Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Word Chapter 2 Creating a Research Paper
General Project Guidelines
When creating a Word document, the actions you perform and decisions you make will affect
the appearance and characteristics of the ﬁ nished document. As you create a research paper,
such as the project shown in Figure 2–1 on the previous page, you should follow these
1. Select a topic. Spend time brainstorming ideas for a topic. Choose one you ﬁ nd interesting.
For shorter papers, narrow down the scope of the topic; for longer papers, broaden the
scope. Identify a tentative thesis statement, which is a sentence describing the paper’s
2. Research the topic and take notes. Gather credible, relevant information about the topic
that supports the thesis statement. Sources of research include books, magazines,
newspapers, and the Internet. As you record facts and ideas, list details about the source: title,
author, place of publication, publisher, date of publication, etc. When taking notes, be
careful not to plagiarize . That is, do not use someone else’s work and claim it to be your
own. If you copy information directly, place it in quotation marks and identify its source.
3. Organize your ideas. Classify your notes into related concepts. Make an outline from the
categories of notes. In the outline, identify all main ideas and supporting details.
4. Write the ﬁ rst draft, referencing sources. From the outline, compose the paper. Every research
paper should include an introduction containing the thesis statement, supporting details,
and a conclusion. Follow the guidelines identiﬁ ed in the required documentation style.
Reference all sources of information.
5. Create the list of sources. Using the formats speciﬁ ed in the required documentation style,
completely list all sources referenced in the body of the research paper in alphabetical order.
6. Proofread and revise the paper. If possible, proofread the paper with a fresh set of eyes,
that is, at least one to two days after completing the ﬁ rst draft. Proofreading involves
reading the paper with the intent of identifying errors (spelling, grammar, etc.) and
looking for ways to improve the paper (wording, transitions, ﬂ ow, etc.). Try reading the
paper out loud, which helps to identify unclear or awkward wording. Ask someone else
to proofread the paper and give you suggestions for improvements.
When necessary, more speciﬁ c details concerning the above guidelines are presented at
appropriate points in the chapter. The chapter also will identify the actions performed and
decisions made regarding these guidelines during the creation of the research paper shown
in Figure 2–1.
MLA Documentation Style
The research paper in this project follows the guidelines presented by the MLA.
To follow the MLA style, double-space text on all pages of the paper using one-inch top,
bottom, left, and right margins. Indent the ﬁ rst word of each paragraph one-half inch
from the left margin. At the right margin of each page, place a page number one-half inch
from the top margin. On each page, precede the page number by your last name.
The MLA style does not require a title page. Instead, place your name and course
information in a block at the left margin beginning one inch from the top of the page.
Center the title one double-space below your name and course information.
In the text of the paper, place author references in parentheses with the page
number(s) of the referenced information. The MLA style uses in-text parenthetical
citations instead of noting each source at the bottom of the page or at the end of the
paper. In the MLA style, notes are used only for optional explanatory notes.
If used, explanatory notes elaborate on points discussed in the paper. Use a
superscript (raised number) to signal that an explanatory note exists, and also to sequence the
notes. Position explanatory notes either at the bottom of the page as footnotes or at the
end of the paper as endnotes. Indent the ﬁ rst line of each explanatory note one-half inch
from the left margin. Place one space following the superscripted number before
beginning the note text. Double-space the note text. At the end of the note text, you may
list bibliographic information for further reference.
In the APA style, a
separate title page
is required instead
of placing name and
course information on
the paper’s ﬁ rst page.
Double-space all pages of
the paper with 1.5” top,
bottom, left, and right
margins. Indent the ﬁ rst
word of each paragraph
.5” from the left margin.
In the upper-right margin
of each page, including
the title page, place
a running head that
consists of the page
below a brief summary of
the paper title.