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Academic Formatting Outline - Uncommon Formats for Research Papers


We need to be very clear here when we talk about an outline, a format for a research paper. There's a world of difference between an uncommon format and an uncommon topic. You could do yourself a huge favour by choosing an outline and topic and of course writing well. But you could bring yourself seriously undone by choosing an uncommon format for a research paper.

Uncommon topics appeal to teachers and professors. They get huge numbers of research papers on topics which have been used by thousands of students over the years. Coming across an unusual or new topic will, generally speaking, seriously appeal. But the format in which you create your research paper is usually restricted to a variety of well-known patterns.

The APA and the MLA format are both universally understood and requested. Huge numbers of academics require their students to use either of these formats when creating a research paper. Of course if your supervisor asks you to use an uncommon format then by all means go ahead. But be sure you understand exactly what is required.

The thing about formats for research paper writing and for essays in general is that their rules and requirements are set out in black and white. If you ignore these fundamentals, you run the risk of dropping points in the overall score for your paper. Know the formula required for each particular format and obviously the one you are requested to use in creating your research paper.

The surprise element often doesn't work

Some students think that by writing a top research paper but by changing the academic formatting outline, that this will win them brownie points. As the song says, ‘It ain't necessarily so’. In fact if your teacher or professor has not approved this uncommon format you have chosen to use, they might become angry and even frustrated. Remember that the surprise element often doesn't work.

Of course in creating an outline for your research paper there is absolutely nothing wrong with playing around with the plot. There’s nothing to stop you drawing up a new formula whereby you list each main point to be made in your research paper placing them in chapters or sections or the traditional paragraphs. If that format works for you and helps you in the writing of your research paper, then by all means go for it.