Research Paper Format Template


This is a very brief synopsis of the entire paper, stating what the issue is and some idea of the approach or analysis used.  You may also wish to state what you intend to show in this paper. The abstract will be a single paragraph.

Title of the Paper


This is the start of your paper.  The first paragraph should briefly introduce the problem or issues, without too much detail.  Briefly state what you intend to show in this paper. All should be double-spaced, as shown in this format sample. Margins are 1” on all sides. Add a page header as shown. Use fonts and font sizes exactly as shown in this document.

Paragraph two should outline the structure of your paper, in a fashion similar to this.  This paper is organized as follows. Section 1 presents a detailed description of the problem or issue, Section 2 describes…, and Section N presents conclusions. This part of the paper should be only one or two paragraphs long.  Generally, two paragraphs is sufficient for the introduction.

2.  BACKGROUND AND SIGNIFICANCE  (or whatever is appropriate for your topic)

Major section numbers should then commence, using the heading formats shown below.  Any figures or charts should be small in size, and may not be counted in the page count.  They should be labeled “Figure a.b” where a represents the section number, and b represents the sequential numbering of figures within that section.

2.1 Section subheading

You must have a minimum of five separate references, from different sources (i.e., do not use five web pages from the same web site). References must be done in APA style, and should start on new page, but in-line citations and reference numbering will be done in the IEEE fashion. References should be dated within the past 3 years.  Each reference is double-spaced as shown at the end of this format document. References should appear in the References section in the order in which they are used in the body of the paper [1], not alphabetically.  Inline citations should use reference document numbers instead of author names [2].  An easy way to get the References format correct is to use the Citation Machine web site to build your references, located at   At the top of this page, select APA, then select the type of reference (journal, book, etc.).  Then enter the information on the associated screen, and let this web site build the correct reference format for you, which can then be copied and pasted into your References section.  Build the references as you write the paper, so that you will not have to go back and determine the source of the material in your paper. You can also use Microsoft Word’s reference generator.

Web-based references are permissible, but should be solid articles, not blogs, forum posts, or multimedia links (unless absolutely central to your topic). ). Do not use Wikipedia, Yahoo Answers, or other non-academic encyclopedias or answer sites.  Dictionaries do not count as one of your five references. If the web article is from a newspaper for journal site, treat the article as if it is a print reference.  If you have problems determining how to cite a source, contact the instructor for assistance.

If a single reference is used more than once in the paper, its number remains the same throughout the paper.  Do not list the same reference more than once in the References section.

For the purposes of this assignment, page count should consider only the body of the paper.  Do not count the Title page, abstract page, reference page(s), or diagrams/images when determining if you have met the page count requirements. Minimum page count for this assignment is 5 pages double-spaced. Maximum is 8 pages double-spaced. Images should not be used in this research paper.

A research paper should never use first person (I, me, my) or second person (you, yours).  Only third person should be used. It should not have a chatty tone as might be found in a magazine column, but should be a formal, educational tone.  Your goal is to inform the reader about the topic, give him/her an in-depth understanding, and then present your conclusions. The paper should have minimal “what is” or “how to”, because this paper’s audience is echnologically savvy, and the paper’s goal is to do an ethical and global analysis of your issue.

Direct quotes from your references should almost never be used.  You must demonstrate that you can research, read, understand, and discuss your topic in your own words. Cobbling together a set of quoted passages will earn a grade of F, regardless of the use of citations.

Make frequent backups of your paper as you work on it.  You may choose to leave the formatting details until the very end, but plan at least an hour or two to get the formatting correct. Remember the Undo button when Word does not understand what you intended for it to do.

Anti-plagiarism software will be used to check your paper, and all references will be also be checked for accuracy.  Simply changing a few words in each sentence and adding a citation is not acceptable – it is plagiarism.  You are expected to read and understand the material, and be able to express it in your own words.  When you do so, you will still use a citation to give credit to the original author of the material. Plagiarism will result in heavy penalties. For more detailed information on what constitutes plagiarism, please take 15 minutes to read these articles to avoid a failing grade on the paper:

  1. What is plagiarism?

  1. Types of plagiarism:

  1. Plagiarism FAQs:

  1. What is citation?

2. 2 Section subheading

This shows the numbering for subsections.


3.1 Section subheading

Remember that the main purpose of your paper is to perform a global analysis of your topic  and an ethical analysis of all sides of the issue.  Present your global analysis by contrasting how your topic effects / is handled in at least two different countries or regions; you must mention at least two different countries (or regions) by name and give concrete examples! This is the main focus for the paper. For your ethical analysis, give a one or two sentence description of the ethical theory approach(es) that will be used. Then show how using this ethical theory approach can lead to a conclusion that the issue is ethical or unethical. The ethical analysis may be a separate section, or it may be woven into the analysis as the various aspects of the issue are presented. If your paper does not use an ethical theory and include a global analysis of the issue, the paper will not earn a good grade. The majority of your paper should NOT be about what the technology is or how it works.  The majority of your paper should be an exploration and analysis of the global and ethical issues. Be sure to clearly indicate why technology created or helped to create this ethical issue.

N. CONCLUSIONS  (substitute the appropriate section number for N and remove this note)

Paragraph(s) which summarizes your paper. Tell what you have shown and make conclusions. The paper does not have to take a position on whether the issue it presented is ethical or not.  This section may simply recap what has been presented in the paper.  Don’t forget to use the spell checker and grammar checker available in Microsoft Word.  The overall quality of your writing is also being graded.


  • Cheng, P., Kilis, D., & Knight, F. (1997). Knowledge assessment using fuzzy conceptual representation. Proceedings of the 1997 ACM symposium on Applied Computing, 3-9. (sample to show formatting only)
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