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Types of Formatting for Academic Papers

Teachers commonly require academic papers to assess a student’s comprehension of a topic. Academic assessments often come in the form of research papers, which are defined as a person’s thoughts or perception of a topic based on thorough analysis. When writing an academic paper, be mindful of the following things.

Common Types of Academic Papers

Definition Papers

Definition papers describe an idea from a factual perspective. These papers do not contain opinion or emotion. Although you may gather facts from different sources, the information is simply stated and supported. However, a definition paper can provide a good framework for persuasive, argumentative, or analytical papers.

Argumentative Papers

Argumentative Papers

Argumentative papers present two sides of a scenario in one paper. Most good argumentative papers include in-text citations from different researchers and logical facts in support of both sides of the argument. Ultimately, these facts should conclude and culminate your analysis with the pros and cons of each side. The challenge in writing an argumentative paper is that while you are advocating for one side over the other, the way in which you present both arguments must remain neutral and factual.

Persuasive Papers

Persuasive papers choose a stance and provide logical arguments to defend that stance. Unlike argumentative papers, persuasive papers do not need to present ideas that support any opposing stance. It can also include more emotional and perspective-based opinions.

Purpose of Academic Paper Formats

When writing academic papers, the way you present your paper is crucial. Using the proper citing, referencing, and quoting of your sources allow for you to communicate your ideas in a manner that is shared by others in your field.

Some of these formats include:

Chicago Manual of Style

Chicago Manual of Style

The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) is predominantly used in humanities, particularly literature, history, or the arts.

Modern Language Association Style
The Modern Language Association Style (MLA) is also popular with students of humanities. Artists, linguists, and theatre students have been using MLA for over 500 years.

American Psychological Association Style

American Psychological Association Style

The American Psychological Association Style (APA) is a set of rules and guidelines established by the American Psychological Association. This format is popular among students and practitioners of psychology, sociology, social work, and medicine.

When working on your research paper, remember to pay extra attention to the way you format your source materials. Use the handouts that your teachers give you, or any online reference materials to ensure that all formatting is accurate.

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