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How to Select an Appropriate Format of Writing for a College Research Paper?
The choice of the appropriate format of writing of your college research paper depends on several factors:
- Discipline or research field within your studies;
- Type of sources;
- Requirements of your department;
If your research lies in the field of humanity sciences, then you are supposed to choose the MLA style. Otherwise, if you deal with social sciences, such as sociology or pedagogic, it is required to use the APA style. Let’s have a more precise look on the requirements of both styles and compare them on the basis of the several factors.
The requirements of both styles are identical: 1 inch on each side of the page.
MLA style requires easily readable 12-point format (in most cases it is Times New Roman). As for the APA style, you have to use either Times New Roman or Courier (12-point). However, the figures must be typed in Arial.
Double-spacing is a must-to in both styles.
Alignment of the text
The requirements are also similar: on the left side, with an uneven right margin.
Indentation of the paragraphs
As for the MLA style, the indents must be done with 5 spaces and the APA style requires from 5 to 7 spaces.
End of the sentence
Both styles require a single space after the full stop.
Page numbers must be put on every page in its right upper margin. This is a prerequisite for both writing styles.
While writing in the MLA style, the title page is voluntary and should be made only if your scientific advisor requires it. Otherwise, you may just type your name, your supervisor’s name, the title of your course, and the date in the upper left corner of the page. As for the APA style, title page always comes first. You also have to mention the title of your college research paper, your name, and the full name of your educational institution.
Charts and pictures
The MLA style requires that all the appendices are located in the main body of the research paper. You should just label each appendix with a title (Table 1, for example). This title should be typed above the appendix, on the left side. Dealing with the APA style, all the additional graphs, tables, charts, etc., have to be located at the end of the research paper, after the bibliography. Each appendix should begin in the separate page. As for labeling, the requirements of the APA style are the equivalent of the MLA.
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