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Academic Writing World

How to Create a Strong Research Paper: A Guide for Middle School Students

When a middle school student first begins the research paper process, he or she has a lot of writing rules to remember. And if the child has to write an APA and a MLA paper at different times, then there are even more things to remember. Use this guide as this very important foundation is built.

Step to Remember

  • Pick a good topic with lots of facts
  • Have 2-4 main ideas
  • Use academic and credible research
  • Read the teacher instructions and follow the teacher instructions
  • Bookmark an APA and a MLA website for easy reference
  • Learn the difference between a reference page, a works cited, and a bibliography
  • Go to any extra help given
  • Learn how to do an in-text citation, know the APA and the MLA way
  • Write in third person

There are different tips for different styles of papers. You have to know what style your teacher wants. For example, an informative essay is composed much differently than a cause and effect paper. Know your types and ask questions if you are not sure what to do. The layout of the paper matters, too. So follow these formatting tips:

Formatting Tips

  • Use size 12 font
  • Use a plain font such as Times New Roman or Arial
  • Double space
  • Write using a formal tone
  • Use correct spelling
  • Use correct grammar
  • Do not use slang or contractions
  • Have the length that the teacher required for the paper
  • Use the right number and type of sources the teacher asked for such as magazines, interviews, videos, and studies
  • Your teacher will want some or all of these items to be submitted
    • A rough draft
    • A final draft
    • Some type of reference sheet
    • A possible electronic submission
    • An outline
    • A working outline
    • Hard copies of all the sources you used and a link to them if they are online
    • Supplemental hard copies of materials such as an interview transcript

One of the best ways to create a successful middle school paper is to pick a topic that you like if the teacher gives you the option of selecting your own topic. You will always write a better paper on a subject that you enjoy and have an interest in. Do yourself a favor and pick a topic you love.