years, so working with the current standards is goal one.
- APA style guidelines: http://www.apastyle.org
- MLA style guidelines: http://www.mla.org/style
- CMS style guidelines: http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/
APA and MLA are the most common styles to use, but CMS is not unheard of - just not as common for undergrads. CMS is commonly used in traditional book publishing and academic publishing situations, so if you are doing post-graduate writing, it is good to know.
The main thing that seems to be changing in the rules for all of them is about the proper attribution of web-related sources, so you are going to want to re-check that you are working from the most recent versions of whichever style guide you need.
Beware the Pitfalls
The common mistakes being made in properly styling citations and references might be as simple as not downloading the most recent updates; however, it may also be a case where students are simply not understanding how to infuse referencing properly.
He continues: "While some common APA formatting errors may be issues due to changes in updated guidelines (APA 5 vs. APA 6), there are other, perhaps more common instances where a student fails to properly reference the source materials within writing assignments. This is particularly true when citing content from the Internet. Understanding how to properly reference and cite source materials adds power to any student paper, because the papers can be used to show a proper understanding and blending of source ideas - a critical concept in higher learning."
"Some of the changes to the guidelines seem very dubious and meticulous," he continues, "but standards are there so an evaluator can assess the weight of the material without bias. Many of my students might complain about it, but the ones that succeed are the ones who are actively trying to use citing resources to their own argument's advantage."
Common MLA Mistakes APA students are not the only ones who have common mistakes in formatting - as evidenced by the following insight offered from Dr. Margaret Walters of Kennesaw State University , where she and her students have used primarily MLA guidelines in their writing, editing and literature classes. Dr. Walters has taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate level writing courses at Kennesaw State University for over 15 years.
Dr. Walters said, "The most common problems I see with MLA style occur in the writing, meaning the text itself, not the bibliography or Works Cited...though there are often some problems to address there, too. In the text, the most common problems are:
- putting a period before and sometimes after the parenthetical citation, as in: ".... and this point is made early on." (Smith 127).
- placing the closing quotation mark after the citation in parenthesis instead of after the quote: " .... and this point is made early on (Smith 127)".
- placing quotation marks inside commas and periods instead of after them: Smith tells us that among the most important rules are the ones regarding use of commas", yet he does not explain how this happens". (127) [those writing British English use the opposite rule--quotation marks inside end punctuation]."
Dr. Walters continued: "In the Works Cited, the most common MLA-related problems are:
- not alphabetizing (even though this is the easiest rule to follow)
- mixing up MLA and APA style; e.g. using initials for first names when MLA says use full first names and middle initials
- leaving off the place of publication - it should be New York: Penguin, 2009 but will instead say Penguin, 2009
- not knowing rules for using quotations marks or when to underline / italicize
"Students get it right most of the time," Dr. Walters states. "I think the underlying problem is an unwillingness to use the style sheets, handouts, or even the MLA handbook. If they use the resources offered, most students are not going to struggle to meet the guidelines."
Get More Help
Both Dr. Walters and Professor Long advise students to use strong and verifiable resources to make your formatting job easier. Both instructors advise checking out the OWL (Online Writing Lab) Resources offered by Purdue in addition to the links to the sites listed above.
The writing center at your own university may hold lots of great information and people to help you understand what to do in each situation you face. Not every situation calls for the same style guide, so checking with the experts on your campus is always a smart idea.
For a quick reference, you can also use the handy visual aids created by Capital Community College on MLA and APA styled papers: ( http://www.ccc.commnet.edu/library/citing.htm ) or look at the MLA vs. APA comparison chart created by the University Writing Center at Appalachian State University .
The Bottom Line
The reality is, depending on your discipline, there may be only one type of style that you need to use, ever. However, this is not saying the rules for how to properly cite resources and references is not going to continue to change and evolve over time. You will be held responsible for being current.
As a student or in post-college academic writing, you want your work to shine and to always show your best efforts. This means checking on the rules to properly style and format your papers. Use the links and information above to help ensure you are forever properly dotting your I's and crossing your T's according to the latest and greatest rules.
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How to Write a Research Paper for Grad School Application
28 FEB 2022
Most doctoral programs require applicants to submit a research sample and though they are not typically required for graduate school applications, they can help take your application from average to outstanding.
I know the task of writing a research paper for this kind of application may seem intimidating at first. How can an undergraduate or masters student hope to submit work that will measure up to a PhD program’s standards? First, try to re-envision your research sample as a window on your curiosity: your chance to get professors genuinely excited about how you think. In this blog on how to write a research paper for graduate school applications, you’ll learn how to select, position, and revise your early-career ideas.
Selecting Your Draft
The form and function of your research sample will vary widely depending upon your field. Undergraduates in STEM are far more likely to have early-career publications and to be involved in group lab research than are humanities and social science students. If you are contributing to a research team or already have a publication of your own, consult with your supervising professor about if and how you might use this work as your research sample. Don’t submit any account or draft of an unpublished group project without your professor’s permission, and try to write at least one research paper that is entirely your own, as a back-up option.
Writing a Research Sample
Now, let's turn our attention to unpublished, single-author research papers, focusing on humanities research samples as a paradigm.
The first step to writing your research sample is to think realistically about what kind of paper you can edit to make a self-contained, insightful argument within the page limit. Use these questions to narrow down your options.
- Did you write an undergraduate thesis that you’re proud of? If not, skip to question 4.
- Was it divided into chapters around the same length as your research sample’s page limit? If so, choose your strongest chapter as your starting point for your research sample, and move on to learn about “Positioning Your Ideas.”
- If not, can you imagine making your writing more concise to fit the page limit? Or could you zoom in on one facet of your argument, to make a smaller paper out of your longer project? If so, consider isolating your main point and restructuring a portion of your paper to stand alone, as a research sample. This process may prove time consuming, so if your deadline is approaching, ditch this idea and go to question 4.
- Can you identify two or three strong (A-range or distinction) research papers around the length of the research sample’s page limit? Is at least one of these papers in the subfield that you hope to explore in graduate school? If so, move on to the next section on “Positioning Your Ideas.”
- If not, can you identify the beginnings of a research project or an idea worth expanding on in any of your undergraduate work? If so, consider working with a CRI Mentor (a professor or PhD student) to develop this idea into your sample.
Positioning Your Ideas
Once you have selected a handful of stand-alone essays or a portion of your thesis to revise, pause to position your ideas. What I mean by “positioning” is pairing your personal statement and research samples so that they point towards a consistent set of interests and methodological approaches within your field of study.
If you’re applying to a program that only requires one research sample, then you should select a stand-alone essay or portion of your thesis that is solidly within your subfield of interest. Then, draft a paragraph of your personal statement clearly explaining how this research sample illustrates your engagement with this subfield. For guidance on how to begin this personal statement exercise, check out our previous post on How to Write a Personal Statement for Grad School . If you can’t write a paragraph making this connection, then you’re probably working with the wrong research sample draft—choose another, and move on to the process of revising your paper.
Suppose you’re applying to a program with two research samples (e.g., Harvard's English Department). In that case, you should select one sample solidly within your subfield and a second to demonstrate your interest in a different topic or methodology. Use your second sample to demonstrate the breadth of your curiosity but also to draw out subtle patterns in your ways of thinking. There should be something in common between your two papers for you to draw out in your personal statement: a method of research, a kind of primary source, an ideological agenda, etc. If you can make a clear connection between your research papers in your personal statement, then you’re on your way to positioning yourself as a coherent yet versatile scholar. And you’re ready to begin revising!
Revising Your Research
Once you’ve selected your research paper draft, you should begin the revision process by rereading it and taking notes in the margins: tracking where your argument is clearest and most exciting versus moments when it seems dull or loose. Then, reread any comments that your work has already received from professors. If you don’t have any comments, consider asking a professor mentor to review your work or signing up for a session with a CRI mentor . You might also ask a peer in your field to read your paper and tell you when they are most confused and/or most convinced by your writing. This combination of your own notes and other readers’ initial feedback will help you determine what parts of your essay to cut, rewrite, or expand.
Last Minute Advice
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to editing research, but I’ll conclude with some general advice to keep your revisions on track:
- Make sure that you have a clear thesis—and that you coherently prove it within the word limit for your sample.
- Engage with the kinds of secondary sources that you hope to one day write yourself. If you notice that your paper fails to engage with a range of secondary scholarship, hit the library and rework your argument to demonstrate your engagement with current criticism.
- Signpost, signpost, signpost. In every transition, introductory, and concluding sentence of every paragraph, make sure that you announce what you are trying to prove—and how that mini-proof relates to your larger argument. Remember, admissions readers have to move quickly through an enormous stack of essays, so your argument must be clear.
- Triple check your citations. You will not get into graduate school if you accidentally commit plagiarism.
- Have fun writing! If you’re not intellectually excited about your essay topic, no one will be.
If you ever feel stuck or bored of your revisions, then put down your paper for a day or two. Do not force yourself to slog through revisions—forced edits usually do more harm than good. Remember, you can always return to your work later, with guidance from a friend, colleague, or CRI mentor !
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The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
The graduate school, formatting of the title page.
The title page of your ETD should follow the specific layout and wording used here (although “Thesis” should be replaced with “Dissertation” if you are a doctoral candidate, and “Master of Science” should be replaced with your own degree type if you are not earning an MS).
The final title of the student’s thesis or dissertation should appear on this page. The title should be identical to the title on the approval sheet and in TRACE in every way, including capitalization. The title may not contain any characters that cannot be found on a typical English language keyboard. Use word substitutes in place of these characters, including but not limited to: formulas, symbols, superscripts/subscripts, and Greek letters.
Students should place the title of the document centered at the top of the page, the degree statement centered in the middle of the page, and student’s name and month and year of graduation centered at the bottom of the page. The student’s name must appear as he/she is registered at The University of Tennessee. There should not be a comma between the month of graduation and year of graduation (for example, “May 2011” is correct while “May, 2011” is not). The only possible graduation months are May (Spring), August (Summer), and December (Fall).
The title page is assigned the page number “i”, but this should not be visible on the page. For how to set up your page numbers, you may wish to get instruction from Microsoft .
The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway .
The average school uses approximately 250,000 pieces of paper per school year, according to Edutopia. This estimate is based on an average of 50 reams of paper per teacher at a 100-teacher school.
Good research paper topics for high school students should explore social and community issues, such as the importance of recycling, preserving energy or government policies and procedures. Some topics may include the duties of the judicial...
School teaches students skills they need to succeed on the job and in other areas of life. School also help students achieve a well-rounded knowledge base, which leads to a more enriching life.
The paper should be: typed, double-spaced, 1 inch margins on all sides, Times New Roman, font size 12. The paper has four main sections (Title
General Rules · Fonts - LU recommends that papers be typed in 12-point Times New Roman or 11-point Calibri fonts. · Spacing. Use only one space at
Formatting Guidelines · The document should be readable. The type face should be letter quality. · The body of the document should use a 10 or 12
Identify possibilities for future studies or research which you may have
Formatting an APA paper · Use a standard font like 12 pt Times New Roman or 11 pt Arial. · Set 1 inch page margins. · Apply double line spacing.
Formatting Requirements · Page size must be 8.5 x 11 inches (or 216 x 279 millimeters), also known as “letter” size in U.S. standards. (ISO standard paper sizes
There are three main "Schools of Style" used to properly format an academic paper, referred to as APA, MLA, or CMS. APA style: These are the official
As a general rule, all college papers are typed in Times New Roman, a default font that can be found in every word processing application. The font is almost
Most doctoral programs require applicants to submit a research sample and though they are not typically required for graduate school
Students should place the title of the document centered at the top of the page, the degree statement centered in the middle of the page, and student's name
A writing sample for graduate school primarily serves an evidential ... But in every philosophical paper, you need to make choices large and