Research Paper Format: Why Does Formatting Style Affect Your Grade Dramatically

There is nothing worse than getting a paperback from your professor and seeing that you’ve missed 40% of your grade because of formatting. How does something as simple as margins, font or spacing have such an impact on your grade?

  • Keeps it Standard
  • Depending on the format that you are required to use, your final essays look will be distinct. Many times instructors want to make sure that you can follow directions by following a particular format. Using formatting goes further than typeface and font and into crediting sources and ensuring there’s no plagiarism.

  • Regulated Source Credits
  • The whole point of crediting the sources to make sure that you’re not plagiarizing. Every assay uses pieces of evidence from someone else’s work. The point is not to come up with a 100% fictional essay usually but rather to support your original idea with other people’s opinions or evidence. Using a format like MLA, APA or Chicago ensures that you're giving credit in the proper way.

  • Plagiarism
  • If every student used their own method to cite sources, it could be easy not to give credit to sources. Also, you could have points taken off because an instructor cannot tell where the material came from. Using a proper format make sure students get to stay in school because they’re not going to be accused of plagiarizing

  • Easy To Read
  • Let’s face it, some of the coolest looking fonts are impossible to read.

    Imagine having to read a whole essay that looked like this.

    I cannot even begin to read what this says, and I wrote it. So if you’re planning on deviating from the format keep in mind, if your professor needs it a particular font, size or spacing. There is a reason. This part of the formatting is not necessarily for you, it's for your teacher.

  • Easy Editing
  • Single spaced, no indent, no margin no formatting may be easy to write. All you have to worry about is whether or not you’ve gotten the words out. With a properly formatted essay, you’re going to be able to edit it with ease because you will have the space to write corrections on the essay. So will your professor. If they don’t have room to provide feedback.

So now you know why it is so important that you use the formatting required by your school or professor. It makes it easier on everyone to make sure that there is proper academic integrity and that it can be read with ease.