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Research Paper Example
To fully understand what information particular parts of the paper should discuss, here’s another example of a research paper.
This article is a part of the guide:
- Outline Examples
- Example of a Paper
- Write a Hypothesis
Browse Full Outline
- 1 Write a Research Paper
- 2 Writing a Paper
- 3.1 Write an Outline
- 3.2 Outline Examples
- 4.1 Thesis Statement
- 4.2 Write a Hypothesis
- 5.2 Abstract
- 5.3 Introduction
- 5.4 Methods
- 5.5 Results
- 5.6 Discussion
- 5.7 Conclusion
- 5.8 Bibliography
- 6.1 Table of Contents
- 6.2 Acknowledgements
- 6.3 Appendix
- 7.1 In Text Citations
- 7.2 Footnotes
- 7.3.1 Floating Blocks
- 7.4 Example of a Paper
- 7.5 Example of a Paper 2
- 7.6.1 Citations
- 7.7.1 Writing Style
- 7.7.2 Citations
- 8.1.1 Sham Peer Review
- 8.1.2 Advantages
- 8.1.3 Disadvantages
- 8.2 Publication Bias
- 8.3.1 Journal Rejection
- 9.1 Article Writing
- 9.2 Ideas for Topics
It includes some key parts of the paper such as the Abstract , Introduction , Discussion and References :
Text center-aligned and placed at the middle of the page, stating the title of the paper, name of author and affiliation.
A Study on the Factors Affecting the Infant Feeding Practices
Of Mothers in Las Piñas City
By [Author], University of the Philippines
The abstract starts on the next page, page 2. The text starts at the top, left flushed, double-spaced.
Abstract [Abstract here]
The body text starts on the next page, page 3. The text starts at the top, left flushed, double-spaced.
Introduction The melamine controversy that erupted during the last quarter of year 2008 brought people’s attention back to the debates between breastfeeding and the use of breast milk substitutes like commercial infant formula. This wasn’t the first time that infant formula had caused illnesses and even deaths to infants worldwide - hence the continuous campaign of World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF along with other breastfeeding advocates, for mothers to breastfeed their children at least until 6 months of age. Infant feeding practices refer generally to meet the nutritional and immunological needs of the baby. A study of infant feeding practices was carried out on a sample of 100 mother and infant pairs. The results revealed that only 20% of mothers in the study currently exclusively breastfeed their babies. It also shows that socio-economic factors like mother’s work status, marital status and educational attainment had direct bearing on these practices. Employed mothers tend to cease from breastfeeding their babies and eventually stop and just resort to formula feeding as they go back to work. The study also showed that mothers who are married and living with their partners are more likely to breastfeed their infants than single mothers. Those with higher educational attainment resort more to formula feeding and mixed feeding than those with lower educational attainment. Health care professionals influence mothers the most when it comes to infant feeding decisions. Methodology Type of Research The type of research that will be used in this study is qualitative research and quantitative research. Qualitative researchers aim to gather an in-depth understanding of human behavior and the reasons that govern such behavior. The discipline investigates the “why” and “how” of decision making. Besides this, the researcher will also examine the phenomenon through observations in numerical representations and through statistical analysis. Along with questionnaires that will be given out to respondents for the statistical representation of the findings in the study, interviews with the respondents and a few experts in this field will also be conducted. Sampling Method The research sampling method that will be used in this study is random sampling to obtain a more scientific result that could be used to represent the entirety of the population. A list of all health care facilities (maternity and lying-in clinics, public and private hospitals, health centers) was acquired from the Las Piñas City Hall. From 20 barangays, 3 will be picked through random sampling. The health care facilities and institutions in these three barangays will then be the target sources of respondents of the researcher. The health care facilities and institutions will be contacted to obtain a verbal consent to administer the questionnaire to mothers at their places. A letter of consent will also be sent to them along with a sample copy of the questionnaire that will be used, as well as the protocol of the researcher. A letter was also addressed to the City Health Officer to obtain endorsement and consent to conduct a research in selected barangays and distribute questionnaires to the mothers in the vicinity. Data collection was conducted throughout the facilities‟ and health centers‟ operating hours from Mondays through Sundays in order to include both working and non-working mothers. Respondents The respondents in this research will all be coming from one single location - Las Piñas City, specifically the randomly selected barangays of Pamplona I, CAA/BF International and Pamplona III. The researcher chose Las Piñas City because of the socio-economic conditions present in the area that is relevant to the study and also as it fits the time frame and resources of the researcher. The randomly sampled respondents will be asked by the researcher for consent and approval to answer the questionnaire until the desired number of respondents which is 100 is reached. The opinion of experts will also be sought in this research to provide explanations regarding the respondents‟ infant feeding behaviors and practices. Questionnaire The questionnaire requires information about the socio-economic and demographic background of the mother. It also has questions related to previous infant feeding practices and the birth of her youngest infant and also regarding the baby’s general health and age. Statements that are perceived to be factors that influence mothers‟ infant feeding decisions were presented. The description of the type of infant formula given by formula and mixed feeding mothers will also be asked in the material. Conclusion Majority of the mothers formula feed their child and only a minority exclusively breastfeeds their children, especially as per recommendation of the World Health Organization. While majority of the mothers in this study showed a positive attitude towards breastfeeding, most of them decided only to formula feed due to the reasons of insufficient milk supply and work. Based on the results of the study, the educational attainment, work status, marital status, and seminars in the barangay the respondents are part of, about breastfeeding, are the significant factors that affect the infant feeding decision of mothers in Las Piñas City. Majority of the mothers that served as respondents in this study fall under the age range of 17-30 years old. More than half of them were also college graduates while a significant number are undergraduates and have only reached until high school. Most of the mothers are housewives and the others remaining have full-time jobs, part-time jobs and self-employed. A few of them are still students. While majority of them were married, a lot were still in a status of live-in and are single. More than half of the mothers did not have previous children before the current one. Majority of the respondents also have an annual gross household income that does not exceed P50,000. Among the several information sources namely, media through televisions/radios and printed/published materials, the social support system comprised of the mother’s family, friends and other relatives and health institutions, the mothers who give their babies infant formula are influenced the most by health care institutions through health professionals and other health care personnel. They influence the mothers in deciding to feed the baby with formula and in choosing, as well, which brand of formula is best for their babies. Mothers trust their baby’s doctor because of their expertise in the said field hence this kind of relation is achieved. Mothers were overall not concerned about the possible side effects of breastfeeding as a few were only worried as shown in the data presented. It can be concluded that numerous internal as well as external factors influence a mother in making infant feeding decisions, and a greater fraction of these is socio-economic in nature.
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Research Paper Guide
Research Paper Example
Research Paper Examples - Free Sample Papers for Different Formats!
Published on: Nov 27, 2017
Last updated on: Nov 6, 2023
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Crafting a comprehensive research paper can be daunting. Understanding diverse citation styles and various subject areas presents a challenge for many.
Without clear examples, students often feel lost and overwhelmed, unsure of how to start or which style fits their subject.
Explore our collection of expertly written research paper examples. We’ve covered various citation styles and a diverse range of subjects.
So, read on!
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Research Paper Example for Different Formats
Following a specific formatting style is essential while writing a research paper . Knowing the conventions and guidelines for each format can help you in creating a perfect paper. Here we have gathered examples of research paper for most commonly applied citation styles :
Social Media and Social Media Marketing: A Literature Review
APA Research Paper Example
APA (American Psychological Association) style is commonly used in social sciences, psychology, and education. This format is recognized for its clear and concise writing, emphasis on proper citations, and orderly presentation of ideas.
Here are some research paper examples in APA style:
Research Paper Example APA 7th Edition
Research Paper Example MLA
MLA (Modern Language Association) style is frequently employed in humanities disciplines, including literature, languages, and cultural studies. An MLA research paper might explore literature analysis, linguistic studies, or historical research within the humanities.
Here is an example:
Found Voices: Carl Sagan
Research Paper Example Chicago
Chicago style is utilized in various fields like history, arts, and social sciences. Research papers in Chicago style could delve into historical events, artistic analyses, or social science inquiries.
Here is a research paper formatted in Chicago style:
Chicago Research Paper Sample
Research Paper Example Harvard
Harvard style is widely used in business, management, and some social sciences. Research papers in Harvard style might address business strategies, case studies, or social policies.
View this sample Harvard style paper here:
Harvard Research Paper Sample
Examples for Different Research Paper Parts
A research paper has different parts. Each part is important for the overall success of the paper. Chapters in a research paper must be written correctly, using a certain format and structure.
The following are examples of how different sections of the research paper can be written.
The research proposal acts as a detailed plan or roadmap for your study, outlining the focus of your research and its significance. It's essential as it not only guides your research but also persuades others about the value of your study.
Example of Research Proposal
An abstract serves as a concise overview of your entire research paper. It provides a quick insight into the main elements of your study. It summarizes your research's purpose, methods, findings, and conclusions in a brief format.
Research Paper Example Abstract
A literature review summarizes the existing research on your study's topic, showcasing what has already been explored. This section adds credibility to your own research by analyzing and summarizing prior studies related to your topic.
Literature Review Research Paper Example
The methodology section functions as a detailed explanation of how you conducted your research. This part covers the tools, techniques, and steps used to collect and analyze data for your study.
Methods Section of Research Paper Example
How to Write the Methods Section of a Research Paper
The conclusion summarizes your findings, their significance and the impact of your research. This section outlines the key takeaways and the broader implications of your study's results.
Research Paper Conclusion Example
Research Paper Examples for Different Fields
Research papers can be about any subject that needs a detailed study. The following examples show research papers for different subjects.
History Research Paper Sample
Preparing a history research paper involves investigating and presenting information about past events. This may include exploring perspectives, analyzing sources, and constructing a narrative that explains the significance of historical events.
View this history research paper sample:
Many Faces of Generalissimo Fransisco Franco
Sociology Research Paper Sample
In sociology research, statistics and data are harnessed to explore societal issues within a particular region or group. These findings are thoroughly analyzed to gain an understanding of the structure and dynamics present within these communities.
Here is a sample:
A Descriptive Statistical Analysis within the State of Virginia
Science Fair Research Paper Sample
A science research paper involves explaining a scientific experiment or project. It includes outlining the purpose, procedures, observations, and results of the experiment in a clear, logical manner.
Here are some examples:
Science Fair Paper Format
What Do I Need To Do For The Science Fair?
Psychology Research Paper Sample
Writing a psychology research paper involves studying human behavior and mental processes. This process includes conducting experiments, gathering data, and analyzing results to understand the human mind, emotions, and behavior.
Here is an example psychology paper:
The Effects of Food Deprivation on Concentration and Perseverance
Art History Research Paper Sample
Studying art history includes examining artworks, understanding their historical context, and learning about the artists. This helps analyze and interpret how art has evolved over various periods and regions.
Check out this sample paper analyzing European art and impacts:
European Art History: A Primer
Research Paper Example Outline
Before you plan on writing a well-researched paper, make a rough draft. An outline can be a great help when it comes to organizing vast amounts of research material for your paper.
Here is an outline of a research paper example:
Here is a downloadable sample of a standard research paper outline:
Research Paper Outline
Want to create the perfect outline for your paper? Check out this in-depth guide on creating a research paper outline for a structured paper!
Good Research Paper Examples for Students
Here are some more samples of research paper for students to learn from:
Fiscal Research Center - Action Plan
Qualitative Research Paper Example
Research Paper Example Introduction
How to Write a Research Paper Example
Research Paper Example for High School
Now that you have explored the research paper examples, you can start working on your research project. Hopefully, these examples will help you understand the writing process for a research paper.
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Our team is experienced in delivering perfectly formatted, 100% original research papers. So, whether you need help with a part of research or an entire paper, our experts are here to deliver.
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Research Paper Guide
Research Paper Example
Last updated on: Nov 20, 2023
Research Paper Example: Samples to Write a Research Paper
By: Nathan D.
Reviewed By: Jacklyn H.
Published on: Jun 11, 2019
Working on your research paper?
Want to learn the dos and don’ts of writing a research paper? Learn from examples!
We have compiled some examples to help you get started. If you are in need of a research paper example, take a look at these samples and choose one that is best suited for your research paper writing needs.
You can also use these as templates to create your own research papers. There are many different samples available here so please feel free to browse around and find the perfect one for yourself.
Stay with us to learn more.
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What is a Research Paper?
A research paper is different from a usual kind of essay and assignment. It requires more research and explanation than any other assignment and has a set structure for it. It is a complex type of academic paper. Usually, students studying science write them for their coursework and as a degree requirement.
It is generally simpler than high school term papers and a dissertation that students write in humanities and other academic groups. Research papers are common in the academic world, and students, regardless of the field of study, get them as part of their degree requirements.
The research writing skills are invaluable for everyone and not just for the students only. Young professionals and entrepreneurs benefit a lot from these skills. Writing a research paper properly means that you have to study, observe, and choose a topic. The step-by-step guide for writing a research paper will help you find answers to your research questions.
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College Research Paper Example
Examples work great when you are looking to learn something in less time and with more efficiency. Below, we have added some good research paper examples. With them, you could learn about a research paper format and structure.
Moreover, we will also be able to add relevant and credible sources in each section.
APA Style Research Paper
Below is an APA-style sample research paper guide. Each section is explained separately. By going through it, you will know how to format and write each section of your APA research paper successfully.
APA STYLE RESEARCH PAPER
MLA Style Research Paper
This MLA-style research paper explains all the sections and formatting of the paper in detail. This will help you in writing an MLA-style paper successfully.
MLA STYLE RESEARCH PAPER
Subject-Related Research Paper Example
Research papers are not limited to a specific field area. Instead, students need to write research papers for almost every subject. Check out the following research paper examples for several subjects.
Computer Science Research Paper
The research paper is about computer science and how science is a part of it. Scientific research papers are different from what the students do in other disciplines. They are more statistical in nature and often have graphs and visual representations of the data.
COMPUTER SCIENCE RESEARCH PAPER
Chemical Engineering Research Paper
Chemical engineering studies the engineering of different chemicals and how they work together. The following chemical engineering research paper is about the calcium looping cycle for carbon dioxide obtained from different manufacturing processes.
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING RESEARCH PAPER
Nursing Research Paper
The research paper explores the benefits of participating in research. Medical sciences heavily rely on real-life research and results, and therefore, it uses medical professionals as subjects. The paper discusses how the experience contributes to their professional life and helps them work better.
NURSING RESEARCH PAPER
Psychology Research Paper
Psychology is the study of the mind. The paper examines the positive effects of psychology at school. It discusses how it will help in controlling the mental illnesses in adolescents and help in enhancing their health.
PSYCHOLOGY RESEARCH PAPER
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Research Paper Outline Example
A research paper’s outline may consist of different formats and sections based on the research topic. Therefore, you must ask your instructor to go through the research content and guide you.
Before starting to write a research paper, you will need to write and submit a research proposal. A research proposal includes the details of your proposed research, the significance of the research, the impact your research will have on the area of research, and the methodology that you will use. For writing a research proposal , you need to discuss all of these factors.
A research paper follows a set pattern and structure. Just like an essay or any other assignment, it also has some sections that you have to include in it. However, before formatting, make sure that you follow the referencing style that your teacher has provided.
The main research paper outline is given below. Pay attention to the document to get a detailed idea of the writing process.
RESEARCH PAPER OUTLINE EXAMPLE
This outline includes the following sections:
An abstract is usually written after the entire paper. It explains the research question and the expected outcome of the research.
Here, we have added an abstract example to help you see how to write an engaging abstract in no time.
RESEARCH PAPER ABSTRACT EXAMPLE
It is the first section of the research. It gives a background of the research, explains the main research topic briefly, and presents the hypothesis.
A strong introduction is essential for a strong research paper because no one will read the paper if the introduction is lousy and weak. Go through the attached example to learn how to write a good research paper example.
RESEARCH PAPER INTRODUCTION EXAMPLE
A thesis statement presents the main topic and aim of the research. It is brief and based on a few lines only.
The following downloadable PDF has some great thesis statement examples that are engaging and help to convey the message powerfully.
RESEARCH PAPER THESIS EXAMPLE
This is the meatiest part of the research paper. It includes all the chapters and sections of the research.
The main body of the paper discusses the entire paper in detail. All the main points and arguments of the paper are added in this section. Learn how to add and discuss everything by going through the following downloadable PDF.
EXAMPLE OF DISCUSSION IN RESEARCH PAPER
It is added in the main body section. It includes the study of previous relevant studies and research and discusses their outcome. You will discuss your main topic and draw parallels and contrasts with these existing studies.
EXAMPLE OF A LITERATURE REVIEW IN A RESEARCH PAPER
Discuss the type of research that you are going to use for the research. Usually, scientific research is based on quantitative research and includes statistical analysis. Theoretical research uses qualitative method and includes studying of theory and other research.
EXAMPLE OF METHODOLOGY IN RESEARCH PAPER
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This is the closing part of your research paper as you will conclude your research here. Mention your thesis statement and main research findings here and close it.
The conclusion does not mean that you have a chance to add some new ideas or points here; it would be a disaster. To know better, go through the following PDF.
RESEARCH PAPER CONCLUSION EXAMPLE
An appendix is an optional section in the research paper. It contains terms and topics that are too detailed to be added to the main text. It also states the topics and page number, which makes it easier to find relevant topics.
APPENDICES EXAMPLE IN RESEARCH PAPER
Now you must have explored different examples of a research paper. You can generate more examples according to your field of study by using our FREE AI powered paper typer .
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Nathan completed his Ph.D. in journalism and has been writing articles for well-respected publications for many years now. His work is carefully researched and insightful, showing a true passion for the written word. Nathan's clients appreciate his expertise, deep understanding of the process, and ability to communicate difficult concepts clearly.
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- How to Write a Research Paper - Writing Guide & Examples
- 20+ Thesis Statement Examples for Research Papers
- Learn How to Write an Abstract - Steps & Examples
- How to Write a Literature Review: Steps and Outline
- How to Start a Research Paper - 9 Simple Steps
- Psychology Research Topics - 170+ Ideas for Your Paper
- How to Write a Hypothesis - A Step-by-Step Guide
- Writing a Research Proposal - Outline, Format, and Examples
- Good Research Paper Topics & Ideas for Students
- Good History Research Paper Topics For Your Help
- How to Cite a Research Paper with the Help of Examples
- How to Write a Research Methodology in 10 Simple Steps
- Research Paper Outline - Basic Format & Sample
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Research Paper Examples
Research paper examples are of great value for students who want to complete their assignments timely and efficiently. If you are a student in the university, your first stop in the quest for research paper examples will be the campus library where you can get to view the research sample papers of lecturers and other professionals in diverse fields plus those of fellow students who preceded you in the campus. Many college departments maintain libraries of previous student work, including large research papers, which current students can examine. Our collection of research paper examples includes:
Browse Sample Research Papers
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To Read Examples or Not to Read
When you get an assignment to write a research paper, the first question you ask yourself is ‘Should I look for research paper examples?’ Maybe, I can deal with this task on my own without any help. Is it that difficult?
Thousands of students turn to our service every day for help. It does not mean that they cannot do their assignments on their own. They can, but the reason is different. Writing a research paper demands so much time and energy that asking for assistance seems to be a perfect solution. As the matter of fact, it is a perfect solution, especially, when you need to work to pay for your studying as well.
Firstly, if you search for research paper examples before you start writing, you can save your time significantly. You look at the example and you understand the gist of your assignment within several minutes. Secondly, when you examine some sample paper, you get to know all the requirements. You analyze the structure, the language, and the formatting details. Finally, reading examples helps students to overcome writer’s block, as other people’s ideas can motivate you to discover your own ideas.
A Sample Research Paper on Child Abuse
A research paper is an academic piece of writing, so you need to follow all the requirements and standards. Otherwise, it will be impossible to get the high results. To make it easier for you, we have analyzed the structure and peculiarities of a sample research paper on the topic ‘Child Abuse’.
The paper includes 7300+ words, a detailed outline, citations are in APA formatting style, and bibliography with 28 sources.
To write any paper you need to write a great outline. This is the key to a perfect paper. When you organize your paper, it is easier for you to present the ideas logically, without jumping from one thought to another.
In the outline, you need to name all the parts of your paper. That is to say, an introduction, main body, conclusion, bibliography, some papers require abstract and proposal as well.
A good outline will serve as a guide through your paper making it easier for the reader to follow your ideas.
Ii. estimates of child abuse: methodological limitations, iii. child abuse and neglect: the legalities, iv. corporal punishment versus child abuse, v. child abuse victims: the patterns, vi. child abuse perpetrators: the patterns, vii. explanations for child abuse, viii. consequences of child abuse and neglect, ix. determining abuse: how to tell whether a child is abused or neglected, x. determining abuse: interviewing children, xi. how can society help abused children and abusive families, introduction.
An introduction should include a thesis statement and the main points that you will discuss in the paper.
A thesis statement is one sentence in which you need to show your point of view. You will then develop this point of view through the whole piece of work:
‘The impact of child abuse affects more than one’s childhood, as the psychological and physical injuries often extend well into adulthood.’
Child abuse is a very real and prominent social problem today. The impact of child abuse affects more than one’s childhood, as the psychological and physical injuries often extend well into adulthood. Most children are defenseless against abuse, are dependent on their caretakers, and are unable to protect themselves from these acts.
Childhood serves as the basis for growth, development, and socialization. Throughout adolescence, children are taught how to become productive and positive, functioning members of society. Much of the socializing of children, particularly in their very earliest years, comes at the hands of family members. Unfortunately, the messages conveyed to and the actions against children by their families are not always the positive building blocks for which one would hope.
In 2008, the Children’s Defense Fund reported that each day in America, 2,421 children are confirmed as abused or neglected, 4 children are killed by abuse or neglect, and 78 babies die before their first birthday. These daily estimates translate into tremendous national figures. In 2006, caseworkers substantiated an estimated 905,000 reports of child abuse or neglect. Of these, 64% suffered neglect, 16% were physically abused, 9% were sexually abused, 7% were emotionally or psychologically maltreated, and 2% were medically neglected. In addition, 15% of the victims experienced “other” types of maltreatment such as abandonment, threats of harm to the child, and congenital drug addiction (National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System, 2006). Obviously, this problem is a substantial one.
In the main body, you dwell upon the topic of your paper. You provide your ideas and support them with evidence. The evidence include all the data and material you have found, analyzed and systematized. You can support your point of view with different statistical data, with surveys, and the results of different experiments. Your task is to show that your idea is right, and make the reader interested in the topic.
In this example, a writer analyzes the issue of child abuse: different statistical data, controversies regarding the topic, examples of the problem and the consequences.
Several issues arise when considering the amount of child abuse that occurs annually in the United States. Child abuse is very hard to estimate because much (or most) of it is not reported. Children who are abused are unlikely to report their victimization because they may not know any better, they still love their abusers and do not want to see them taken away (or do not themselves want to be taken away from their abusers), they have been threatened into not reporting, or they do not know to whom they should report their victimizations. Still further, children may report their abuse only to find the person to whom they report does not believe them or take any action on their behalf. Continuing to muddy the waters, child abuse can be disguised as legitimate injury, particularly because young children are often somewhat uncoordinated and are still learning to accomplish physical tasks, may not know their physical limitations, and are often legitimately injured during regular play. In the end, children rarely report child abuse; most often it is an adult who makes a report based on suspicion (e.g., teacher, counselor, doctor, etc.).
Even when child abuse is reported, social service agents and investigators may not follow up or substantiate reports for a variety of reasons. Parents can pretend, lie, or cover up injuries or stories of how injuries occurred when social service agents come to investigate. Further, there is not always agreement about what should be counted as abuse by service providers and researchers. In addition, social service agencies/agents have huge caseloads and may only be able to deal with the most serious forms of child abuse, leaving the more “minor” forms of abuse unsupervised and unmanaged (and uncounted in the statistical totals).
While most laws about child abuse and neglect fall at the state levels, federal legislation provides a foundation for states by identifying a minimum set of acts and behaviors that define child abuse and neglect. The Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), which stems from the Keeping Children and Families Safe Act of 2003, defines child abuse and neglect as, at minimum, “(1) any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse, or exploitation; or (2) an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk or serious harm.”
Using these minimum standards, each state is responsible for providing its own definition of maltreatment within civil and criminal statutes. When defining types of child abuse, many states incorporate similar elements and definitions into their legal statutes. For example, neglect is often defined as failure to provide for a child’s basic needs. Neglect can encompass physical elements (e.g., failure to provide necessary food or shelter, or lack of appropriate supervision), medical elements (e.g., failure to provide necessary medical or mental health treatment), educational elements (e.g., failure to educate a child or attend to special educational needs), and emotional elements (e.g., inattention to a child’s emotional needs, failure to provide psychological care, or permitting the child to use alcohol or other drugs). Failure to meet needs does not always mean a child is neglected, as situations such as poverty, cultural values, and community standards can influence the application of legal statutes. In addition, several states distinguish between failure to provide based on financial inability and failure to provide for no apparent financial reason.
Statutes on physical abuse typically include elements of physical injury (ranging from minor bruises to severe fractures or death) as a result of punching, beating, kicking, biting, shaking, throwing, stabbing, choking, hitting (with a hand, stick, strap, or other object), burning, or otherwise harming a child. Such injury is considered abuse regardless of the intention of the caretaker. In addition, many state statutes include allowing or encouraging another person to physically harm a child (such as noted above) as another form of physical abuse in and of itself. Sexual abuse usually includes activities by a parent or caretaker such as fondling a child’s genitals, penetration, incest, rape, sodomy, indecent exposure, and exploitation through prostitution or the production of pornographic materials.
Finally, emotional or psychological abuse typically is defined as a pattern of behavior that impairs a child’s emotional development or sense of self-worth. This may include constant criticism, threats, or rejection, as well as withholding love, support, or guidance. Emotional abuse is often the most difficult to prove and, therefore, child protective services may not be able to intervene without evidence of harm to the child. Some states suggest that harm may be evidenced by an observable or substantial change in behavior, emotional response, or cognition, or by anxiety, depression, withdrawal, or aggressive behavior. At a practical level, emotional abuse is almost always present when other types of abuse are identified.
Some states include an element of substance abuse in their statutes on child abuse. Circumstances that can be considered substance abuse include (a) the manufacture of a controlled substance in the presence of a child or on the premises occupied by a child (Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Montana, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Virginia); (b) allowing a child to be present where the chemicals or equipment for the manufacture of controlled substances are used (Arizona, New Mexico); (c) selling, distributing, or giving drugs or alcohol to a child (Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, and Texas); (d) use of a controlled substance by a caregiver that impairs the caregiver’s ability to adequately care for the child (Kentucky, New York, Rhode Island, and Texas); and (e) exposure of the child to drug paraphernalia (North Dakota), the criminal sale or distribution of drugs (Montana, Virginia), or drug-related activity (District of Columbia).
One of the most difficult issues with which the U.S. legal system must contend is that of allowing parents the right to use corporal punishment when disciplining a child, while not letting them cross over the line into the realm of child abuse. Some parents may abuse their children under the guise of discipline, and many instances of child abuse arise from angry parents who go too far when disciplining their children with physical punishment. Generally, state statutes use terms such as “reasonable discipline of a minor,” “causes only temporary, short-term pain,” and may cause “the potential for bruising” but not “permanent damage, disability, disfigurement or injury” to the child as ways of indicating the types of discipline behaviors that are legal. However, corporal punishment that is “excessive,” “malicious,” “endangers the bodily safety of,” or is “an intentional infliction of injury” is not allowed under most state statutes (e.g., state of Florida child abuse statute).
Most research finds that the use of physical punishment (most often spanking) is not an effective method of discipline. The literature on this issue tends to find that spanking stops misbehavior, but no more effectively than other firm measures. Further, it seems to hinder rather than improve general compliance/obedience (particularly when the child is not in the presence of the punisher). Researchers have also explained why physical punishment is not any more effective at gaining child compliance than nonviolent forms of discipline. Some of the problems that arise when parents use spanking or other forms of physical punishment include the fact that spanking does not teach what children should do, nor does it provide them with alternative behavior options should the circumstance arise again. Spanking also undermines reasoning, explanation, or other forms of parental instruction because children cannot learn, reason, or problem solve well while experiencing threat, pain, fear, or anger. Further, the use of physical punishment is inconsistent with nonviolent principles, or parental modeling. In addition, the use of spanking chips away at the bonds of affection between parents and children, and tends to induce resentment and fear. Finally, it hinders the development of empathy and compassion in children, and they do not learn to take responsibility for their own behavior (Pitzer, 1997).
One of the biggest problems with the use of corporal punishment is that it can escalate into much more severe forms of violence. Usually, parents spank because they are angry (and somewhat out of control) and they can’t think of other ways to discipline. When parents are acting as a result of emotional triggers, the notion of discipline is lost while punishment and pain become the foci.
In 2006, of the children who were found to be victims of child abuse, nearly 75% of them were first-time victims (or had not come to the attention of authorities prior). A slight majority of child abuse victims were girls—51.5%, compared to 48% of abuse victims being boys. The younger the child, the more at risk he or she is for child abuse and neglect victimization. Specifically, the rate for infants (birth to 1 year old) was approximately 24 per 1,000 children of the same age group. The victimization rate for children 1–3 years old was 14 per 1,000 children of the same age group. The abuse rate for children aged 4– 7 years old declined further to 13 per 1,000 children of the same age group. African American, American Indian, and Alaska Native children, as well as children of multiple races, had the highest rates of victimization. White and Latino children had lower rates, and Asian children had the lowest rates of child abuse and neglect victimization. Regarding living arrangements, nearly 27% of victims were living with a single mother, 20% were living with married parents, while 22% were living with both parents but the marital status was unknown. (This reporting element had nearly 40% missing data, however.) Regarding disability, nearly 8% of child abuse victims had some degree of mental retardation, emotional disturbance, visual or hearing impairment, learning disability, physical disability, behavioral problems, or other medical problems. Unfortunately, data indicate that for many victims, the efforts of the child protection services system were not successful in preventing subsequent victimization. Children who had been prior victims of maltreatment were 96% more likely to experience another occurrence than those who were not prior victims. Further, child victims who were reported to have a disability were 52% more likely to experience recurrence than children without a disability. Finally, the oldest victims (16–21 years of age) were the least likely to experience a recurrence, and were 51% less likely to be victimized again than were infants (younger than age 1) (National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System, 2006).
Child fatalities are the most tragic consequence of maltreatment. Yet, each year, children die from abuse and neglect. In 2006, an estimated 1,530 children in the United States died due to abuse or neglect. The overall rate of child fatalities was 2 deaths per 100,000 children. More than 40% of child fatalities were attributed to neglect, but physical abuse also was a major contributor. Approximately 78% of the children who died due to child abuse and neglect were younger than 4 years old, and infant boys (younger than 1) had the highest rate of fatalities at 18.5 deaths per 100,000 boys of the same age in the national population. Infant girls had a rate of 14.7 deaths per 100,000 girls of the same age (National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System, 2006).
One question to be addressed regarding child fatalities is why infants have such a high rate of death when compared to toddlers and adolescents. Children under 1 year old pose an immense amount of responsibility for their caretakers: they are completely dependent and need constant attention. Children this age are needy, impulsive, and not amenable to verbal control or effective communication. This can easily overwhelm vulnerable parents. Another difficulty associated with infants is that they are physically weak and small. Injuries to infants can be fatal, while similar injuries to older children might not be. The most common cause of death in children less than 1 year is cerebral trauma (often the result of shaken-baby syndrome). Exasperated parents can deliver shakes or blows without realizing how little it takes to cause irreparable or fatal damage to an infant. Research informs us that two of the most common triggers for fatal child abuse are crying that will not cease and toileting accidents. Both of these circumstances are common in infants and toddlers whose only means of communication often is crying, and who are limited in mobility and cannot use the toilet. Finally, very young children cannot assist in injury diagnoses. Children who have been injured due to abuse or neglect often cannot communicate to medical professionals about where it hurts, how it hurts, and so forth. Also, nonfatal injuries can turn fatal in the absence of care by neglectful parents or parents who do not want medical professionals to possibly identify an injury as being the result of abuse.
Estimates reveal that nearly 80% of perpetrators of child abuse were parents of the victim. Other relatives accounted for nearly 7%, and unmarried partners of parents made up 4% of perpetrators. Of those perpetrators that were parents, over 90% were biological parents, 4% were stepparents, and 0.7% were adoptive parents. Of this group, approximately 58% of perpetrators were women and 42% were men. Women perpetrators are typically younger than men. The average age for women abusers was 31 years old, while for men the average was 34 years old. Forty percent of women who abused were younger than 30 years of age, compared with 33% of men being under 30. The racial distribution of perpetrators is similar to that of victims. Fifty-four percent were white, 21% were African American, and 20% were Hispanic/Latino (National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System, 2006).
There are many factors that are associated with child abuse. Some of the more common/well-accepted explanations are individual pathology, parent–child interaction, past abuse in the family (or social learning), situational factors, and cultural support for physical punishment along with a lack of cultural support for helping parents here in the United States.
The first explanation centers on the individual pathology of a parent or caretaker who is abusive. This theory focuses on the idea that people who abuse their children have something wrong with their individual personality or biological makeup. Such psychological pathologies may include having anger control problems; being depressed or having post-partum depression; having a low tolerance for frustration (e.g., children can be extremely frustrating: they don’t always listen; they constantly push the line of how far they can go; and once the line has been established, they are constantly treading on it to make sure it hasn’t moved. They are dependent and self-centered, so caretakers have very little privacy or time to themselves); being rigid (e.g., having no tolerance for differences—for example, what if your son wanted to play with dolls? A rigid father would not let him, laugh at him for wanting to, punish him when he does, etc.); having deficits in empathy (parents who cannot put themselves in the shoes of their children cannot fully understand what their children need emotionally); or being disorganized, inefficient, and ineffectual. (Parents who are unable to manage their own lives are unlikely to be successful at managing the lives of their children, and since many children want and need limits, these parents are unable to set them or adhere to them.)
Biological pathologies that may increase the likelihood of someone becoming a child abuser include having substance abuse or dependence problems, or having persistent or reoccurring physical health problems (especially health problems that can be extremely painful and can cause a person to become more self-absorbed, both qualities that can give rise to a lack of patience, lower frustration tolerance, and increased stress).
The second explanation for child abuse centers on the interaction between the parent and the child, noting that certain types of parents are more likely to abuse, and certain types of children are more likely to be abused, and when these less-skilled parents are coupled with these more difficult children, child abuse is the most likely to occur. Discussion here focuses on what makes a parent less skilled, and what makes a child more difficult. Characteristics of unskilled parents are likely to include such traits as only pointing out what children do wrong and never giving any encouragement for good behavior, and failing to be sensitive to the emotional needs of children. Less skilled parents tend to have unrealistic expectations of children. They may engage in role reversal— where the parents make the child take care of them—and view the parent’s happiness and well-being as the responsibility of the child. Some parents view the parental role as extremely stressful and experience little enjoyment from being a parent. Finally, less-skilled parents tend to have more negative perceptions regarding their child(ren). For example, perhaps the child has a different shade of skin than they expected and this may disappoint or anger them, they may feel the child is being manipulative (long before children have this capability), or they may view the child as the scapegoat for all the parents’ or family’s problems. Theoretically, parents with these characteristics would be more likely to abuse their children, but if they are coupled with having a difficult child, they would be especially likely to be abusive. So, what makes a child more difficult? Certainly, through no fault of their own, children may have characteristics that are associated with child care that is more demanding and difficult than in the “normal” or “average” situation. Such characteristics can include having physical and mental disabilities (autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder [ADHD], hyperactivity, etc.); the child may be colicky, frequently sick, be particularly needy, or cry more often. In addition, some babies are simply unhappier than other babies for reasons that cannot be known. Further, infants are difficult even in the best of circumstances. They are unable to communicate effectively, and they are completely dependent on their caretakers for everything, including eating, diaper changing, moving around, entertainment, and emotional bonding. Again, these types of children, being more difficult, are more likely to be victims of child abuse.
Nonetheless, each of these types of parents and children alone cannot explain the abuse of children, but it is the interaction between them that becomes the key. Unskilled parents may produce children that are happy and not as needy, and even though they are unskilled, they do not abuse because the child takes less effort. At the same time, children who are more difficult may have parents who are skilled and are able to handle and manage the extra effort these children take with aplomb. However, risks for child abuse increase when unskilled parents must contend with difficult children.
Social learning or past abuse in the family is a third common explanation for child abuse. Here, the theory concentrates not only on what children learn when they see or experience violence in their homes, but additionally on what they do not learn as a result of these experiences. Social learning theory in the context of family violence stresses that if children are abused or see abuse (toward siblings or a parent), those interactions and violent family members become the representations and role models for their future familial interactions. In this way, what children learn is just as important as what they do not learn. Children who witness or experience violence may learn that this is the way parents deal with children, or that violence is an acceptable method of child rearing and discipline. They may think when they become parents that “violence worked on me when I was a child, and I turned out fine.” They may learn unhealthy relationship interaction patterns; children may witness the negative interactions of parents and they may learn the maladaptive or violent methods of expressing anger, reacting to stress, or coping with conflict.
What is equally as important, though, is that they are unlikely to learn more acceptable and nonviolent ways of rearing children, interacting with family members, and working out conflict. Here it may happen that an adult who was abused as a child would like to be nonviolent toward his or her own children, but when the chips are down and the child is misbehaving, this abused-child-turned-adult does not have a repertoire of nonviolent strategies to try. This parent is more likely to fall back on what he or she knows as methods of discipline.
Something important to note here is that not all abused children grow up to become abusive adults. Children who break the cycle were often able to establish and maintain one healthy emotional relationship with someone during their childhoods (or period of young adulthood). For instance, they may have received emotional support from a nonabusing parent, or they received social support and had a positive relationship with another adult during their childhood (e.g., teacher, coach, minister, neighbor, etc.). Abused children who participate in therapy during some period of their lives can often break the cycle of violence. In addition, adults who were abused but are able to form an emotionally supportive and satisfying relationship with a mate can make the transition to being nonviolent in their family interactions.
Moving on to a fourth familiar explanation for child abuse, there are some common situational factors that influence families and parents and increase the risks for child abuse. Typically, these are factors that increase family stress or social isolation. Specifically, such factors may include receiving public assistance or having low socioeconomic status (a combination of low income and low education). Other factors include having family members who are unemployed, underemployed (working in a job that requires lower qualifications than an individual possesses), or employed only part time. These financial difficulties cause great stress for families in meeting the needs of the individual members. Other stress-inducing familial characteristics are single-parent households and larger family size. Finally, social isolation can be devastating for families and family members. Having friends to talk to, who can be relied upon, and with whom kids can be dropped off occasionally is tremendously important for personal growth and satisfaction in life. In addition, social isolation and stress can cause individuals to be quick to lose their tempers, as well as cause people to be less rational in their decision making and to make mountains out of mole hills. These situations can lead families to be at greater risk for child abuse.
Finally, cultural views and supports (or lack thereof) can lead to greater amounts of child abuse in a society such as the United States. One such cultural view is that of societal support for physical punishment. This is problematic because there are similarities between the way criminals are dealt with and the way errant children are handled. The use of capital punishment is advocated for seriously violent criminals, and people are quick to use such idioms as “spare the rod and spoil the child” when it comes to the discipline or punishment of children. In fact, it was not until quite recently that parenting books began to encourage parents to use other strategies than spanking or other forms of corporal punishment in the discipline of their children. Only recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics has come out and recommended that parents do not spank or use other forms of violence on their children because of the deleterious effects such methods have on youngsters and their bonds with their parents. Nevertheless, regardless of recommendations, the culture of corporal punishment persists.
Another cultural view in the United States that can give rise to greater incidents of child abuse is the belief that after getting married, couples of course should want and have children. Culturally, Americans consider that children are a blessing, raising kids is the most wonderful thing a person can do, and everyone should have children. Along with this notion is the idea that motherhood is always wonderful; it is the most fulfilling thing a woman can do; and the bond between a mother and her child is strong, glorious, and automatic—all women love being mothers. Thus, culturally (and theoretically), society nearly insists that married couples have children and that they will love having children. But, after children are born, there is not much support for couples who have trouble adjusting to parenthood, or who do not absolutely love their new roles as parents. People look askance at parents who need help, and cannot believe parents who say anything negative about parenthood. As such, theoretically, society has set up a situation where couples are strongly encouraged to have kids, are told they will love kids, but then society turns a blind or disdainful eye when these same parents need emotional, financial, or other forms of help or support. It is these types of cultural viewpoints that increase the risks for child abuse in society.
The consequences of child abuse are tremendous and long lasting. Research has shown that the traumatic experience of childhood abuse is life changing. These costs may surface during adolescence, or they may not become evident until abused children have grown up and become abusing parents or abused spouses. Early identification and treatment is important to minimize these potential long-term effects. Whenever children say they have been abused, it is imperative that they be taken seriously and their abuse be reported. Suspicions of child abuse must be reported as well. If there is a possibility that a child is or has been abused, an investigation must be conducted.
Children who have been abused may exhibit traits such as the inability to love or have faith in others. This often translates into adults who are unable to establish lasting and stable personal relationships. These individuals have trouble with physical closeness and touching as well as emotional intimacy and trust. Further, these qualities tend to cause a fear of entering into new relationships, as well as the sabotaging of any current ones.
Psychologically, children who have been abused tend to have poor self-images or are passive, withdrawn, or clingy. They may be angry individuals who are filled with rage, anxiety, and a variety of fears. They are often aggressive, disruptive, and depressed. Many abused children have flashbacks and nightmares about the abuse they have experienced, and this may cause sleep problems as well as drug and alcohol problems. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and antisocial personality disorder are both typical among maltreated children. Research has also shown that most abused children fail to reach “successful psychosocial functioning,” and are thus not resilient and do not resume a “normal life” after the abuse has ended.
Socially (and likely because of these psychological injuries), abused children have trouble in school, will have difficulty getting and remaining employed, and may commit a variety of illegal or socially inappropriate behaviors. Many studies have shown that victims of child abuse are likely to participate in high-risk behaviors such as alcohol or drug abuse, the use of tobacco, and high-risk sexual behaviors (e.g., unprotected sex, large numbers of sexual partners). Later in life, abused children are more likely to have been arrested and homeless. They are also less able to defend themselves in conflict situations and guard themselves against repeated victimizations.
Medically, abused children likely will experience health problems due to the high frequency of physical injuries they receive. In addition, abused children experience a great deal of emotional turmoil and stress, which can also have a significant impact on their physical condition. These health problems are likely to continue occurring into adulthood. Some of these longer-lasting health problems include headaches; eating problems; problems with toileting; and chronic pain in the back, stomach, chest, and genital areas. Some researchers have noted that abused children may experience neurological impairment and problems with intellectual functioning, while others have found a correlation between abuse and heart, lung, and liver disease, as well as cancer (Thomas, 2004).
Victims of sexual abuse show an alarming number of disturbances as adults. Some dislike and avoid sex, or experience sexual problems or disorders, while other victims appear to enjoy sexual activities that are self-defeating or maladaptive—normally called “dysfunctional sexual behavior”—and have many sexual partners.
Abused children also experience a wide variety of developmental delays. Many do not reach physical, cognitive, or emotional developmental milestones at the typical time, and some never accomplish what they are supposed to during childhood socialization. In the next section, these developmental delays are discussed as a means of identifying children who may be abused.
There are two primary ways of identifying children who are abused: spotting and evaluating physical injuries, and detecting and appraising developmental delays. Distinguishing physical injuries due to abuse can be difficult, particularly among younger children who are likely to get hurt or receive injuries while they are playing and learning to become ambulatory. Nonetheless, there are several types of wounds that children are unlikely to give themselves during their normal course of play and exploration. These less likely injuries may signal instances of child abuse.
While it is true that children are likely to get bruises, particularly when they are learning to walk or crawl, bruises on infants are not normal. Also, the back of the legs, upper arms, or on the chest, neck, head, or genitals are also locations where bruises are unlikely to occur during normal childhood activity. Further, bruises with clean patterns, like hand prints, buckle prints, or hangers (to name a few), are good examples of the types of bruises children do not give themselves.
Another area of physical injury where the source of the injury can be difficult to detect is fractures. Again, children fall out of trees, or crash their bikes, and can break limbs. These can be normal parts of growing up. However, fractures in infants less than 12 months old are particularly suspect, as infants are unlikely to be able to accomplish the types of movement necessary to actually break a leg or an arm. Further, multiple fractures, particularly more than one on a bone, should be examined more closely. Spiral or torsion fractures (when the bone is broken by twisting) are suspect because when children break their bones due to play injuries, the fractures are usually some other type (e.g., linear, oblique, compacted). In addition, when parents don’t know about the fracture(s) or how it occurred, abuse should be considered, because when children get these types of injuries, they need comfort and attention.
Head and internal injuries are also those that may signal abuse. Serious blows to the head cause internal head injuries, and this is very different from the injuries that result from bumping into things. Abused children are also likely to experience internal injuries like those to the abdomen, liver, kidney, and bladder. They may suffer a ruptured spleen, or intestinal perforation. These types of damages rarely happen by accident.
Burns are another type of physical injury that can happen by accident or by abuse. Nevertheless, there are ways to tell these types of burn injuries apart. The types of burns that should be examined and investigated are those where the burns are in particular locations. Burns to the bottom of the feet, genitals, abdomen, or other inaccessible spots should be closely considered. Burns of the whole hand or those to the buttocks are also unlikely to happen as a result of an accident.
Turning to the detection and appraisal of developmental delays, one can more readily assess possible abuse by considering what children of various ages should be able to accomplish, than by noting when children are delayed and how many milestones on which they are behind schedule. Importantly, a few delays in reaching milestones can be expected, since children develop individually and not always according to the norm. Nonetheless, when children are abused, their development is likely to be delayed in numerous areas and across many milestones.
As children develop and grow, they should be able to crawl, walk, run, talk, control going to the bathroom, write, set priorities, plan ahead, trust others, make friends, develop a good self-image, differentiate between feeling and behavior, and get their needs met in appropriate ways. As such, when children do not accomplish these feats, their circumstances should be examined.
Infants who are abused or neglected typically develop what is termed failure to thrive syndrome. This syndrome is characterized by slow, inadequate growth, or not “filling out” physically. They have a pale, colorless complexion and dull eyes. They are not likely to spend much time looking around, and nothing catches their eyes. They may show other signs of lack of nutrition such as cuts, bruises that do not heal in a timely way, and discolored fingernails. They are also not trusting and may not cry much, as they are not expecting to have their needs met. Older infants may not have developed any language skills, or these developments are quite slow. This includes both verbal and nonverbal means of communication.
Toddlers who are abused often become hypervigilant about their environments and others’ moods. They are more outwardly focused than a typical toddler (who is quite self-centered) and may be unable to separate themselves as individuals, or consider themselves as distinct beings. In this way, abused toddlers cannot focus on tasks at hand because they are too concerned about others’ reactions. They don’t play with toys, have no interest in exploration, and seem unable to enjoy life. They are likely to accept losses with little reaction, and may have age-inappropriate knowledge of sex and sexual relations. Finally, toddlers, whether they are abused or not, begin to mirror their parents’ behaviors. Thus, toddlers who are abused may mimic the abuse when they are playing with dolls or “playing house.”
Developmental delays can also be detected among abused young adolescents. Some signs include the failure to learn cause and effect, since their parents are so inconsistent. They have no energy for learning and have not developed beyond one- or two-word commands. They probably cannot follow complicated directions (such as two to three tasks per instruction), and they are unlikely to be able to think for themselves. Typically, they have learned that failure is totally unacceptable, but they are more concerned with the teacher’s mood than with learning and listening to instruction. Finally, they are apt to have been inadequately toilet trained and thus may be unable to control their bladders.
Older adolescents, because they are likely to have been abused for a longer period of time, continue to get further and further behind in their developmental achievements. Abused children this age become family nurturers. They take care of their parents and cater to their parents’ needs, rather than the other way around. In addition, they probably take care of any younger siblings and do the household chores. Because of these default responsibilities, they usually do not participate in school activities; they frequently miss days at school; and they have few, if any, friends. Because they have become so hypervigilant and have increasingly delayed development, they lose interest in and become disillusioned with education. They develop low self-esteem and little confidence, but seem old for their years. Children this age who are abused are still likely to be unable to control their bladders and may have frequent toileting accidents.
Other developmental delays can occur and be observed in abused and neglected children of any age. For example, malnutrition and withdrawal can be noticed in infants through teenagers. Maltreated children frequently have persistent or untreated illnesses, and these can become permanent disabilities if medical conditions go untreated for a long enough time. Another example can be the consequences of neurological damage. Beyond being a medical issue, this type of damage can cause problems with social behavior and impulse control, which, again, can be discerned in various ages of children.
Once child abuse is suspected, law enforcement officers, child protection workers, or various other practitioners may need to interview the child about the abuse or neglect he or she may have suffered. Interviewing children can be extremely difficult because children at various stages of development can remember only certain parts or aspects of the events in their lives. Also, interviewers must be careful that they do not put ideas or answers into the heads of the children they are interviewing. There are several general recommendations when interviewing children about the abuse they may have experienced. First, interviewers must acknowledge that even when children are abused, they likely still love their parents. They do not want to be taken away from their parents, nor do they want to see their parents get into trouble. Interviewers must not blame the parents or be judgmental about them or the child’s family. Beyond that, interviews should take place in a safe, neutral location. Interviewers can use dolls and role-play to help children express the types of abuse of which they may be victims.
Finally, interviewers must ask age-appropriate questions. For example, 3-year-olds can probably only answer questions about what happened and who was involved. Four- to five-year-olds can also discuss where the incidents occurred. Along with what, who, and where, 6- to 8-year-olds can talk about the element of time, or when the abuse occurred. Nine- to 10-year-olds are able to add commentary about the number of times the abuse occurred. Finally, 11-year-olds and older children can additionally inform interviewers about the circumstances of abusive instances.
A conclusion is not a summary of what a writer has already mentioned. On the contrary, it is the last point made. Taking every detail of the investigation, the researcher makes the concluding point. In this part of a paper, you need to put a full stop in your research. You need to persuade the reader in your opinion.
Never add any new information in the conclusion. You can present solutions to the problem and you dwell upon the results, but only if this information has been already mentioned in the main body.
Child advocates recommend a variety of strategies to aid families and children experiencing abuse. These recommendations tend to focus on societal efforts as well as more individual efforts. One common strategy advocated is the use of public service announcements that encourage individuals to report any suspected child abuse. Currently, many mandatory reporters (those required by law to report abuse such as teachers, doctors, and social service agency employees) and members of communities feel that child abuse should not be reported unless there is substantial evidence that abuse is indeed occurring. Child advocates stress that this notion should be changed, and that people should report child abuse even if it is only suspected. Public service announcements should stress that if people report suspected child abuse, the worst that can happen is that they might be wrong, but in the grander scheme of things that is really not so bad.
Child advocates also stress that greater interagency cooperation is needed. This cooperation should be evident between women’s shelters, child protection agencies, programs for at-risk children, medical agencies, and law enforcement officers. These agencies typically do not share information, and if they did, more instances of child abuse would come to the attention of various authorities and could be investigated and managed. Along these lines, child protection agencies and programs should receive more funding. When budgets are cut, social services are often the first things to go or to get less financial support. Child advocates insist that with more resources, child protection agencies could hire more workers, handle more cases, conduct more investigations, and follow up with more children and families.
Continuing, more educational efforts must be initiated about issues such as punishment and discipline styles and strategies; having greater respect for children; as well as informing the community about what child abuse is, and how to recognize it. In addition, Americans must alter the cultural orientation about child bearing and child rearing. Couples who wish to remain child-free must be allowed to do so without disdain. And, it must be acknowledged that raising children is very difficult, is not always gloriously wonderful, and that parents who seek help should be lauded and not criticized. These kinds of efforts can help more children to be raised in nonviolent, emotionally satisfying families, and thus become better adults.
When you write a paper, make sure you are aware of all the formatting requirements. Incorrect formatting can lower your mark, so do not underestimate the importance of this part.
Organizing your bibliography is quite a tedious and time-consuming task. Still, you need to do it flawlessly. For this reason, analyze all the standards you need to meet or ask professionals to help you with it. All the comas, colons, brackets etc. matter. They truly do.
- American Academy of Pediatrics: https://www.aap.org/
- Bancroft, L., & Silverman, J. G. (2002). The batterer as parent. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
- Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, 42 U.S.C.A. § 5106g (1998).
- Childhelp: Child Abuse Statistics: https://www.childhelp.org/child-abuse-statistics/
- Children’s Defense Fund: https://www.childrensdefense.org/
- Child Stats.gov: https://www.childstats.gov/
- Child Welfare League of America: https://www.cwla.org/
- Crosson-Tower, C. (2008). Understanding child abuse and neglect (7th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
- DeBecker, G. (1999). Protecting the gift: Keeping children and teenagers safe (and parents sane). New York: Bantam Dell.
- Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire: https://cola.unh.edu/family-research-laboratory
- Guterman, N. B. (2001). Stopping child maltreatment before it starts: Emerging horizons in early home visitation services. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
- Herman, J. L. (2000). Father-daughter incest. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
- Medline Plus, Child Abuse: https://medlineplus.gov/childabuse.html
- Myers, J. E. B. (Ed.). (1994). The backlash: Child protection under fire. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
- National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: https://www.missingkids.org/home
- National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System. (2006). Child maltreatment 2006: Reports from the states to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.
- New York University Silver School of Social Work: https://socialwork.nyu.edu/
- Pitzer, R. L. (1997). Corporal punishment in the discipline of children in the home: Research update for practitioners. Paper presented at the National Council on Family Relations Annual Conference, Washington, DC.
- RAND, Child Abuse and Neglect: https://www.rand.org/topics/child-abuse-and-neglect.html
- Richards, C. E. (2001). The loss of innocents: Child killers and their victims. Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources.
- Straus, M. A. (2001). Beating the devil out of them: Corporal punishment in American families and its effects on children. Edison, NJ: Transaction.
- Thomas, P. M. (2004). Protection, dissociation, and internal roles: Modeling and treating the effects of child abuse. Review of General Psychology, 7(15).
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/
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Academic Paper Examples
📜 what is an academic paper, 📝 types of academic papers, 👣 how to write an academic paper: 9 easy steps, ❓ academic paper faqs.
There are many forms of academic writing , but an academic paper should always meet three basic criteria . It should be written by scholars for other scholars, focus on issues that concern the academic community, and contain an informed argument. Other characteristics of academic writing include a formal writing style, specific vocabulary terms, and the use of the third-person perspective.
There are four general types of academic texts . A descriptive text describes a phenomenon, person, or fact. A reflective text conveys the author’s response to experiences, opinions, or new information. An analytical paper shows the relationships between different phenomena. And, finally, a critical text evaluates someone else’s work.
Examples of academic paper genres include:
- Book reviews
- Critique papers
- Movie analysis
- Research papers
📚 Book Review
To put it simply, a review is a critical evaluation of a text, object, event, etc. A review is not merely a summary, but rather a commentary with persuasive arguments . When writing a good book review , you need to clearly state your opinion of the work in question, and support your statements logically and/or empirically.
Reviews are usually short and rarely exceed 1000 words in academic journals and newspapers. The structure of a book review often resembles that of other academic papers, featuring typical elements like an introduction, a thesis statement, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
Book Review Example
🤨 Critique Paper
A critique paper aims to critically read and analyze a text, research, or performance. It can also be called a response paper. A critique resembles a book review, but there are important differences. A review should contain the key points of the work in question, while a critique focuses on the evaluation and analysis of the text or research.
If you need more information on how to write a critique paper, take a look at our killer writing tips !
Critique Paper Example
✍️ Academic Essay
An essay is a common form of academic writing. Many different kinds of academic essays exist, but most of them share the same goal of informing readers about the author’s position with the help of arguments and evidence.
There is no ready-made formula for the perfect essay structure .
Instead, it may be useful to think of the different sections of the text as answers to different questions that your reader might have when encountering your research essay. For example, “ What ” is probably the first question a reader might have. Thus, the “what” or “demonstration” section of your paper, which aims to explain the phenomenon about which you are writing, should come early, just after the introduction.
Next, your reader might want to know if the claims you make are valid in all cases. “ How ” is the corresponding question here. How will another perspective, a new set of materials, or different sources affect the claim you make? A typical academic essay usually contains at least one “how” section.
And finally, before coming to a conclusion, your reader might want to ask “ Why ” or “ So what ”. Why does this matter to anyone besides you? Answering this question helps your readers understand the text within a broader context. By providing a clear response to the "why" question, your essay demonstrates its significance.
Academic Essay Example
🎥 Movie Analysis
Unlike literature, a movie includes audiovisual elements. However, literature and film do have many similarities. Both use characters, dialogues, plots, settings, symbolism, etc. These features can be analyzed for their intent and effect in both cinema and literature.
Coherent arguments and convincing evidence are as crucial for movie analysis as for other scholarly papers. Therefore, well-developed academic writing skills are required to write a successful film analysis paper .
📊 Academic Report
A report is a type of academic paper that is created for a very clear purpose and contains specific information and evidence. Students are usually asked to write reports for one of two reasons: 1) to demonstrate what they have learned, or 2) to develop an important skill. Moreover, a good report needs to be clear , concise , and well structured . Still confused about writing a report? Don’t hesitate to check out our report writing tips !
Academic Report Example
🔬 Research Paper
Like most other scholarly papers, an academic research paper is not just a collection of information or a review of the literature on a particular topic. A research paper needs to present your own argument on a topic, supported by others’ works.
What does a research paper look like? Usually, it is an expanded version of an essay. When working on an essay, a student often focuses on personal thoughts and experiences. However, to write on a research paper, you need to find out what the experts know. Thus, a literature review section is usually an essential part of a research paper outline. Other important parts include the abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion, and references.
How long should a research paper be? There’s no single answer to this question because the length of a research paper depends on its topic and purpose. However, an average paper usually fills between four and five pages.
If you need more advice on how to do a research paper, please read this article !
Research Paper Example
The whole writing process may seem overly complex and intimidating at first. But when you break it down into smaller tasks, it becomes more organized and manageable.
Below is a step-by-step guide on how to write an academic paper most efficiently. Before jumping into it, you can add a preparation stage. Spend a little bit of time by checking out some free essay samples to gain some inspiration and generate ideas. It will boost the whole process and help you reach your goal with ease.
🔥 Step 1. Choose a Hot Topic
Selecting a topic is probably the most difficult challenge for students who are starting their research papers. Sometimes you are assigned a topic, but often you need to choose one by yourself. Choosing and defining a good topic is a crucial part of a successful research project. However, don’t fret about coming up with the final version for the header of your academic paper at this stage. That decision comes much later.
❓ Step 2. Formulate Your Topic as a Research Question
A research question is the base of every scholarly paper. You can think of your research project as a house. The data collection forms the walls, and the hypothesis is the foundation. Your research question, however, is even more fundamental; it is the ground beneath the house. It needs to be solid , specific , and answerable .
At this stage, it is important to develop a preliminary research question, keeping in mind that you’ll probably refine or even change it later.
🤓 Step 3. Read & Make Notes
Most likely, you’ll have reviewed some sources by this stage of topic selection, but now is the time to dig deeper.
To get started, make a list of the sources that you plan to use. Ideally, they should be relevant to the topic and as current as possible. Make sure that you understand who the top voices in your field are and what they have to say about your topic. If you have any questions, you can always use our guide on how to find credible sources .
It is a good idea to take notes while reading. Later, you’ll be able to convert them into a full literature review section.
❗ Step 4. Formulate a Thesis Statement
Once you’ve decided on a research question, and you have a grasp on what other scholars have written on the topic, it is time to make your own ideas more concrete. At this stage, you need to formulate a thesis statement that aims to convey the central argument of your academic paper. Your task is to persuade your audience that you have something valuable to say. A good thesis statement should be specific , debatable , and concise .
🔍 Step 5. Get Your Empirical Results
This step is not always necessary. Still, if you need empirical evidence to prove your thesis, you’ll have to spend time collecting it. Scholars conduct their research in different ways, so this stage is flexible according to your specific topic. If you have any questions about gathering empirical evidence, you can always consult your professor.
📅 Step 6. Plan Your Paper
The work that you’ve already done has probably given you tons of exciting ideas. Your task at this stage is to organize these ideas logically in an outline format. Think of the key points that support your thesis and use them as subheadings for the body paragraphs of your paper.
A typical academic paper structure includes:
- an abstract
- an introduction
- a literature review
- a methods section
- a results section
- a discussion
- a conclusion
🖊️ Step 7. Write Your Draft
At this stage, you already have an outline that gives you a direction. All you need to do is create the first draft of your paper by filling in the details of each section.
The header of your academic paper is very important. If you want to make a good impression on your audience, take note that the title is the first thing that they’ll see. Make a list of the keywords that pertain to the topic you chose, the methods you used, and the results you obtained. Create a sentence that includes as many of the keywords as possible. Make it logical and concise, and add a subtitle if needed.
After creating your headers, you’ll find that drafting the individual sections of your paper is much easier. If you still have doubts, you can find more information on how to write an academic paper here .
🗒️ Step 8. Revise & Edit the Draft
Now that you’ve managed to finish your first draft, take a moment to congratulate yourself! And then, get back to work because you still have a lot to do.
Remember, the first draft is never perfect. If you want to make a good impression on your audience, revise and edit the content and grammar of your paper. Use our checklists to make your academic paper as perfect as it can be.
🔤 Step 9. Format Your Paper
At this stage, you need to make sure that that the format of your academic paper meets the correct style requirements. Pay special attention to citations.
The idea behind citations is simple. If you use the ideas of other people in your work, you must give them credit .
How do you cite your sources ? There are many citation styles, but the most popular are APA and MLA .
What is APA Format?
APA (American Psychological Association) style is often used in Social Sciences (Sociology, Anthropology, Economics, etc.), but many other disciplines use it too.
Take a look at our guidelines if you need to write a paper that requires APA format. You can also find sample APA papers below.
What is MLA Format?
MLA style was developed by the Modern Language Association. MLA is the leading style of documentation in the Humanities, and enables students and researchers in the fields of Language and Literature to format their papers in a universal way.
Want to learn more? You can always read our guidebook , or find sample MLA papers below.
❓ How to write an academic paper?
To write a paper, you need to choose a hot topic and formulate a research question. Then read your sources and get some empirical evidence if necessary. Then make a plan of your paper and write the first draft of it. Take your time to revise and edit the draft. And, finally, don’t forget about the formatting!
❓ How do you start an academic paper?
Selecting a research topic is the starting point for every paper. It is also probably the most difficult challenge, especially when you need to choose one by yourself. However, don’t worry too much about coming up with the final version of the topic at this stage. Formulate a preliminary one. Once you’ve formulated a topic and a research question, the base of your scientific paper is ready.
❓ How do I write a good academic paper?
A good academic paper features several characteristics. First of all, it has a clear purpose. It contains a research question and an answer to it. Moreover, a good paper presents an original point of view. A good academic text is a well-structured one: all parts of it should support the thesis statement. The explanations should be clear, logical, and straightforward. Last but not least, a good paper bases on a number of scholarly sources.
❓ What are the parts of an academic paper?
A basic academic paper structure includes three main parts: an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. The body is usually the most voluminous part of any paper. It typically consists of a literature review, a methods section, results, and discussion. An abstract (a short and concise summation of the entire story) is not always required. Still, most academic papers aimed for publication have one.
❓ What is an example of academic writing?
Numerous forms of academic writing exist. Still, an excellent example of academic writing should be written by scholars for other scholars, explore the issues that concern the academic community, and contain an informed argument. Examples of academic writing include book reviews, critique papers, essays, movie analysis, reports, research papers, etc.
- What is an Academic Paper? University of Washington
- Film Analysis: UNC Writing Center
- How to Write an Academic Report: Middlesex University
- How to Select a Research Topic: UMFlint
- How to Write a Research Question: GMU Writing Center
- A guide to writing an academic paper: The Washington Post
- Writing a Literature Review: Ashford University Writing Center
- Literature Reviews: UNC Writing Center
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How To Write A Research Paper
Research Paper Example
Research Paper Example - Examples for Different Formats
Published on: Jun 12, 2021
Last updated on: Jul 21, 2023
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Writing a research paper is the most challenging task in a studentâs academic life. Students face similar writing process hardships, whether the research paper is to be written for high school or college.
A research paper is a writing type in which a detailed analysis, interpretation, and evaluation are made on the topic. It only requires not only time but also effort and skills to be drafted correctly.
If you are working on your research paper for the first time, here is a collection of examples that you will need to understand the paperâs format and how its different parts are drafted. Continue reading the article to get free research paper examples.
Research Paper Example for Different Formats
When writing a research paper, it is essential to know which format to use to structure your content. Depending on the requirements of the institution, there are mainly four format styles in which a writer drafts a research paper:
Letâs look into each format in detail to understand the fundamental differences and similarities.
Research Paper Example APA
If your instructor asks you to provide a research paper in an APA format, go through the example given below and understand the basic structure. Make sure to follow the format throughout the paper.
APA Research Paper Sample (PDF)
Research Paper Example MLA
Another widespread research paper format is MLA. A few institutes require this format style as well for your research paper. Look at the example provided of this format style to learn the basics.
MLA Research Paper Sample (PDF)
Research Paper Example Chicago
Unlike MLA and APA styles, Chicago is not very common. Very few institutions require this formatting style research paper, but it is essential to learn it. Look at the example given below to understand the formatting of the content and citations in the research paper.
Chicago Research Paper Sample (PDF)
Research Paper Example Harvard
Learn how a research paper through Harvard formatting style is written through this example. Carefully examine how the cover page and other pages are structured.
Harvard Research Paper Sample (PDF)
Examples for Different Research Paper Parts
A research paper is based on different parts. Each part plays a significant role in the overall success of the paper. So each chapter of the paper must be drafted correctly according to a format and structure.
Below are examples of how different sections of the research paper are drafted.
Research Proposal Example
A research proposal is a plan that describes what you will investigate, its significance, and how you will conduct the study.
Research Proposal Sample (PDF)
Abstract Research Paper Example
An abstract is an executive summary of the research paper that includes the purpose of the research, the design of the study, and significant research findings.
It is a small section that is based on a few paragraphs. Following is an example of the abstract to help you draft yours professionally.
Abstract Research Paper Sample (PDF)
Literature Review Research Paper Example
A literature review in a research paper is a comprehensive summary of the previous research on your topic. It studies sources like books, articles, journals, and papers on the relevant research problem to form the basis of the new research.
Writing this section of the research paper perfectly is as important as any part of it.
Literature Review in Research Sample (PDF)
Methods Section of Research Paper Example
The method section comes after the introduction of the research paper that presents the process of collecting data. Basically, in this section, a researcher presents the details of how your research was conducted.
Methods Section in Research Sample (PDF)
Research Paper Conclusion Example
The conclusion is the last part of your research paper that sums up the writerâs discussion for the audience and leaves an impression. This is how it should be drafted:
Research Paper Conclusion Sample (PDF)
Research Paper Examples for Different Fields
The research papers are not limited to a particular field. They can be written for any discipline or subject that needs a detailed study.
In the following section, various research paper examples are given to show how they are drafted for different subjects.
Science Research Paper Example
Are you a science student that has to conduct research? Here is an example for you to draft a compelling research paper for the field of science.
Science Research Paper Sample (PDF)
History Research Paper Example
Conducting research and drafting a paper is not only bound to science subjects. Other subjects like history and arts require a research paper to be written as well. Observe how research papers related to history are drafted.
History Research Paper Sample (PDF)
Psychology Research Paper Example
If you are a psychology student, look into the example provided in the research paper to help you draft yours professionally.
Psychology Research Paper Sample (PDF)
Research Paper Example for Different Levels
Writing a research paper is based on a list of elements. If the writer is not aware of the basic elements, the process of writing the paper will become daunting. Start writing your research paper taking the following steps:
- Choose a topic
- Form a strong thesis statement
- Conduct research
- Develop a research paper outline
Once you have a plan in your hand, the actual writing procedure will become a piece of cake for you.
No matter which level you are writing a research paper for, it has to be well structured and written to guarantee you better grades.
If you are a college or a high school student, the examples in the following section will be of great help.
Research Paper Outline (PDF)
Research Paper Example for College
Pay attention to the research paper example provided below. If you are a college student, this sample will help you understand how a winning paper is written.
College Research Paper Sample (PDF)
Research Paper Example for High School
Expert writers of CollegeEssay.org have provided an excellent example of a research paper for high school students. If you are struggling to draft an exceptional paper, go through the example provided.
High School Research Paper Sample (PDF)
Examples are essential when it comes to academic assignments. If you are a student and aim to achieve good grades in your assignments, it is suggested to get help from CollegeEssay.org .
We are the best writing company that helps students by providing free samples and writing assistance. Professional writers have your back, whether you are looking for guidance in writing a lab report, college essay, or research paper.
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Research Paper Example – Samples for Students
- 1. Research Paper- Defined
- 2. Preparing an Outline for Research Paper Writing
- 3. Research Paper Example
- 4. Summing Up
Research papers are not restricted to a particular field. Thus, it remains a hard nut to crack to manage the diversity of research papers. Looking at a research paper example will give you an idea of ‘ Writing my paper for me ‘ . Let us begin with what is a research paper and then take a look at the example.
Research Paper- Defined
A research paper is the final outcome of a research process that involves synthesis of research, critical analysis, evaluation of sources, organization, and composition. To develop a research paper, one must have a strong knowledge of the topic along with critical thinking and analytical skills. As a student, you may be required to write different types of research papers like a survey research paper, argumentative research paper, cause-and-effect research paper, analytical research paper, reports research paper, interpretative research paper, experimental research paper, etc.
To get started with research paper writing, it is always better to draft a research paper outline . Continue reading to know when and how to prepare a research paper outline.
Preparing an Outline for Research Paper Writing
A rough representation of the research paper is called an outline. To prepare an outline, the very first step is to finalize the best one from the best research paper topics . Choosing a topic, undoubtedly, will be time taking and brain-wracking. Thereafter, you have to move into an in-depth study of the chosen topic. This means you have to look for data that can be from primary or secondary sources, study previous research conducted on the topic which gives you background knowledge on the topic, review the materials related to the topic and compile and organize all the information you have collected. While researching, make sure you conduct wide research and take into consideration the ones that are significant, relevant, valid, and original.
Reviewing the related literature, you will come across a gap in previous studies, or an issue that hasn’t been addressed. This helps in developing a strong research question which in turn helps to craft a strong thesis statement.
So, after you have collected the relevant information, developed the research question, and prepared a thesis, it’s time to organize everything into a formal structure which is an outline. The outline adheres to a standardized format. But mostly has the following components that are presented in form of headings and points. Each heading and subheading contain a brief description of the same.
- Research Paper Abstract : A summary of your paper is written at the end of your paper.
- Introduction : Contains the topic description, research problem, and thesis statement.
- Literature Review : Contains the background information about the topic- what has already been studied, and what has been found.
- Research Methodology : This contains the research methodology framework you have designed that includes the approach, strategy, methods of data collection, and analysis.
- Data Analysis : Contains what you are analyzing, and how you are analyzing. This is a crucial step in your study as you have to examine every piece of data in detail to develop or discover essential features or meanings.
- Results : Results are findings and implications that your analysis indicates.
- Conclusion : You once again go over the thesis statement and rest of the paper in the conclusion paragraph. Restate the objectives and summarize the findings and what the study has accomplished.
- References : Contains all the sources you have consulted according to the citation format instructed.
Research Paper Example
Topic: The Correlation Between Anxiety and Academic Performance
Abstract: In the research paper abstract, the gist of the research paper is provided. You briefly state the significance of your study, objectives of the study, research methodology and outcomes.
The objective of this research was to observe the relationship between anxiety and academic performance among postgraduate students. A total of 206 students were chosen at random from different departments at a major university in Pahang. State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) was used to measure the level of anxiety. And the performance of students was measured through the Grade Point Average (GPA). The Test Anxiety Inventory was used to collect data (TAI). For data analysis, Pearson correlation, regression analyses, and multivariate statistics were used. It was discovered that test anxiety levels and achievement scores have a significant negative association. Academic anxiety is caused more by a cognitive aspect (concern) than by affective factors, according to the findings (emotional). As a result, it can be stated that test anxiety is one of the variables contributing to students’ underachievement and poor performance, but it may also be overcome.
Introduction: The introduction sets out to define the subject of the study. The importance of the study is addressed here along with a thesis statement that asserts the objective and position of the paper.
In our competitive environment, tests and examinations at all levels of education, particularly at the higher education level, have been deemed a significant and powerful tool for decision making, with people of all ages being evaluated on their achievement, skills, and abilities. Students with anxiety disorders have a lethargic attitude toward their academics, exhibiting a lack of enthusiasm in learning, poor exam achievement, and poor assignment performance. Anxious students have a shorter memory span, lose concentration, lack confidence, and have weak reasoning abilities. External elements such as the examination hall setting; examiner behavior, and internal factors such as the structuring of questions in a test, sufficient context explanation, and so on have all been suggested by the researchers as ways to reduce anxiety associated with tests and study. Despite these efforts, several studies have identified anxiety as one of the leading causes of student underachievement and poor performance at various stages of their educational careers.
Literature Review: If wondering how to write a literature review , let us tell you that the background is where you start to discuss the topic in more detail. What motivated you to research this topic? What are the previous research findings? Give a review of the existing knowledge in the area of your study.
Anxiety is a psychophysiology issue. Symptoms include psychological, bodily, and environmental difficulties. Excessive worrying, a sensation of fear, highly sensitive responses, restlessness, and negative thinking are all examples of anxiety. Physiological arousal and cognitive anxiety are two elements of study anxiety.
Students of higher levels have a responsibility for maintaining their peak academic performance. This anxiety develops through an overdemanding syllabus or insensible teaching. Studies depicted that students having higher levels of anxiety had a lower academic performance. Studies have also revealed that anxiety has a detrimental effect causing a decrease in memory and reasoning in students, consistent feelings of stress, tension, and fear, and also affecting their nervous system. Previous research observed that students’ academic performance is affected by personal efforts, peer interaction, time management, environment, completion of assignments, study groups, teaching style, and class attendance. Although, studies have also revealed that improved academic performance relies on effective studying and motivation. Further studies suggested that students who had a feeling of satisfaction and had low anxiety levels performed better in academics.
Research Methodology: This is where you state how you have conducted your research, thoroughly describe the procedure, sample, materials, and methods.
Participants: The sample in this study is postgraduate students at Pahang University. Students having low academic performance were tested for measuring their anxiety levels. A total of 206 students, 96 male and 110 female students with low academic scores participated in the test. Students who participated were between the age of 22-26 and belonged to socioeconomic and diverse ethnic backgrounds.
Measurement: STAI was used to measure the level of anxiety. The STAI has 40 questions with two subscales. The s-Anxiety scale (Form Y-1) contains 20 statements that quantify how respondents feel about anxiety right now. In response to the T-anxiety scale (Form Y-2) that contains 20 statements to evaluate how they generally feel about being anxious. These forms required students to identify each statement and determine the intensity of their emotions based on four types of ranges.
Procedure: We collected the data using the Test Anxiety Inventory from the university. Thereafter, we randomly selected students who had lower GPAs from different departments. The students upon selection were given questionnaires that they answered.
Data Analysis: This is where you describe your analysis techniques. What are you analyzing? What tools or methods you have utilized to analyze the data?
With the help of the Pearson correlation, regression analysis, and multivariate statistics, we examined the relationship between anxiety and academic performance. We assessed the significant coefficient and correlation coefficient to determine the results.
Table 1 : Interpretation of STAI and GPA level
Table 2 : Demographics of Respondents
Table 3 : Correlation between Anxiety and Academic Performance
Results: In this section, you clearly mention your findings. You can use tables, charts, graphs etc., to demonstrate the results where it is necessary.
Results show a significant correlation between low academic performance and high study and test anxiety. It proves that students who have a higher anxiety level tend to perform lower than others who have a lower anxiety level. All the 206 students had GPAs below 2.51 and had anxiety levels above 95. The results support previous studies where anxiety played an important role in students’ academic performance and learning. The causes for study and test anxiety or academic anxiety are identified to be the stress to perform better, peer pressure, family pressure, fear of failure, and other factors. Anxiety creates a lack of confidence, reduces self-motivation, and increases worry among students.
Discussion and Conclusion: In this section, you discuss the results of your study, relate it with the thesis and summarize your study.
Academic anxiety that is related to studies and examinations has a detrimental effect on the students. Furthermore, it is reiterated through the findings that the pressure of scoring higher on exams, fear of failing, and consequences of failure were the main reasons for cognitive anxiety. The possible remedies for reducing the anxiety level can be relaxation training, coaching, counseling, mental stimulations, positive thinking, seeking social support, self-instructional training, affirmation, modalities, use of humor, and skills training.
To summarize the discussion, we can conclude that anxiety related to study and tests have a direct impact on the students’ academic performance. To manage this anxiety effectively, teachers and parents can help students by using cognitive and behavioral strategies. Furthermore, the faculty and departmental administrators must inform students about the curriculum, semester duration, and level of dedication required to complete the course. Therefore, it is important to identify and consider students having a higher level of anxiety must be treated to improve their academic performance.
References: In the last part of the research paper, there should be a section “works cited”, “references” or “bibliography”. All the sources used should be mentioned in this section according to the citation format specified by the instructor.
Hopefully, this article and the research paper example will help you acquire a better understanding of how to compose a research paper. Good planning, in-depth research, and critical thinking will help you achieve good grades in your research paper assignment. But in case you are still struggling with composing a research paper or have doubts about other assignments, such as how to write reflection paper then feel free to get in touch with us. PenMyPaper is a leading essay writing service and we assure to deliver you a high-quality research paper within your required time frame. Research paper structure or dissertation structure , if you are stuck anywhere, all you have to do is ask our professionals to write a paper and get your paper done easily.
Home » Academic Paper – Format, Example and Writing Guide
Academic Paper – Format, Example and Writing Guide
Table of Contents
Academic paper is a written document that presents the findings of a research study or scholarly inquiry in a formal manner. It is typically written by researchers or scholars and is intended to communicate their research findings to their peers or the academic community at large.
Types of Academic Paper
There are several types of academic papers that are commonly assigned in academic settings, including:
- Research papers : These are papers that involve the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data to answer a research question or test a hypothesis.
- Review papers: These are papers that synthesize and analyze existing research on a particular topic to provide a comprehensive overview of the field.
- Case studies: These are papers that examine a particular instance or example in-depth, often used in business or law settings.
- Essays : These are papers that provide a well-organized argument or analysis of a topic, often used in literature or philosophy courses.
- Lab reports : These are papers that document experiments conducted in a laboratory setting and include detailed observations, methods, results, and conclusions.
- Thesis and dissertations : Thesis are long-form research papers that are typically required for advanced degrees, such as a Master’s or PhD.
- White papers : These are papers that provide detailed information about a particular product, service, or issue, often used in marketing or policy settings.
- Position papers : These are papers that present a particular point of view or stance on a controversial issue, often used in political or social settings.
- Literature reviews : These are papers that critically evaluate and summarize the research literature on a particular topic, often used in social and health sciences.
- Conference papers : These are papers presented at academic conferences, which typically focus on recent research and developments in a particular field.
- Book reviews: These are papers that provide a critical analysis and evaluation of a book, often used in literature or history courses.
- Personal statements : These are papers that are used in applications for academic programs or scholarships, in which the author describes their background, interests, and qualifications.
- Reflection papers: These are papers in which the author reflects on their own experiences or observations related to a particular topic, often used in education or social work courses.
- Policy papers : These are papers that provide recommendations or proposals for addressing a particular policy issue, often used in political science or public policy courses.
- Technical reports : These are papers that provide detailed information about a technical project or process, often used in engineering or computer science settings.
Academic Paper Format
Academic papers typically follow a specific format, although it can vary depending on the discipline or journal. Here is a general outline of the components that are commonly included:
- Title page : This should include the title of the paper, the author’s name, and their affiliation (e.g. university or organization).
- Abstract : This is a brief summary of the paper, typically around 150-250 words. It should provide an overview of the research question, methods, results, and conclusions.
- Introduction : This section should introduce the topic of the paper and provide some background information. It should also include a clear research question or hypothesis.
- Literature review : This section should review the existing research on the topic and explain how the current study contributes to the field.
- Methodology : This section should describe the methods used in the study, including the sample, measures, and procedures.
- Results : This section should present the findings of the study, typically using tables and figures to display the data.
- Discussion : This section should interpret the results and discuss their implications. It should also address the research question or hypothesis and explain how the findings contribute to the field.
- Conclusion : This section should summarize the main findings and their implications, and suggest directions for future research.
- References: This section should list all the sources cited in the paper, following a specific citation style (e.g. APA, MLA).
Example of Academic Paper
Example Sample of Academic Paper is as follows:
- Running head: TITLE OF PAPER
- Title of paper
- Author’s name
- Institutional affiliation
- A brief summary of the paper’s main points, including the research question, methods, results, and conclusions
- Should be no more than 250 words
- Introduce the research question and provide background information
- Discuss the significance of the research question and how it relates to previous research in the field
- Provide a clear and concise thesis statement
- Describe the research design, including the participants, procedures, and materials used
- Explain how data was collected and analyzed
- Present the findings of the study in a clear and organized manner
- Use tables and figures to visually represent the data
- Interpret the results and explain their significance
- Discuss how the findings relate to the research question and previous research in the field
- Identify limitations of the study and suggest directions for future research
- List all sources cited in the paper, formatted according to APA style guidelines.
When to Write Academic Paper
There are several occasions when you might want to write an academic paper, including:
- Coursework : In many academic programs, you’ll be required to write papers as part of your coursework. This may include essays, research papers, case studies, or other types of academic writing.
- Conference presentations: If you’re a researcher, you may want to present your work at academic conferences. Writing an academic paper can help you organize your thoughts and prepare for your presentation.
- Journal publications: Publishing a paper in a peer-reviewed academic journal is an important way to share your research with the broader academic community. This can help you build your reputation as a scholar and may be required for promotion or tenure.
- Grant proposals: When applying for research funding, you may need to submit a proposal that includes a research paper outlining your research question, methodology, and expected results.
- Thesis or dissertation: If you’re pursuing a graduate degree, you’ll likely need to write a thesis or dissertation, which will require extensive research and academic writing.
Purpose of Academic Paper
Academic papers serve several purposes, including:
- Contribution to knowledge : One of the primary purposes of academic papers is to contribute to the existing body of knowledge on a particular topic. By conducting research and presenting new findings, scholars and researchers can build upon previous work and expand our understanding of a subject.
- Communication: Academic papers allow researchers to communicate their findings to a wider audience, including other scholars, students, and policymakers. Through publications, academic papers can reach a broader audience and have a greater impact on society.
- Validation and peer review: Academic papers are subjected to rigorous peer review by other experts in the field. This process helps ensure the accuracy and validity of the research and helps maintain the quality of academic work.
- Career advancement : Publishing academic papers is often a requirement for career advancement in academia. Researchers who publish frequently are more likely to receive grants, promotions, and tenure.
- Preservation of knowledge : Academic papers are often archived and made available for future generations to study and learn from. They can provide a record of research and scholarship that can be used to build upon in the future.
- Development of critical thinking skills : The process of writing an academic paper requires careful analysis, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. By engaging in this process, researchers can develop their abilities to think deeply and systematically about complex topics.
- Influence on policy: Academic papers can have a significant impact on policy decisions. Policymakers often rely on academic research to inform their decisions, and researchers who are able to communicate their findings effectively can have a real-world impact.
- Advancement of science and technology : Many academic papers are focused on advancing science and technology. By publishing research on new technologies or breakthroughs in scientific understanding, researchers can help drive innovation and progress in these fields.
- Education and training: Academic papers are often used as educational resources in universities and other academic settings. They can provide students with valuable insights into research methods, data analysis, and academic writing.
- Building collaborations: Collaborations and partnerships can be built through academic papers. Researchers working on similar topics can connect through publications, leading to further research and collaboration opportunities.
Advantages of Academic Paper
Academic papers have several advantages, including:
- Sharing knowledge : Academic papers are an effective way to share knowledge with other scholars and researchers in a particular field. Through publication, ideas and findings can be disseminated to a wider audience and contribute to the advancement of knowledge in a particular discipline.
- Building credibility : Publishing academic papers can help researchers establish credibility and demonstrate expertise in their field. By contributing to the scholarly conversation, researchers can gain recognition and respect from their peers.
- Facilitating collaboration: Academic papers can foster collaboration between researchers who share similar interests and can lead to new research partnerships and collaborations.
- Providing feedback: Academic papers often go through a peer-review process, which allows for constructive feedback from other experts in the field. This feedback can help researchers refine their ideas, strengthen their arguments, and improve the quality of their work.
- Career advancement: Publishing academic papers can be important for career advancement in academia. It is often a requirement for promotion and tenure, and can also help researchers secure funding for future research projects.
- Preservation of knowledge : Academic papers are often archived and preserved, ensuring that the knowledge and findings they contain are accessible to future generations of researchers and scholars.
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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.
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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
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 December 2, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/research-paper/research-paper-format/
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