Simple Instructions On How To Format Research Paper Headers

When working on a large project, such as a research paper, it’s a good idea to include headers and sub-headers to help organize the content and make your document easier to navigate. These along with a detailed table of contents will allow your readers to quickly sort through the content to find exactly just those sections they are interested in checking. Here are some simple instructions on how to format research paper headers.

Break up your document into major sections

Start by simply breaking down your assignment into major sections. You might have an introduction, methodologies, discussion, results, conclusion, etc. Each of these should be your first level headers. You don’t need to use any special textual effects. Simply bold and center the header. Capitalize the first letter of every word and start the paragraph on the next line with normal formatting (indented five spaces).

Divide each major section into sub-sections

Taking a look at the major sections of your work, you will notice that you can make exceptionally large pieces of text within the major sections can be broken down into even smaller distinct sub-sections. If you are unsure of these inherent breaks you might want to have a look at your outline and take note of how you broke down the material. This second level of headers should be bolded and flushed to the left margin. Also, like the first level headers, the first letter of each word should be capitalized. The first sentence of the first paragraph should begin one the next line and be indented five spaces.

Third and fourth-level sub-sections

Some research papers are so long or complex that you might have to use as many as three or four levels of sub-sections. The third level should be bolded and indented five spaces just as if it were the first sentence to the start of a new paragraph. Additionally, only capitalize the first letter of the first word and the first letter of any proper nouns within the header. Use a period to separate it from the first sentence of the paragraph. The fourth level follows the same rules as the third level, however, you should also italicize the header.

Additionally, you should be aware that all of the main text should maintain the same formatting throughout the research paper, regardless of the header level. This means that all text should still use a legible font such as Times New Roman, 12-pt size, and double-spaced. There should be no extra line spaces between any header or paragraphs.

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