The first page of a research paper should include a proper header that includes the title, your name and address (if you are writing about yourself), your instructor’s name and contact information, and any other information as required by your teacher. Then there’s the running head, which is just like it sounds: it’s the text that runs across the top of each page of your essay. There are two ways to create this “head”: either use your word processor’s built-in function for creating a running head (double-spaced) or create one manually by typing at least five lines of text at the top of each page (which will be single-spaced). To do this properly, you need to understand what goes into making an effective header as well as how to format titles correctly in MLA style so that they appear correctly both on their own pages and within essays themselves.
Best Practices for Indent Paragraphs in an Essay
Indent the first word of a paragraph on half inch (five spaces or one Tab space).
Indentation is important in a research paper. It makes it easier to read, and it helps you create an effective flow of ideas. Indentation should be consistent throughout the document, but not required for every paragraph (e.g., you don’t need to indent after a title or heading). It’s important to note that the first paragraph of a research paper should not be indented. This is because it’s considered a “block quote” and should not be formatted differently from the rest of your document. However, if you’re using paragraphs within your block quote (which can be done in MLA style), these need to be indented on half inch (five spaces or one Tab space).
Leave one space after a period or other concluding punctuation mark, unless your instructor prefers two spaces.
You should leave one space after any punctuation mark, except for an ellipsis.
If your instructor prefers two spaces between sentences, use that method instead.
In a research paper, indentation is important for the following reasons: Indentation makes it easier to read: It provides visual clues that help readers follow the flow of ideas within paragraphs.
Indentation can help you create an effective flow of ideas: When you indent each paragraph, it helps readers see where one idea ends and another begins.
On a new, double-spaced line, center the title fig.
1. Do not italicize or underline your title, put it in quotation marks or boldface, or type it in all capital letters.
2. Follow the rules for capitalization in the MLA Handbook 67–68, and italicize only the words that you would italicize in the text.
3. Begin your text on a new, double-spaced line after the title, indenting the first line of the paragraph half an inch from the left margin.
- On a new, double-spaced line, center the title fig. 1. Do not italicize or underline your title, put it in quotation marks or boldface, or type it in all capital letters. Follow the rules for capitalization in the MLA Handbook 67–68, and italicize only the words that you would italicize in the text. Begin your text on a new, double-spaced line after the title, indenting the first line of the paragraph half an inch from the left margin.
- If you are using footnotes instead of endnotes (see below), place them immediately after each paragraph on separate lines indented one inch from both margins. The key here is clarity; if readers don’t know where to look for information they need to understand what’s going on in your paper they will become frustrated very quickly!
Modifying the Research Paper
Your writing program will probably allow you to create a running head of this kind that appears automatically on every page. Some teachers prefer that no running head appear on the first page. The running head of a research paper.
A research paper does not normally need a title page, but if the paper is a group project, create a title page and list all the authors on it instead of in the header on page 1 of your essay. If your teacher requires a title page in lieu of or in addition to the header, format it according to the instructions you are given.
What is Running Head?
A running head is a heading that appears on every page of a document. The term comes from the fact that it “runs” across the top of each page and down to the bottom of each page. The opposite kind of heading (often used in academic papers) is called a header, which appears at the top of each page and then scrolls down as you go along.
A title page contains both types of headings: one at its left side and one at its right side (the latter being called an initial). The title page is the first thing you see when you open a book or article. It gives you important information about the work, such as its author and publisher. In academic writing, it also tells readers where they can find more information on the topic of study (for example, in another book by that author).
These are the basics for formatting a research paper, but there are many other things that you can do to make your work look professional. You can learn about these things in our other articles on research paper formatting. In addition, you may want to read about the rules for citation and bibliographic styles so that you can make sure that your sources are cited properly.