APA Title Page (Cover Page) Format, Example, & Templates

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Editor-in-Chief for Simply Psychology

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In APA Style (7th edition), the cover page, or title page, should include:
  • A running head (professional papers only) and page number
  • The title of the paper
  • The name of the author(s)
  • The institutional affiliation
  • An author note; optional (professional papers only)
  • A student paper should also include course information
Note : APA 7 provides slightly different directions for formatting the title pages of professional papers (e.g., those intended for scholarly publication) and student papers (e.g., those turned in for credit in a high school or college course).

Professional paper APA title page

An example of an APA format reference page

Student paper APA title page

An example of an APA format reference page

Formatting an APA title page

Note : All text on the title page should be double-spaced and typed in either 12-point, Times New Roman font. In the 7th edition, APA increaded the flexibility regarding font options: which now include Calibri 11, Arial 11, Lucida Sans Unicode 10, Times New Roman 12, or Georgia 11. All words should be centered, and capitalize the first letter of important words.

Running Head

In the 7th edition of the APA style manual, running heads are only required for professional papers that are being submitted for publication (student papers do not require a running head, but still need a page number).

Your title page should contain a running head that is flush left at the top of the page and a page number that is flush right at the top of the page.

Place the running head in the page’s header:

  • The running head is the abbreviated title of the paper (IN UPPERCASE LETTERS) aligned left on the page header of all pages, including the title page. APA (7th edition) guidelines require that running heads be a maximum of 50 characters (spaces count as characters).
  • The “Running head:” label used in the APA sixth edition is no longer used.
  • Place the page number in this same header, but align right, beginning with page number 1 on the title page.
  • This header should be 1 inch from the top. Some instructors allow for 1/2 inch, too, but the default is 1 inch.

Paper Title

Position the title of the paper in the upper half of the page. The title should be centered and written in boldface, and important words should be capitalized.

The APA recommends that your title should be a maximum of 12 words and should not contain abbreviations or words that serve no purpose.

Author Name(s)

Institutional affiliation.

Position the school or university’s name below the author(s) name, centered.

A student paper should also include the course number and name, instructor name, and assignment due date.

Further Information

  • APA Student Title Page Guide
  • APA Referencing
  • How to Write a Lab Report
  • Essay Writing Guide for Psychology Students
  • APA Style Citations & References
  • Example of an APA Formatted Paper

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title page in research paper example

What is an APA Title Page?

An APA Title Page refers to

  • a Title Page for a longer document that is formatted according to the conventions prescribed by the American Psychological Association’s Publication Manual .

The title page is comprised of four elements and two optional elements:

Related Concepts: Archive; Scholarly Conversation; Organization

The Title Page appears at the top of the first page of an APA-styled paper.

Like the rest of the paper, the title page should be double-spaced and typed in Times New Roman, 12 pt. The margins are set at 1” on all sides.

Summary of Required & Optional Elements

  • Page number
  • Full title of paper
  • Author byline (aka bio)
  • Affiliated Institution(s) or Organization(s)
  • Running head: The running head became optional in the 7th Edition of the Publication Manual.
  • Author note

Required Components

  • The full title of the paper is centered in the upper half of the page, and the first letter of each major word is capitalized. The paper’s title should be a maximum of 12 words and fill one or two lines; avoid using abbreviations and unnecessary words. Do not format the title with bold, italics, underlining, or quotation marks. The title should be centered in the upper portion of the page, centered, and written in boldface. Make sure to capitalize the major words of the title, such as The Silence of the Lambs . Keep your title as concise as possible! You’ll have plenty of time to be detailed in the body text.
  • The author byline is comprised of the author(s)’ first name(s), middle initial(s), and last name(s); this line follows after the full title of the research paper. Note that two authors are separated by the word and, but more than two authors’ names are separated by commas. Do not include titles, degrees, or honorifics (Mr., Mrs., Mx., etc.).
  • List the institutional affiliation of the author(s) involved with the research paper. Include the name of the college or university you attend, or the name of the organization(s) that provided support for your research.

Optional Components

  • Running head (or shortened title) and label – Optional In accordance with APA 7th Edition updates, student papers typically no longer include a running head. If you are unsure about the need for a running head, be sure to consult with your professor. The running head and label is flush with the upper left-hand corner of the title page, while the page number is flush with the upper right-hand corner of the page. The label “Running head” should only appear on the title page; on all other pages, simply include the shortened title of the paper. All letters of the running head should be capitalized and should not exceed 50 characters, including punctuation, letters, and spaces. Example: EFFECTS OF NUTRITION ON MEMORY
  • If you are a student, check to see whether your professor asked you to add any additional information in the Author note slot. Some professors require further information, including the date of submission, course number or title, or name of the professor. If your instructor requires you to include an author’s note, position it in the lower half of the title page. Follow your instructor’s directives regarding additional lines on the title page.

Example: APA Title Page of a Student Work

When creating the Title Page , professional and student papers have slightly different rules for APA. We’ll cover the rules that apply to both types first.

You’ll need to include the course number and name, the name of the professor, and the date your assignment is due. All of this should be done line by line beneath the name of your school.

title page in research paper example

Image courtesy of the APA style guide

Example: APA Title Page of a Professional Work

You’ll need to include an author’s note underneath your institution on the bottom half of the page. There will be a couple of brief paragraphs to write for this note.

  • The first paragraph should have the author’s name and symbol and URL for the ORCID iD. The ORCID iD can be excluded if you don’t have one.
  • The second paragraph should include any changes in the institution or deaths of the authors.
  • The third paragraph should include any disclosures, acknowledgments, or relevant information related to either.
  • The fourth/final paragraph is where you’ll include the contact information for the author.

If any of these paragraphs are irrelevant, there is no need to include them. Simply skip to the next relevant one.

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Home / Guides / Citation Guides / MLA Format / Creating an MLA title page

Creating an MLA title page

If you are writing a research paper in MLA style 9th edition for a class, then you may need to include an MLA format title page. An MLA title page is the cover of your paper, and they aren’t always required. So, how do you make a title page that adheres to the MLA formatting guidelines, and how do you know when you need one?

This page contains all the information you need to know to make the perfect MLA title page, so that you can prove that you are an expert researcher and get the best possible grade. This MLA sample paper will show you how the rest of your paper should be formatted.

Here’s a run-through of everything this page includes:

Title page vs. MLA heading on first page

Title page / cover page, first page: mla heading (no title page), troubleshooting.

The current edition of the Modern Language Association (MLA) handbook does not require a title page , but your teacher, professor, or other reader may require one. In this case, you will need to know the differences between a title page and an MLA heading, and which one to use depending on your reader’s preferences. Other citation styles look slightly different, like this   APA title page .

A title page, or a cover page, is a single page that comes before your MLA abstract (if required) and the content of your paper. It introduces your paper and quickly shows a reader the following information about your paper:

  • author name (your name, since you wrote the paper)
  • course information (if applicable)

It does not include any of the research paper itself.

First page with MLA heading 

MLA format recommends adding an MLA heading to the first page of your paper. This contains the same information as a title page, but the information is formatted differently and is on the same page on which your actual research paper begins.

Unless otherwise specified by your instructor or teacher, this should be how you format your first page.

Before you start typing your MLA research paper title page, you will need to gather some information.

What you will need

If you are creating an MLA heading on the first page of your essay instead of a title page, you will need most of the same information, but you will format it differently.

To create a title page, you need to include:

  • The name of your high school, college, or university (if applicable)
  • The title of your paper
  • The subtitle of your paper (if you have one)
  • Your first and last name
  • Your teacher or professor’s name (if applicable)
  • The class name or course number (if applicable)
  • The date the paper is due (in “day month year” format)

Formatting guidelines

Follow these formatting guidelines when typing your MLA title page:

  • Double-spaced
  • Times New Roman font
  • Size 12 font
  • The first letter of each word should be capitalized, with the exception of very short words such as the, and, of, or, a, an, for, in , etc.  However, the first word should always be capitalized.
  • Do not include a page number heading on your title page

Step-by-step instructions

Here are the steps you need to take to create the perfect MLA title page:

  • At the top of the page, type the name of your high school, college, or university (if applicable).
  • Skip down approximately one-third of the page and type the title of your research paper using title case.
  • If you have a subtitle, type it on the line following the paper title.
  • Skip down to the bottom third of the page and type your first and last name.
  • On the following line, type the course name and number (if applicable).
  • On the following line, type your instructor’s name (if applicable).
  • On the following and final line, type the due date of your paper in “day month year” format.

MLA title page example

Although it’s important to know how to create an MLA essay title page in case your instructor requires it, in most cases you will use an MLA heading on the first page of your paper instead.

Remember, you should only create a title page if your instructor requests it .

Otherwise, use these guidelines to create an MLA heading. If you create a title page, then you usually won’t need an MLA heading on your first page, but you should ask your instructor for their specific requirements.

To create an MLA heading on your first page, you will need to include some of the same information you would use for a title page, including:

  • Left-justified text for MLA header
  • Centered text for title
  • Right-justified text for page number header
  • In the top left corner of the first page of your essay, type your first and last name.
  • On the following line, type the due date of your paper in “day month year” format.
  • On the following line, switch from left-justified text to centered text and type the title (and the subtitle on the same line, if you have one) of your paper in title case. Do not italicize, underline, or place your essay title in quotation marks. Do not use quotation marks unless you are referring to other works in your title and need to enclose the referenced works in quotation marks.
  • Your research paper should begin on the following double-spaced line.
  • Create a right-justified text header one-half inch from the top of your paper that includes your last name and the page number.
  • All pages of your paper should be numbered with your last name and the numerical page number. The page including your MLA header, title, and the beginning of your essay is page one (1).
  • Your instructor may specify not to include a last name and page number header on your first page. Always follow your instructor’s guidelines.

MLA heading first page example

Solution #1: What should I do if my paper is a group project?

If you have written a collaborative paper with multiple authors, list each author on your MLA title page or in your MLA heading in alphabetical order, with line breaks between each.

If your paper has multiple authors, omit the name from your page numbers in the upper-right corner of your MLA-format paper.

Example MLA heading for a group paper:

Group-paper-MLA-heading-example

Example MLA title page for a group paper:

Group-paper-MLA-title-page-example

Solution #2: What should I do if my paper isn’t for a specific class?

If your paper is a thesis project for your degree, for example, or not for a specific class, you can omit that information from your MLA title page or MLA header.

Solution #3: Does my paper need a subtitle if I use a full MLA title page?

While an MLA title page allows for a subtitle beneath the title of your paper, it is NOT required to have a subtitle or make one up for your MLA title page.

If you didn’t intend to have a subtitle for your paper, there is no need to add a subtitle. Just leave that area of your MLA title page blank.

Solution #4: Will my MLA title page be part of my final page count?

A title page is not typically included in a paper’s final word count. Check with the teacher or professor assigning the paper to be sure, but it is highly unlikely a title page will count as a full page of your final paper.

Published October 25, 2020. Updated June 4, 2021

Written by Grace Turney , freelance writer and artist. Grace is a former librarian and has a Master’s degree in Library Science and Information Technology.

MLA Formatting Guide

MLA Formatting

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The title page in MLA style gives basic information such as the name, the instructor’s name, the course name and number, the title of the paper, and the submission date. MLA style does not recommend using a title page unless specifically requested by your instructor; instead, it suggests creating a header.

The difference between a title page and a header in MLA style is that a title page appears as a page on its own before the main paper copy. A header, on the other hand, appears on the same page where paper copy begins.

Include the following elements on a title page. Follow the order as given below.

The university name

The title and subtitle of the paper

The course name and number

The instructor’s name

The submission/due date

If you are not required to create a title page, and only need a header, the following elements should be included in the header, in the order as listed:

While MLA does not generally recommend the use of a title page, some courses or professors may require it. The title page should include the university name, title of the paper, your name, the instructor’s name, the course name, and the submission or due date.

Formatting title page

MLA style does not have any specific guidelines for formatting a title page. However, you can use the below suggestions to format your title page if you are required to create one for your paper.

Page margins

All margins (top, bottom, left, and right) should be set at 1 inch.

The font should be clear and easy to read. A good option is Times New Roman font in size 12 pt.

Text on the title page should be double-spaced.

Elements of a title page

Include the following elements on the title page. Follow the order as given below.

Add a few blank lines before and after the title of the work. The title should be in title case and centered.

Beginning on the title page, the paper should also include a running head. The running head includes the your last name and the page number. This should be placed in the “header” area of the paper so that it is present on each page. Use the page number feature in your word processor so that the page number is generated automatically.

Example title page

Chegg University

Relationship Between Students and Their Teachers

Ishithaa Gopi

Psychology 127

Professor John Smith

21 September 2021

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Step-by-step Guide for a Title Page for a Research Paper

Research Paper Title Page Help

So you have finally done it; writing a research paper. However, just before you begin celebrating your triumph in writing a perfect research paper, the title page begs to be done before you break. Typically, the question of the research paper title comes before you even commence writing your research paper.

There are always two things about a research paper title page. One, it is the page that sets the first impression of your research paper. Thus, it can make the tutor or professor read it first or skip to the next one first. Secondly, the lack of it makes your papers look incomplete.

Any student should invest time and patience in making a presentable, standard, and professional research paper cover page. To say the least, you MUST learn how to format a title page of a research paper to grab the attention of your examiner, professor, or tutor.

Now, while making a title in APA, MLA, Harvard, or Chicago formatting might not be hard, trust us, some people find it otherwise.

In this article, our key focus is on how to make a perfect title page for research paper in MLA and APA formatting styles.

What is a Research Paper Title?

A well written and formatted research paper title page is the first page of your research paper. It bears your research paper title or topic. The title page gives a compressed overview of what to expect in the research paper.

The title page is always structured and formatted according to the citation and formatting style guidelines. For example, when writing a paper in APA, your first page- the research paper title page, must be formatted according to APA title page guidelines. The same applies to MLA, Harvard, and Chicago formats.

Your title page comprises of the running head, research paper topic, page number, student name and number, and student affiliation. During academic writing, you can structure your cover page in more than three standard styles: MLA, APA, and Chicago.

However, your research paper prompt or rubric will outline the instructions of the style to use. Research paper title pages are easy to format, structure, and edit. However, it would help if you had a guideline sometimes.

Format and Features of a Title Page

Now that we?ve defined it let us see the features and formats do we have for a title page of your research paper. If you aspire to score the highest possible grades in your research papers and improve GPA, include these into your research paper topic page:

  • The research paper topic;
  • Your name (the author?s name);
  • Institutional Affiliation (high school, college, or university)
  • Year of submission (Can be the date)

Like we highlighted before, a title page gives a sneak peek into your work. But, the adage demands that we do not judge a book by its cover. Well, is that true in the academic world? Probably to a smaller extent.

You will need to format your research paper title correctly. So, to answer the question of how to write a title page for a research paper accurately, you need a step-by-step guide.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Develop a Research Paper Title Page

  • Always write the research paper cover page first. However, take note of the respective formats.
  • Your title page should be center-aligned, written third way down the document, and must have your full credentials.
  • Ensure that the title is written in title case and that your official name is written.
  • Add your institution's name. The name should be written in full.
  • If the research paper was written by a group or co-authored, ensure that their different institutional affiliations come after the respective names of the authors/writers.
  • Include the name of the course and the course code. The date can always come afterward.

So now that you know the drill on how to make a title page for a research paper, what are some of the ground rules?

Rules on making the best Research Paper Title

Regardless of the formatting style, there are specific rules that you must keep in mind. For a well-written and excellent research paper title page:

  • Your title page should always be center-aligned.
  • The title page must be double-spaced unless the paper you are writing is single-spaced.
  • Maintain a 1-inch margin in all the sides of the paper as is the standard academic writing format.
  • Preferably, use either Times New Roman, font 12 or any font as per the research paper instructions.
  • Ensure your title page is correctly capitalized. When writing the names and topic, make sure you use capital letters where necessary. The conjunctions and pronouns can always take the lower case.
  • As is with writing the other pages of your research paper, the title page should be well-numbered as well.
  • The title of your research paper should be based on the research paper topic chosen and should be clear, catchy, and concise.

So then, let us have a look at the common examples of research paper titles.

APA Research Paper Title Page Guide

A title page for research paper APA format comprises of:

  • Running head plus Topic
  • The Research Paper Title
  • Personal Credentials
  • Page Number

An APA research paper title page has the research paper title halfway through the page. On the header, the APA title page features the Running head and the research paper topic or title. The title or topic should never be past 50 characters.  It also entails the page number.

Consult with your research paper prompt on some of the details to include. Most professors or tutors will list what to add therein.

Research Paper Title Page APA Format Example

If your research paper title is about ?The Impacts of Aviation Industry on Human and Arms Trafficking,? here is what the title page for your research paper should look like.

Running head : AVIATION INDUSTRY AND HUMAN AND ARMS TRAFFICKING (plus the page number aligned to the right of the page)

Title : The Impacts of Aviation Industry on Human and Arms Trafficking

Student Name : Gavin Gray (center aligned)

Institutional Affiliation : New York University (Center-aligned)

Professor/Supervisor : Dr. Langston Wick (Center-aligned)

APA research paper title page

Research Paper Title Page MLA

This is for you if you are wondering how to make a title page in MLA research paper. Kindly note that MLA research paper title pages are rarely asked, which means you can format it like the normal essay cover page in MLA .

The Modern Language Association (MLA) mostly used in humanities and literature also has some standard requirements for a research paper title page. Here are the components:

  • Research paper topic/title.
  • Your name (author?s Name).
  • Course/class.
  • Supervisor?s/instructor?s/Professor?s Name.
  • Date of Submission.

Here is how to make a title page for a research paper, MLA formatting.

  • Use standard Times New Roman font, 12pt when undertaking MLA research paper writing.
  • The MLA research paper title comes a third down the page.
  • Write the title in title case except for the prepositions, conjunctions, and pronouns.
  • If the title of your research paper is a title or a published work, italicize
  • Skip 2-3 lines after the MLA research paper title and write your name
  • Again, skip 2-3 lines down and write the course/class
  • Write the name of your instructor, tutor, or professor.
  • Write the date of submission or the due date.

The Correct MLA Research Paper Title Page Example

If you are writing an MLA research paper on the topic: ?The Causes and Consequences of Anorexia Nervosa among Adolescents,? here is what the title page of your research paper should look like:

Title : The Causes and Consequences of Anorexia Nervosa among Adolescents

Student Name (2-3 lines down) : Gavin Gray

Course/Class Name (2-3 lines down) : Psychology 321

Instructor/Professor/Tutor : Dr. Rhodes McKenzie

MLA research paper title page

You can also have a look at the ASA title page components in our previous articles. We are sure you can learn a thing or two and implement in your research paper title page.

Parting Shot!

You can use these wonderful tips as a college or university student and craft a breathtaking title page. However, if you lack the time to do your research paper, our custom writing service can help.

Our research paper service follows a strict confidentiality and customer satisfaction policy. We have research paper writers with experience in extensive research and research paper writing. Trust us for both APA style formatting and MLA style research papers. 

Related: Titling an article in an essay.

Our team of writers and experts assure you the value for every of your penny. Besides, we have a serious free revision policy that covers you in case the paper has omissions. Still. our quality assurance department is the best among websites that help students write research papers.

You can bring your research papers to us for evaluation, correction, and improvement as well. At an affordable and student-friendly price, get help from the best. We can help you make a title page and write your research paper too !

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13.1 Formatting a Research Paper

Learning objectives.

  • Identify the major components of a research paper written using American Psychological Association (APA) style.
  • Apply general APA style and formatting conventions in a research paper.

In this chapter, you will learn how to use APA style , the documentation and formatting style followed by the American Psychological Association, as well as MLA style , from the Modern Language Association. There are a few major formatting styles used in academic texts, including AMA, Chicago, and Turabian:

  • AMA (American Medical Association) for medicine, health, and biological sciences
  • APA (American Psychological Association) for education, psychology, and the social sciences
  • Chicago—a common style used in everyday publications like magazines, newspapers, and books
  • MLA (Modern Language Association) for English, literature, arts, and humanities
  • Turabian—another common style designed for its universal application across all subjects and disciplines

While all the formatting and citation styles have their own use and applications, in this chapter we focus our attention on the two styles you are most likely to use in your academic studies: APA and MLA.

If you find that the rules of proper source documentation are difficult to keep straight, you are not alone. Writing a good research paper is, in and of itself, a major intellectual challenge. Having to follow detailed citation and formatting guidelines as well may seem like just one more task to add to an already-too-long list of requirements.

Following these guidelines, however, serves several important purposes. First, it signals to your readers that your paper should be taken seriously as a student’s contribution to a given academic or professional field; it is the literary equivalent of wearing a tailored suit to a job interview. Second, it shows that you respect other people’s work enough to give them proper credit for it. Finally, it helps your reader find additional materials if he or she wishes to learn more about your topic.

Furthermore, producing a letter-perfect APA-style paper need not be burdensome. Yes, it requires careful attention to detail. However, you can simplify the process if you keep these broad guidelines in mind:

  • Work ahead whenever you can. Chapter 11 “Writing from Research: What Will I Learn?” includes tips for keeping track of your sources early in the research process, which will save time later on.
  • Get it right the first time. Apply APA guidelines as you write, so you will not have much to correct during the editing stage. Again, putting in a little extra time early on can save time later.
  • Use the resources available to you. In addition to the guidelines provided in this chapter, you may wish to consult the APA website at http://www.apa.org or the Purdue University Online Writing lab at http://owl.english.purdue.edu , which regularly updates its online style guidelines.

General Formatting Guidelines

This chapter provides detailed guidelines for using the citation and formatting conventions developed by the American Psychological Association, or APA. Writers in disciplines as diverse as astrophysics, biology, psychology, and education follow APA style. The major components of a paper written in APA style are listed in the following box.

These are the major components of an APA-style paper:

Body, which includes the following:

  • Headings and, if necessary, subheadings to organize the content
  • In-text citations of research sources
  • References page

All these components must be saved in one document, not as separate documents.

The title page of your paper includes the following information:

  • Title of the paper
  • Author’s name
  • Name of the institution with which the author is affiliated
  • Header at the top of the page with the paper title (in capital letters) and the page number (If the title is lengthy, you may use a shortened form of it in the header.)

List the first three elements in the order given in the previous list, centered about one third of the way down from the top of the page. Use the headers and footers tool of your word-processing program to add the header, with the title text at the left and the page number in the upper-right corner. Your title page should look like the following example.

Beyond the Hype: Evaluating Low-Carb Diets cover page

The next page of your paper provides an abstract , or brief summary of your findings. An abstract does not need to be provided in every paper, but an abstract should be used in papers that include a hypothesis. A good abstract is concise—about one hundred fifty to two hundred fifty words—and is written in an objective, impersonal style. Your writing voice will not be as apparent here as in the body of your paper. When writing the abstract, take a just-the-facts approach, and summarize your research question and your findings in a few sentences.

In Chapter 12 “Writing a Research Paper” , you read a paper written by a student named Jorge, who researched the effectiveness of low-carbohydrate diets. Read Jorge’s abstract. Note how it sums up the major ideas in his paper without going into excessive detail.

Beyond the Hype: Abstract

Write an abstract summarizing your paper. Briefly introduce the topic, state your findings, and sum up what conclusions you can draw from your research. Use the word count feature of your word-processing program to make sure your abstract does not exceed one hundred fifty words.

Depending on your field of study, you may sometimes write research papers that present extensive primary research, such as your own experiment or survey. In your abstract, summarize your research question and your findings, and briefly indicate how your study relates to prior research in the field.

Margins, Pagination, and Headings

APA style requirements also address specific formatting concerns, such as margins, pagination, and heading styles, within the body of the paper. Review the following APA guidelines.

Use these general guidelines to format the paper:

  • Set the top, bottom, and side margins of your paper at 1 inch.
  • Use double-spaced text throughout your paper.
  • Use a standard font, such as Times New Roman or Arial, in a legible size (10- to 12-point).
  • Use continuous pagination throughout the paper, including the title page and the references section. Page numbers appear flush right within your header.
  • Section headings and subsection headings within the body of your paper use different types of formatting depending on the level of information you are presenting. Additional details from Jorge’s paper are provided.

Cover Page

Begin formatting the final draft of your paper according to APA guidelines. You may work with an existing document or set up a new document if you choose. Include the following:

  • Your title page
  • The abstract you created in Note 13.8 “Exercise 1”
  • Correct headers and page numbers for your title page and abstract

APA style uses section headings to organize information, making it easy for the reader to follow the writer’s train of thought and to know immediately what major topics are covered. Depending on the length and complexity of the paper, its major sections may also be divided into subsections, sub-subsections, and so on. These smaller sections, in turn, use different heading styles to indicate different levels of information. In essence, you are using headings to create a hierarchy of information.

The following heading styles used in APA formatting are listed in order of greatest to least importance:

  • Section headings use centered, boldface type. Headings use title case, with important words in the heading capitalized.
  • Subsection headings use left-aligned, boldface type. Headings use title case.
  • The third level uses left-aligned, indented, boldface type. Headings use a capital letter only for the first word, and they end in a period.
  • The fourth level follows the same style used for the previous level, but the headings are boldfaced and italicized.
  • The fifth level follows the same style used for the previous level, but the headings are italicized and not boldfaced.

Visually, the hierarchy of information is organized as indicated in Table 13.1 “Section Headings” .

Table 13.1 Section Headings

A college research paper may not use all the heading levels shown in Table 13.1 “Section Headings” , but you are likely to encounter them in academic journal articles that use APA style. For a brief paper, you may find that level 1 headings suffice. Longer or more complex papers may need level 2 headings or other lower-level headings to organize information clearly. Use your outline to craft your major section headings and determine whether any subtopics are substantial enough to require additional levels of headings.

Working with the document you developed in Note 13.11 “Exercise 2” , begin setting up the heading structure of the final draft of your research paper according to APA guidelines. Include your title and at least two to three major section headings, and follow the formatting guidelines provided above. If your major sections should be broken into subsections, add those headings as well. Use your outline to help you.

Because Jorge used only level 1 headings, his Exercise 3 would look like the following:

Citation Guidelines

In-text citations.

Throughout the body of your paper, include a citation whenever you quote or paraphrase material from your research sources. As you learned in Chapter 11 “Writing from Research: What Will I Learn?” , the purpose of citations is twofold: to give credit to others for their ideas and to allow your reader to follow up and learn more about the topic if desired. Your in-text citations provide basic information about your source; each source you cite will have a longer entry in the references section that provides more detailed information.

In-text citations must provide the name of the author or authors and the year the source was published. (When a given source does not list an individual author, you may provide the source title or the name of the organization that published the material instead.) When directly quoting a source, it is also required that you include the page number where the quote appears in your citation.

This information may be included within the sentence or in a parenthetical reference at the end of the sentence, as in these examples.

Epstein (2010) points out that “junk food cannot be considered addictive in the same way that we think of psychoactive drugs as addictive” (p. 137).

Here, the writer names the source author when introducing the quote and provides the publication date in parentheses after the author’s name. The page number appears in parentheses after the closing quotation marks and before the period that ends the sentence.

Addiction researchers caution that “junk food cannot be considered addictive in the same way that we think of psychoactive drugs as addictive” (Epstein, 2010, p. 137).

Here, the writer provides a parenthetical citation at the end of the sentence that includes the author’s name, the year of publication, and the page number separated by commas. Again, the parenthetical citation is placed after the closing quotation marks and before the period at the end of the sentence.

As noted in the book Junk Food, Junk Science (Epstein, 2010, p. 137), “junk food cannot be considered addictive in the same way that we think of psychoactive drugs as addictive.”

Here, the writer chose to mention the source title in the sentence (an optional piece of information to include) and followed the title with a parenthetical citation. Note that the parenthetical citation is placed before the comma that signals the end of the introductory phrase.

David Epstein’s book Junk Food, Junk Science (2010) pointed out that “junk food cannot be considered addictive in the same way that we think of psychoactive drugs as addictive” (p. 137).

Another variation is to introduce the author and the source title in your sentence and include the publication date and page number in parentheses within the sentence or at the end of the sentence. As long as you have included the essential information, you can choose the option that works best for that particular sentence and source.

Citing a book with a single author is usually a straightforward task. Of course, your research may require that you cite many other types of sources, such as books or articles with more than one author or sources with no individual author listed. You may also need to cite sources available in both print and online and nonprint sources, such as websites and personal interviews. Chapter 13 “APA and MLA Documentation and Formatting” , Section 13.2 “Citing and Referencing Techniques” and Section 13.3 “Creating a References Section” provide extensive guidelines for citing a variety of source types.

Writing at Work

APA is just one of several different styles with its own guidelines for documentation, formatting, and language usage. Depending on your field of interest, you may be exposed to additional styles, such as the following:

  • MLA style. Determined by the Modern Languages Association and used for papers in literature, languages, and other disciplines in the humanities.
  • Chicago style. Outlined in the Chicago Manual of Style and sometimes used for papers in the humanities and the sciences; many professional organizations use this style for publications as well.
  • Associated Press (AP) style. Used by professional journalists.

References List

The brief citations included in the body of your paper correspond to the more detailed citations provided at the end of the paper in the references section. In-text citations provide basic information—the author’s name, the publication date, and the page number if necessary—while the references section provides more extensive bibliographical information. Again, this information allows your reader to follow up on the sources you cited and do additional reading about the topic if desired.

The specific format of entries in the list of references varies slightly for different source types, but the entries generally include the following information:

  • The name(s) of the author(s) or institution that wrote the source
  • The year of publication and, where applicable, the exact date of publication
  • The full title of the source
  • For books, the city of publication
  • For articles or essays, the name of the periodical or book in which the article or essay appears
  • For magazine and journal articles, the volume number, issue number, and pages where the article appears
  • For sources on the web, the URL where the source is located

The references page is double spaced and lists entries in alphabetical order by the author’s last name. If an entry continues for more than one line, the second line and each subsequent line are indented five spaces. Review the following example. ( Chapter 13 “APA and MLA Documentation and Formatting” , Section 13.3 “Creating a References Section” provides extensive guidelines for formatting reference entries for different types of sources.)

References Section

In APA style, book and article titles are formatted in sentence case, not title case. Sentence case means that only the first word is capitalized, along with any proper nouns.

Key Takeaways

  • Following proper citation and formatting guidelines helps writers ensure that their work will be taken seriously, give proper credit to other authors for their work, and provide valuable information to readers.
  • Working ahead and taking care to cite sources correctly the first time are ways writers can save time during the editing stage of writing a research paper.
  • APA papers usually include an abstract that concisely summarizes the paper.
  • APA papers use a specific headings structure to provide a clear hierarchy of information.
  • In APA papers, in-text citations usually include the name(s) of the author(s) and the year of publication.
  • In-text citations correspond to entries in the references section, which provide detailed bibliographical information about a source.

Writing for Success Copyright © 2015 by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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APA Style (7th ed.): Citation Guide

  • Getting Started with APA

Formatting a Paper in APA

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  • Citing Sources in APA
  • APA Citation Examples
  • Other APA Resources
  • Citation Guides Homepage

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  • Sample APA Paper

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  • Paper Formatting
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APA Basic Formatting Rules for Student Papers

The following guidelines are the basic formatting rules outlined in the  APA Publication Manual  7th edition. If your instructor sets different requirements, always use your instructor's guidelines first.

  • clearly legible, regular-sized font
  • recommendations: 12pt Times New Roman, 11pt Arial, 11pt Calibri, 10pt Lucida Sans Unicode, 11pt Georgia
  • double spaced throughout all parts of the paper including title, headings, and footnotes
  • 1-inch margins on all sides
  • Indent the first line of each paragraph by 1/2-inch (tab)
  • left-justified for the body of the paper

Running Head & Page Numbers:

  • not required to include shortened version of the title for student papers- unless requested by your instructor
  • include the page number in the top right corner of all pages

APA Title Page for Student Papers

Page number:.

  • include the page number in the top right margin. (It will be 1 for the Title Page. Continue numbering throughout the paper and References page.)

Heading about a 1/3 of the way down the page:

  • Paper Title : bold, centered
  • Author : your name
  • Institutional Affiliation : Lone Star College- Online
  • Course : your course number and the name of the course (ex. PSYC 2301: General Psychology)
  • Instructor : your instructor's name (ex- Prof. Jane Smith)
  • Due Date:  Month day, year format (ex- January 1, 2024)

APA Headings within the Body of the Paper

Paper title:.

  • include on the first line of the first page of the body of your paper
  • bold and centered

Headings and Sub-headings (use when needed)

  • APA uses a hierarchy of five levels for headings within the paper
  • short paper may not need headings at all

References Page Formatting

The following guidelines are the basic formatting rules outlined in the APA Publication Manual  7th edition. If your instructor sets different requirements, always use your instructor's guidelines first.

  • needs to start on a new page following the end of your paper
  • include the title References centered on the first line of the page
  • everything after the title is left-justified
  • listed in alphabetical order by the first part of the citation (usually the author)
  • double spaced throughout all parts
  • Each citation should have a hanging indent- or it should start at the left margin and then have all lines after it indented by 1/2-inch

Click on the information circles for tips on how to use Microsoft Word to format your paper in APA Style.

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Research paper title page

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The title page of a research paper is one page that provides a lot of information to readers of the paper. This explains why it is usually page number 1 in research papers. A glance through a research paper title page will provide you with vital details such as paper title, author name, affiliations, and more. In these digital times, search engines place a high value on the words that constitute a research paper title. It is those words that form the major search terms for those trying to read papers bothering on the subject matter of your paper.

Perhaps the best way to explain a research paper title page in greater detail is by using an example format from any of the popular citation styles out there. So this post will offer an in-depth explanation with the research paper template of the widely used APA style. All APA Style research papers require a title page. A title page in APA has both student and professional versions.

APA Student research paper title page

In an APA research paper, you’ll find the following information on the student title page:

  • the paper title,
  • author names (the byline),
  • author affiliation,
  • course number and name for which the paper is being submitted,
  • instructor name,
  • assignment due date, and
  • page number.

Below is a sample APA research paper title page for students.

Guidelines for each element of the APA student research paper title page

APA professional research paper title page

The following details make up the professional title page in the APA style.      

  • paper title,
  • author affiliation(s),
  • author note,
  • running head, and

An example is shown below.

title page in research paper example

Guidelines for each element of the APA professional research paper title page

The title page serves an important purpose in research papers. Anyone that goes through this page will immediately obtain vital information about all aspects of the paper. In these internet times, a research paper’s title has become essential for SEO. Being one the first areas an instructor or supervisor will look at, the student should endeavor to format his or her research paper title page efficiently to make a good first impression.

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Research Method

Home » Research Paper Title – Writing Guide and Example

Research Paper Title – Writing Guide and Example

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Research Paper Title

Research Paper Title

Research Paper Title is the name or heading that summarizes the main theme or topic of a research paper . It serves as the first point of contact between the reader and the paper, providing an initial impression of the content, purpose, and scope of the research . A well-crafted research paper title should be concise, informative, and engaging, accurately reflecting the key elements of the study while also capturing the reader’s attention and interest. The title should be clear and easy to understand, and it should accurately convey the main focus and scope of the research paper.

Examples of Research Paper Title

Here are some Good Examples of Research Paper Title:

  • “Investigating the Relationship Between Sleep Duration and Academic Performance Among College Students”
  • “The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Employment: A Systematic Review”
  • “The Effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Anxiety: A Meta-Analysis”
  • “Exploring the Effects of Social Support on Mental Health in Patients with Chronic Illness”
  • “Assessing the Effectiveness of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Depression: A Randomized Controlled Trial”
  • “The Impact of Social Media Influencers on Consumer Behavior: A Systematic Review”
  • “Investigating the Link Between Personality Traits and Leadership Effectiveness”
  • “The Effect of Parental Incarceration on Child Development: A Longitudinal Study”
  • “Exploring the Relationship Between Cultural Intelligence and Cross-Cultural Adaptation: A Meta-Analysis”
  • “Assessing the Effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Chronic Pain Management”.
  • “The Effects of Social Media on Mental Health: A Meta-Analysis”
  • “The Impact of Climate Change on Global Crop Yields: A Longitudinal Study”
  • “Exploring the Relationship between Parental Involvement and Academic Achievement in Elementary School Students”
  • “The Ethics of Genetic Editing: A Review of Current Research and Implications for Society”
  • “Understanding the Role of Gender in Leadership: A Comparative Study of Male and Female CEOs”
  • “The Effect of Exercise on Cognitive Function in Older Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial”
  • “The Impacts of COVID-19 on Mental Health: A Cross-Cultural Comparison”
  • “Assessing the Effectiveness of Online Learning Platforms: A Case Study of Coursera”
  • “Exploring the Link between Employee Engagement and Organizational Performance”
  • “The Effects of Income Inequality on Social Mobility: A Comparative Analysis of OECD Countries”
  • “Exploring the Relationship Between Social Media Use and Mental Health in Adolescents”
  • “The Impact of Climate Change on Crop Yield: A Case Study of Maize Production in Sub-Saharan Africa”
  • “Examining the Effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety Disorders: A Meta-Analysis”
  • “An Analysis of the Relationship Between Employee Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment”
  • “Assessing the Impacts of Wilderness Areas on Local Economies: A Case Study of Yellowstone National Park”
  • “The Role of Parental Involvement in Early Childhood Education: A Review of the Literature”
  • “Investigating the Effects of Technology on Learning in Higher Education”
  • “The Use of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare: Opportunities and Challenges”
  • “A Study of the Relationship Between Personality Traits and Leadership Styles in Business Organizations”.

How to choose Research Paper Title

Choosing a research paper title is an important step in the research process. A good title can attract readers and convey the essence of your research in a concise and clear manner. Here are some tips on how to choose a research paper title:

  • Be clear and concise: A good title should convey the main idea of your research in a clear and concise manner. Avoid using jargon or technical language that may be confusing to readers.
  • Use keywords: Including keywords in your title can help readers find your paper when searching for related topics. Use specific, descriptive terms that accurately describe your research.
  • Be descriptive: A descriptive title can help readers understand what your research is about. Use adjectives and adverbs to convey the main ideas of your research.
  • Consider the audience : Think about the audience for your paper and choose a title that will appeal to them. If your paper is aimed at a specialized audience, you may want to use technical terms or jargon in your title.
  • Avoid being too general or too specific : A title that is too general may not convey the specific focus of your research, while a title that is too specific may not be of interest to a broader audience. Strive for a title that accurately reflects the focus of your research without being too narrow or too broad.
  • Make it interesting : A title that is interesting or provocative can capture the attention of readers and draw them into your research. Use humor, wordplay, or other creative techniques to make your title stand out.
  • Seek feedback: Ask colleagues or advisors for feedback on your title. They may be able to offer suggestions or identify potential problems that you hadn’t considered.

Purpose of Research Paper Title

The research paper title serves several important purposes, including:

  • Identifying the subject matter : The title of a research paper should clearly and accurately identify the topic or subject matter that the paper addresses. This helps readers quickly understand what the paper is about.
  • Catching the reader’s attention : A well-crafted title can grab the reader’s attention and make them interested in reading the paper. This is particularly important in academic settings where there may be many papers on the same topic.
  • Providing context: The title can provide important context for the research paper by indicating the specific area of study, the research methods used, or the key findings.
  • Communicating the scope of the paper: A good title can give readers an idea of the scope and depth of the research paper. This can help them decide if the paper is relevant to their interests or research.
  • Indicating the research question or hypothesis : The title can often indicate the research question or hypothesis that the paper addresses, which can help readers understand the focus of the research and the main argument or conclusion of the paper.

Advantages of Research Paper Title

The title of a research paper is an important component that can have several advantages, including:

  • Capturing the reader’s attention : A well-crafted research paper title can grab the reader’s attention and encourage them to read further. A captivating title can also increase the visibility of the paper and attract more readers.
  • Providing a clear indication of the paper’s focus: A well-written research paper title should clearly convey the main focus and purpose of the study. This helps potential readers quickly determine whether the paper is relevant to their interests.
  • Improving discoverability: A descriptive title that includes relevant keywords can improve the discoverability of the research paper in search engines and academic databases, making it easier for other researchers to find and cite.
  • Enhancing credibility : A clear and concise title can enhance the credibility of the research and the author. A title that accurately reflects the content of the paper can increase the confidence readers have in the research findings.
  • Facilitating communication: A well-written research paper title can facilitate communication among researchers, enabling them to quickly and easily identify relevant studies and engage in discussions related to the topic.
  • Making the paper easier to remember : An engaging and memorable research paper title can help readers remember the paper and its findings. This can be especially important in fields where researchers are constantly inundated with new information and need to quickly recall important studies.
  • Setting expectations: A good research paper title can set expectations for the reader and help them understand what the paper will cover. This can be especially important for readers who are unfamiliar with the topic or the research area.
  • Guiding research: A well-crafted research paper title can also guide future research by highlighting gaps in the current literature or suggesting new areas for investigation.
  • Demonstrating creativity: A creative research paper title can demonstrate the author’s creativity and originality, which can be appealing to readers and other researchers.

About the author

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Muhammad Hassan

Researcher, Academic Writer, Web developer

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What’s Included: Research Paper Template

If you’re preparing to write an academic research paper, our free research paper template is the perfect starting point. In the template, we cover every section step by step, with clear, straightforward explanations and examples .

The template’s structure is based on the tried and trusted best-practice format for formal academic research papers. The template structure reflects the overall research process, ensuring your paper will have a smooth, logical flow from chapter to chapter.

The research paper template covers the following core sections:

  • The title page/cover page
  • Abstract (sometimes also called the executive summary)
  • Section 1: Introduction 
  • Section 2: Literature review 
  • Section 3: Methodology
  • Section 4: Findings /results
  • Section 5: Discussion
  • Section 6: Conclusion
  • Reference list

Each section is explained in plain, straightforward language , followed by an overview of the key elements that you need to cover within each section. We’ve also included links to free resources to help you understand how to write each section.

The cleanly formatted Google Doc can be downloaded as a fully editable MS Word Document (DOCX format), so you can use it as-is or convert it to LaTeX.

FAQs: Research Paper Template

What format is the template (doc, pdf, ppt, etc.).

The research paper template is provided as a Google Doc. You can download it in MS Word format or make a copy to your Google Drive. You’re also welcome to convert it to whatever format works best for you, such as LaTeX or PDF.

What types of research papers can this template be used for?

The template follows the standard best-practice structure for formal academic research papers, so it is suitable for the vast majority of degrees, particularly those within the sciences.

Some universities may have some additional requirements, but these are typically minor, with the core structure remaining the same. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to double-check your university’s requirements before you finalise your structure.

Is this template for an undergrad, Masters or PhD-level research paper?

This template can be used for a research paper at any level of study. It may be slight overkill for an undergraduate-level study, but it certainly won’t be missing anything.

How long should my research paper be?

This depends entirely on your university’s specific requirements, so it’s best to check with them. We include generic word count ranges for each section within the template, but these are purely indicative. 

What about the research proposal?

If you’re still working on your research proposal, we’ve got a template for that here .

We’ve also got loads of proposal-related guides and videos over on the Grad Coach blog .

How do I write a literature review?

We have a wealth of free resources on the Grad Coach Blog that unpack how to write a literature review from scratch. You can check out the literature review section of the blog here.

How do I create a research methodology?

We have a wealth of free resources on the Grad Coach Blog that unpack research methodology, both qualitative and quantitative. You can check out the methodology section of the blog here.

Can I share this research paper template with my friends/colleagues?

Yes, you’re welcome to share this template. If you want to post about it on your blog or social media, all we ask is that you reference this page as your source.

Can Grad Coach help me with my research paper?

Within the template, you’ll find plain-language explanations of each section, which should give you a fair amount of guidance. However, you’re also welcome to consider our private coaching services .

Free Webinar: Literature Review 101

EU AI Act: first regulation on artificial intelligence

The use of artificial intelligence in the EU will be regulated by the AI Act, the world’s first comprehensive AI law. Find out how it will protect you.

A man faces a computer generated figure with programming language in the background

As part of its digital strategy , the EU wants to regulate artificial intelligence (AI) to ensure better conditions for the development and use of this innovative technology. AI can create many benefits , such as better healthcare; safer and cleaner transport; more efficient manufacturing; and cheaper and more sustainable energy.

In April 2021, the European Commission proposed the first EU regulatory framework for AI. It says that AI systems that can be used in different applications are analysed and classified according to the risk they pose to users. The different risk levels will mean more or less regulation. Once approved, these will be the world’s first rules on AI.

Learn more about what artificial intelligence is and how it is used

What Parliament wants in AI legislation

Parliament’s priority is to make sure that AI systems used in the EU are safe, transparent, traceable, non-discriminatory and environmentally friendly. AI systems should be overseen by people, rather than by automation, to prevent harmful outcomes.

Parliament also wants to establish a technology-neutral, uniform definition for AI that could be applied to future AI systems.

Learn more about Parliament’s work on AI and its vision for AI’s future

AI Act: different rules for different risk levels

The new rules establish obligations for providers and users depending on the level of risk from artificial intelligence. While many AI systems pose minimal risk, they need to be assessed.

Unacceptable risk

Unacceptable risk AI systems are systems considered a threat to people and will be banned. They include:

  • Cognitive behavioural manipulation of people or specific vulnerable groups: for example voice-activated toys that encourage dangerous behaviour in children
  • Social scoring: classifying people based on behaviour, socio-economic status or personal characteristics
  • Biometric identification and categorisation of people
  • Real-time and remote biometric identification systems, such as facial recognition

Some exceptions may be allowed for law enforcement purposes. “Real-time” remote biometric identification systems will be allowed in a limited number of serious cases, while “post” remote biometric identification systems, where identification occurs after a significant delay, will be allowed to prosecute serious crimes and only after court approval.

AI systems that negatively affect safety or fundamental rights will be considered high risk and will be divided into two categories:

1) AI systems that are used in products falling under the EU’s product safety legislation . This includes toys, aviation, cars, medical devices and lifts.

2) AI systems falling into specific areas that will have to be registered in an EU database:

  • Management and operation of critical infrastructure
  • Education and vocational training
  • Employment, worker management and access to self-employment
  • Access to and enjoyment of essential private services and public services and benefits
  • Law enforcement
  • Migration, asylum and border control management
  • Assistance in legal interpretation and application of the law.

All high-risk AI systems will be assessed before being put on the market and also throughout their lifecycle.

General purpose and generative AI

Generative AI, like ChatGPT, would have to comply with transparency requirements:

  • Disclosing that the content was generated by AI
  • Designing the model to prevent it from generating illegal content
  • Publishing summaries of copyrighted data used for training

High-impact general-purpose AI models that might pose systemic risk, such as the more advanced AI model GPT-4, would have to undergo thorough evaluations and any serious incidents would have to be reported to the European Commission.

Limited risk

Limited risk AI systems should comply with minimal transparency requirements that would allow users to make informed decisions. After interacting with the applications, the user can then decide whether they want to continue using it. Users should be made aware when they are interacting with AI. This includes AI systems that generate or manipulate image, audio or video content, for example deepfakes.

On December 9 2023, Parliament reached a provisional agreement with the Council on the AI act . The agreed text will now have to be formally adopted by both Parliament and Council to become EU law. Before all MEPs have their say on the agreement, Parliament’s internal market and civil liberties committees will vote on it.

More on the EU’s digital measures

  • Cryptocurrency dangers and the benefits of EU legislation
  • Fighting cybercrime: new EU cybersecurity laws explained
  • Boosting data sharing in the EU: what are the benefits?
  • EU Digital Markets Act and Digital Services Act
  • Five ways the European Parliament wants to protect online gamers
  • Artificial Intelligence Act

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  • How to Write a Research Proposal | Examples & Templates

How to Write a Research Proposal | Examples & Templates

Published on October 12, 2022 by Shona McCombes and Tegan George. Revised on November 21, 2023.

Structure of a research proposal

A research proposal describes what you will investigate, why it’s important, and how you will conduct your research.

The format of a research proposal varies between fields, but most proposals will contain at least these elements:

Introduction

Literature review.

  • Research design

Reference list

While the sections may vary, the overall objective is always the same. A research proposal serves as a blueprint and guide for your research plan, helping you get organized and feel confident in the path forward you choose to take.

Table of contents

Research proposal purpose, research proposal examples, research design and methods, contribution to knowledge, research schedule, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about research proposals.

Academics often have to write research proposals to get funding for their projects. As a student, you might have to write a research proposal as part of a grad school application , or prior to starting your thesis or dissertation .

In addition to helping you figure out what your research can look like, a proposal can also serve to demonstrate why your project is worth pursuing to a funder, educational institution, or supervisor.

Research proposal length

The length of a research proposal can vary quite a bit. A bachelor’s or master’s thesis proposal can be just a few pages, while proposals for PhD dissertations or research funding are usually much longer and more detailed. Your supervisor can help you determine the best length for your work.

One trick to get started is to think of your proposal’s structure as a shorter version of your thesis or dissertation , only without the results , conclusion and discussion sections.

Download our research proposal template

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Writing a research proposal can be quite challenging, but a good starting point could be to look at some examples. We’ve included a few for you below.

  • Example research proposal #1: “A Conceptual Framework for Scheduling Constraint Management”
  • Example research proposal #2: “Medical Students as Mediators of Change in Tobacco Use”

Like your dissertation or thesis, the proposal will usually have a title page that includes:

  • The proposed title of your project
  • Your supervisor’s name
  • Your institution and department

The first part of your proposal is the initial pitch for your project. Make sure it succinctly explains what you want to do and why.

Your introduction should:

  • Introduce your topic
  • Give necessary background and context
  • Outline your  problem statement  and research questions

To guide your introduction , include information about:

  • Who could have an interest in the topic (e.g., scientists, policymakers)
  • How much is already known about the topic
  • What is missing from this current knowledge
  • What new insights your research will contribute
  • Why you believe this research is worth doing

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Professional editors proofread and edit your paper by focusing on:

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title page in research paper example

As you get started, it’s important to demonstrate that you’re familiar with the most important research on your topic. A strong literature review  shows your reader that your project has a solid foundation in existing knowledge or theory. It also shows that you’re not simply repeating what other people have already done or said, but rather using existing research as a jumping-off point for your own.

In this section, share exactly how your project will contribute to ongoing conversations in the field by:

  • Comparing and contrasting the main theories, methods, and debates
  • Examining the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches
  • Explaining how will you build on, challenge, or synthesize prior scholarship

Following the literature review, restate your main  objectives . This brings the focus back to your own project. Next, your research design or methodology section will describe your overall approach, and the practical steps you will take to answer your research questions.

To finish your proposal on a strong note, explore the potential implications of your research for your field. Emphasize again what you aim to contribute and why it matters.

For example, your results might have implications for:

  • Improving best practices
  • Informing policymaking decisions
  • Strengthening a theory or model
  • Challenging popular or scientific beliefs
  • Creating a basis for future research

Last but not least, your research proposal must include correct citations for every source you have used, compiled in a reference list . To create citations quickly and easily, you can use our free APA citation generator .

Some institutions or funders require a detailed timeline of the project, asking you to forecast what you will do at each stage and how long it may take. While not always required, be sure to check the requirements of your project.

Here’s an example schedule to help you get started. You can also download a template at the button below.

Download our research schedule template

If you are applying for research funding, chances are you will have to include a detailed budget. This shows your estimates of how much each part of your project will cost.

Make sure to check what type of costs the funding body will agree to cover. For each item, include:

  • Cost : exactly how much money do you need?
  • Justification : why is this cost necessary to complete the research?
  • Source : how did you calculate the amount?

To determine your budget, think about:

  • Travel costs : do you need to go somewhere to collect your data? How will you get there, and how much time will you need? What will you do there (e.g., interviews, archival research)?
  • Materials : do you need access to any tools or technologies?
  • Help : do you need to hire any research assistants for the project? What will they do, and how much will you pay them?

If you want to know more about the research process , methodology , research bias , or statistics , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.

Methodology

  • Sampling methods
  • Simple random sampling
  • Stratified sampling
  • Cluster sampling
  • Likert scales
  • Reproducibility

 Statistics

  • Null hypothesis
  • Statistical power
  • Probability distribution
  • Effect size
  • Poisson distribution

Research bias

  • Optimism bias
  • Cognitive bias
  • Implicit bias
  • Hawthorne effect
  • Anchoring bias
  • Explicit bias

Once you’ve decided on your research objectives , you need to explain them in your paper, at the end of your problem statement .

Keep your research objectives clear and concise, and use appropriate verbs to accurately convey the work that you will carry out for each one.

I will compare …

A research aim is a broad statement indicating the general purpose of your research project. It should appear in your introduction at the end of your problem statement , before your research objectives.

Research objectives are more specific than your research aim. They indicate the specific ways you’ll address the overarching aim.

A PhD, which is short for philosophiae doctor (doctor of philosophy in Latin), is the highest university degree that can be obtained. In a PhD, students spend 3–5 years writing a dissertation , which aims to make a significant, original contribution to current knowledge.

A PhD is intended to prepare students for a career as a researcher, whether that be in academia, the public sector, or the private sector.

A master’s is a 1- or 2-year graduate degree that can prepare you for a variety of careers.

All master’s involve graduate-level coursework. Some are research-intensive and intend to prepare students for further study in a PhD; these usually require their students to write a master’s thesis . Others focus on professional training for a specific career.

Critical thinking refers to the ability to evaluate information and to be aware of biases or assumptions, including your own.

Like information literacy , it involves evaluating arguments, identifying and solving problems in an objective and systematic way, and clearly communicating your ideas.

The best way to remember the difference between a research plan and a research proposal is that they have fundamentally different audiences. A research plan helps you, the researcher, organize your thoughts. On the other hand, a dissertation proposal or research proposal aims to convince others (e.g., a supervisor, a funding body, or a dissertation committee) that your research topic is relevant and worthy of being conducted.

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McCombes, S. & George, T. (2023, November 21). How to Write a Research Proposal | Examples & Templates. Scribbr. Retrieved February 20, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/research-process/research-proposal/

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  24. How to Write a Research Proposal

    Example research proposal #1: "A Conceptual Framework for Scheduling Constraint Management" Example research proposal #2: "Medical Students as Mediators of Change in Tobacco Use" Title page. Like your dissertation or thesis, the proposal will usually have a title page that includes: The proposed title of your project; Your name; Your ...