short term paper format

How to Write a Term Paper From Start to Finish

short term paper format

The term paper, often regarded as the culmination of a semester's hard work, is a rite of passage for students in pursuit of higher education. Here's an interesting fact to kick things off: Did you know that the term paper's origins can be traced back to ancient Greece, where scholars like Plato and Aristotle utilized written works to explore and document their philosophical musings? Just as these great minds once wrote their thoughts on parchment, you, too, can embark on this intellectual voyage with confidence and skill.

How to Write a Term Paper: Short Description

In this article, we'll delve into the core purpose of this kind of assignment – to showcase your understanding of a subject, your research abilities, and your capacity to communicate complex ideas effectively. But it doesn't stop there. We'll also guide you in the art of creating a well-structured term paper format, a roadmap that will not only keep you on track but also ensure your ideas flow seamlessly and logically. Packed with valuable tips on writing, organization, and time management, this resource promises to equip you with the tools needed to excel in your academic writing.

Understanding What Is a Term Paper

A term paper, a crucial component of your college education, is often assigned towards the conclusion of a semester. It's a vehicle through which educators gauge your comprehension of the course content. Imagine it as a bridge between what you've learned in class and your ability to apply that knowledge to real-world topics.

For instance, in a history course, you might be asked to delve into the causes and consequences of a significant historical event, such as World War II. In a psychology class, your term paper might explore the effects of stress on mental health, or in an environmental science course, you could analyze the impact of climate change on a specific region.

Writing a term paper isn't just about summarizing facts. It requires a blend of organization, deep research, and the art of presenting your findings in a way that's both clear and analytical. This means structuring your arguments logically, citing relevant sources, and critically evaluating the information you've gathered.

For further guidance, we've prepared an insightful guide for you authored by our expert essay writer . It's brimming with practical tips and valuable insights to help you stand out in this academic endeavor and earn the recognition you deserve.

How to Start a Term Paper

Before you start, keep the guidelines for the term paper format firmly in mind. If you have any doubts, don't hesitate to reach out to your instructor for clarification before you begin your research and writing process. And remember, procrastination is your worst enemy in this endeavor. If you're aiming to produce an exceptional piece and secure a top grade, it's essential to plan ahead and allocate dedicated time each day to work on it. Now, let our term paper writing services provide you with some valuable tips to help you on your journey:

start a term paper

  • Hone Your Topic : Start by cultivating a learning mindset that empowers you to effectively organize your thoughts. Discover how to research a topic in the section below.
  • Hook Your Readers: Initiate a brainstorming session and unleash a barrage of creative ideas to captivate your audience right from the outset. Pose intriguing questions, share compelling anecdotes, offer persuasive statistics, and more.
  • Craft a Concise Thesis Statement Example : If you find yourself struggling to encapsulate the main idea of your paper in just a sentence or two, it's time to revisit your initial topic and consider narrowing it down.
  • Understand Style Requirements: Your work must adhere to specific formatting guidelines. Delve into details about the APA format and other pertinent regulations in the section provided.
  • Delve Deeper with Research : Equipped with a clearer understanding of your objectives, dive into your subject matter with a discerning eye. Ensure that you draw from reputable and reliable sources.
  • Begin Writing: Don't obsess over perfection from the get-go. Just start writing, and don't worry about initial imperfections. You can always revise or remove those early sentences later. The key is to initiate the term papers as soon as you've amassed sufficient information.

Ace your term paper with EssayPro 's expert help. Our academic professionals are here to guide you through every step, ensuring your term paper is well-researched, structured, and written to the highest standards.

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Term Paper Topics

Selecting the right topic for your term paper is a critical step, one that can significantly impact your overall experience and the quality of your work. While instructors sometimes provide specific topics, there are instances when you have the freedom to choose your own. To guide you on how to write a term paper, consider the following factors when deciding on your dissertation topics :

choose a term paper topic

  • Relevance to Assignment Length: Begin by considering the required length of your paper. Whether it's a substantial 10-page paper or a more concise 5-page one, understanding the word count will help you determine the appropriate scope for your subject. This will inform whether your topic should be broad or more narrowly focused.
  • Availability of Resources : Investigate the resources at your disposal. Check your school or community library for books and materials that can support your research. Additionally, explore online sources to ensure you have access to a variety of reference materials.
  • Complexity and Clarity : Ensure you can effectively explain your chosen topic, regardless of how complex it may seem. If you encounter areas that are challenging to grasp fully, don't hesitate to seek guidance from experts or your professor. Clarity and understanding are key to producing a well-structured term paper.
  • Avoiding Overused Concepts : Refrain from choosing overly trendy or overused topics. Mainstream subjects often fail to captivate the interest of your readers or instructors, as they can lead to repetitive content. Instead, opt for a unique angle or approach that adds depth to your paper.
  • Manageability and Passion : While passion can drive your choice of topic, it's important to ensure that it is manageable within the given time frame and with the available resources. If necessary, consider scaling down a topic that remains intriguing and motivating to you, ensuring it aligns with your course objectives and personal interests.

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Term Paper Outline

Before embarking on the journey of writing a term paper, it's crucial to establish a well-structured outline. Be mindful of any specific formatting requirements your teacher may have in mind, as these will guide your outline's structure. Here's a basic format to help you get started:

  • Cover Page: Begin with a cover page featuring your name, course number, teacher's name, and the deadline date, centered at the top.
  • Abstract: Craft a concise summary of your work that informs readers about your paper's topic, its significance, and the key points you'll explore.
  • Introduction: Commence your term paper introduction with a clear and compelling statement of your chosen topic. Explain why it's relevant and outline your approach to addressing it.
  • Body: This section serves as the meat of academic papers, where you present the primary findings from your research. Provide detailed information about the topic to enhance the reader's understanding. Ensure you incorporate various viewpoints on the issue and conduct a thorough analysis of your research.
  • Results: Share the insights and conclusions that your research has led you to. Discuss any shifts in your perspective or understanding that have occurred during the course of your project.
  • Discussion: Conclude your term paper with a comprehensive summary of the topic and your findings. You can wrap up with a thought-provoking question or encourage readers to explore the subject further through their own research.

How to Write a Term Paper with 5 Steps

Before you begin your term paper, it's crucial to understand what a term paper proposal entails. This proposal serves as your way to introduce and justify your chosen topic to your instructor, and it must gain approval before you start writing the actual paper.

In your proposal, include recent studies or research related to your topic, along with proper references. Clearly explain the topic's relevance to your course, outline your objectives, and organize your ideas effectively. This helps your instructor grasp your term paper's direction. If needed, you can also seek assistance from our expert writers and buy term paper .

how to write a term paper

Draft the Abstract

The abstract is a critical element while writing a term paper, and it plays a crucial role in piquing the reader's interest. To create a captivating abstract, consider these key points from our dissertation writing service :

  • Conciseness: Keep it short and to the point, around 150-250 words. No need for lengthy explanations.
  • Highlight Key Elements: Summarize the problem you're addressing, your research methods, and primary findings or conclusions. For instance, if your paper discusses the impact of social media on mental health, mention your research methods and significant findings.
  • Engagement: Make your abstract engaging. Use language that draws readers in. For example, if your paper explores the effects of artificial intelligence on the job market, you might begin with a question like, 'Is AI revolutionizing our work landscape, or should we prepare for the robots to take over?'
  • Clarity: Avoid excessive jargon or technical terms to ensure accessibility to a wider audience.

Craft the Introduction

The introduction sets the stage for your entire term paper and should engage readers from the outset. To craft an intriguing introduction, consider these tips:

  • Hook Your Audience: Start with a captivating hook, such as a thought-provoking question or a compelling statistic. For example, if your paper explores the impact of smartphone addiction, you could begin with, 'Can you remember the last time you went a whole day without checking your phone?'
  • State Your Purpose: Clearly state the purpose of your paper and its relevance. If your term paper is about renewable energy's role in combating climate change, explain why this topic is essential in today's world.
  • Provide a Roadmap: Briefly outline how your paper is structured. For instance, if your paper discusses the benefits of mindfulness meditation, mention that you will explore its effects on stress reduction, emotional well-being, and cognitive performance.
  • Thesis Statement: Conclude your introduction with a concise thesis statement that encapsulates the central argument or message of your paper. In the case of a term paper on the impact of online education, your thesis might be: 'Online education is revolutionizing learning by providing accessibility, flexibility, and innovative teaching methods.'

Develop the Body Sections: Brainstorming Concepts and Content

Generate ideas and compose text: body sections.

The body of your term paper is where you present your research, arguments, and analysis. To generate ideas and write engaging text in the body sections, consider these strategies from our research paper writer :

  • Structure Your Ideas: Organize your paper into sections or paragraphs, each addressing a specific aspect of your topic. For example, if your term paper explores the impact of social media on interpersonal relationships, you might have sections on communication patterns, privacy concerns, and emotional well-being.
  • Support with Evidence: Back up your arguments with credible evidence, such as data, research findings, or expert opinions. For instance, when discussing the effects of social media on mental health, you can include statistics on social media usage and its correlation with anxiety or depression.
  • Offer Diverse Perspectives: Acknowledge and explore various viewpoints on the topic. When writing about the pros and cons of genetic engineering, present both the potential benefits, like disease prevention, and the ethical concerns associated with altering human genetics.
  • Use Engaging Examples: Incorporate real-life examples to illustrate your points. If your paper discusses the consequences of climate change, share specific instances of extreme weather events or environmental degradation to make the topic relatable.
  • Ask Thought-Provoking Questions: Integrate questions throughout your text to engage readers and stimulate critical thinking. In a term paper on the future of artificial intelligence, you might ask, 'How will AI impact job markets and the concept of work in the coming years?'

Formulate the Conclusion

The conclusion section should provide a satisfying wrap-up of your arguments and insights. To craft a compelling term paper example conclusion, follow these steps:

  • Revisit Your Thesis: Begin by restating your thesis statement. This reinforces the central message of your paper. For example, if your thesis is about the importance of biodiversity conservation, reiterate that biodiversity is crucial for ecological balance and human well-being.
  • Summarize Key Points: Briefly recap the main points you've discussed in the body of your paper. For instance, if you've been exploring the impact of globalization on local economies, summarize the effects on industries, job markets, and cultural diversity.
  • Emphasize Your Main Argument: Reaffirm the significance of your thesis and the overall message of your paper. Discuss why your findings are important or relevant in a broader context. If your term paper discusses the advantages of renewable energy, underscore its potential to combat climate change and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.
  • Offer a Thoughtful Reflection: Share your own reflections or insights about the topic. How has your understanding evolved during your research? Have you uncovered any unexpected findings or implications? If your paper discusses the future of space exploration, consider what it means for humanity's quest to explore the cosmos.
  • End with Impact: Conclude your term paper with a powerful closing statement. You can leave the reader with a thought-provoking question, a call to action, or a reflection on the broader implications of your topic. For instance, if your paper is about the ethics of artificial intelligence, you could finish by asking, 'As AI continues to advance, what ethical considerations will guide our choices and decisions?'

Edit and Enhance the Initial Draft

After completing your initial draft, the revision and polishing phase is essential for improving your paper. Here's how to refine your work efficiently:

  • Take a Break: Step back and return to your paper with a fresh perspective.
  • Structure Check: Ensure your paper flows logically and transitions smoothly from the introduction to the conclusion.
  • Clarity and Conciseness: Trim excess words for clarity and precision.
  • Grammar and Style: Proofread for errors and ensure consistent style.
  • Citations and References: Double-check your citations and reference list.
  • Peer Review: Seek feedback from peers or professors for valuable insights.
  • Enhance Intro and Conclusion: Make your introduction and conclusion engaging and impactful.
  • Coherence Check: Ensure your arguments support your thesis consistently.
  • Read Aloud: Reading your paper aloud helps identify issues.
  • Final Proofread: Perform a thorough proofread to catch any remaining errors.

Term Paper Format

When formatting your term paper, consider its length and the required citation style, which depends on your research topic. Proper referencing is crucial to avoid plagiarism in academic writing. Common citation styles include APA and MLA.

If unsure how to cite term paper for social sciences, use the APA format, including the author's name, book title, publication year, publisher, and location when citing a book.

For liberal arts and humanities, MLA is common, requiring the publication name, date, and location for referencing.

Adhering to the appropriate term paper format and citation style ensures an organized and academically sound paper. Follow your instructor's guidelines for a polished and successful paper.

Term Paper Example

To access our term paper example, simply click the button below.

The timeline of events from 1776 to 1861, that, in the end, prompted the American Civil War, describes and relates to a number of subjects modern historians acknowledge as the origins and causes of the Civil War. In fact, pre-Civil War events had both long-term and short-term influences on the War—such as the election of Abraham Lincoln as the American president in 1860 that led to the Fall of Fort Sumter in April of the same year. In that period, contentions that surrounded states’ rights progressively exploded in Congress—since they were the initial events that formed after independence. Congress focused on resolving significant issues that affected the states, which led to further issues. In that order, the US’s history from 1776 to 1861 provides a rich history, as politicians brought forth dissimilarities, dissections, and tensions between the Southern US & the people of slave states, and the Northern states that were loyal to the Union. The events that unfolded from the period of 1776 to 1861 involved a series of issues because they promoted the great sectional crisis that led to political divisions and the build-up to the Civil War that made the North and the South seem like distinctive and timeless regions that predated the crisis itself.

Final Thoughts

In closing, approach the task of writing term papers with determination and a positive outlook. Begin well in advance, maintain organization, and have faith in your capabilities. Don't hesitate to seek assistance if required, and express your individual perspective with confidence. You're more than capable of succeeding in this endeavor!

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What is the Difference between a Term Paper and a Research Paper?

What is the fastest way to write a term paper, related articles.

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Everything You Need to Know to Write an A+ Term Paper

Last Updated: February 20, 2024 Fact Checked

Sample Term Papers

Researching & outlining.

  • Drafting Your Paper
  • Revising Your Paper

Expert Q&A

This article was co-authored by Matthew Snipp, PhD . C. Matthew Snipp is the Burnet C. and Mildred Finley Wohlford Professor of Humanities and Sciences in the Department of Sociology at Stanford University. He is also the Director for the Institute for Research in the Social Science’s Secure Data Center. He has been a Research Fellow at the U.S. Bureau of the Census and a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. He has published 3 books and over 70 articles and book chapters on demography, economic development, poverty and unemployment. He is also currently serving on the National Institute of Child Health and Development’s Population Science Subcommittee. He holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin—Madison. There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 2,219,446 times.

A term paper is a written assignment given to students at the end of a course to gauge their understanding of the material. Term papers typically count for a good percentage of your overall grade, so of course, you’ll want to write the best paper possible. Luckily, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll teach you everything you need to know to write an A+ term paper, from researching and outlining to drafting and revising.

Quick Steps to Write a Term Paper

  • Hook your readers with an interesting and informative intro paragraph. State your thesis and your main points.
  • Support your thesis by providing quotes and evidence that back your claim in your body paragraphs.
  • Summarize your main points and leave your readers with a thought-provoking question in your conclusion.

short term paper format

  • Think of your term paper as the bridge between what you’ve learned in class and how you apply that knowledge to real-world topics.
  • For example, a history term paper may require you to explore the consequences of a significant historical event, like the Civil War. An environmental science class, on the other hand, may have you examine the effects of climate change on a certain region.
  • Your guidelines should tell you the paper’s word count and formatting style, like whether to use in-text citations or footnotes and whether to use single- or double-spacing. If these things aren’t specified, be sure to reach out to your instructor.

Step 2 Choose an interesting topic.

  • Make sure your topic isn’t too broad. For example, if you want to write about Shakespeare’s work, first narrow it down to a specific play, like Macbeth , then choose something even more specific like Lady Macbeth’s role in the plot.
  • If the topic is already chosen for you, explore unique angles that can set your content and information apart from the more obvious approaches many others will probably take. [3] X Research source
  • Try not to have a specific outcome in mind, as this will close you off to new ideas and avenues of thinking. Rather than trying to mold your research to fit your desired outcome, allow the outcome to reflect a genuine analysis of the discoveries you made. Ask yourself questions throughout the process and be open to having your beliefs challenged.
  • Reading other people's comments, opinions, and entries on a topic can often help you to refine your own, especially where they comment that "further research" is required or where they posit challenging questions but leave them unanswered.

Step 3 Do your research.

  • For example, if you’re writing a term paper about Macbeth , your primary source would be the play itself. Then, look for other research papers and analyses written by academics and scholars to understand how they interpret the text.

Step 4 Craft your thesis statement.

  • For example, if you’re writing a paper about Lady Macbeth, your thesis could be something like “Shakespeare’s characterization of Lady Macbeth reveals how desire for power can control someone’s life.”
  • Remember, your research and thesis development doesn’t stop here. As you continue working through both the research and writing, you may want to make changes that align with the ideas forming in your mind and the discoveries you continue to unearth.
  • On the other hand, don’t keep looking for new ideas and angles for fear of feeling confined. At some point, you’re going to have to say enough is enough and make your point. You may have other opportunities to explore these questions in future studies, but for now, remember your term paper has a finite word length and an approaching due date!

Step 5 Develop an outline for the paper.

  • Abstract: An abstract is a concise summary of your paper that informs readers of your topic, its significance, and the key points you’ll explore. It must stand on its own and make sense without referencing outside sources or your actual paper.
  • Introduction: The introduction establishes the main idea of your paper and directly states the thesis. Begin your introduction with an attention-grabbing sentence to intrigue your readers, and provide any necessary background information to establish your paper’s purpose and direction.
  • Body paragraphs: Each body paragraph focuses on a different argument supporting your thesis. List specific evidence from your sources to back up your arguments. Provide detailed information about your topic to enhance your readers’ understanding. In your outline, write down the main ideas for each body paragraph and any outstanding questions or points you’re not yet sure about.
  • Results: Depending on the type of term paper you’re writing, your results may be incorporated into your body paragraphs or conclusion. These are the insights that your research led you to. Here you can discuss how your perspective and understanding of your topic shifted throughout your writing process.
  • Conclusion: Your conclusion summarizes your argument and findings. You may restate your thesis and major points as you wrap up your paper.

Drafting Your Term Paper

Step 1 Make your point in the introduction.

  • Writing an introduction can be challenging, but don’t get too caught up on it. As you write the rest of your paper, your arguments might change and develop, so you’ll likely need to rewrite your intro at the end, anyway. Writing your intro is simply a means of getting started and you can always revise it later. [10] X Trustworthy Source PubMed Central Journal archive from the U.S. National Institutes of Health Go to source
  • Be sure to define any words your readers might not understand. For example, words like “globalization” have many different meanings depending on context, and it’s important to state which ones you’ll be using as part of your introductory paragraph.

Step 2 Persuade your readers with your body paragraphs.

  • Try to relate the subject of the essay (say, Plato’s Symposium ) to a tangentially related issue you happen to know something about (say, the growing trend of free-wheeling hookups in frat parties). Slowly bring the paragraph around to your actual subject and make a few generalizations about why this aspect of the book/subject is so fascinating and worthy of study (such as how different the expectations for physical intimacy were then compared to now).

Step 3 Summarize your argument with your conclusion.

  • You can also reflect on your own experience of researching and writing your term paper. Discuss how your understanding of your topic evolved and any unexpected findings you came across.
  • 4 Write your abstract. Because the abstract is a summary of your entire paper, it’s usually best to write it after you complete your first draft. Typically, an abstract is only 150-250 words, so focus on highlighting the key elements of your term paper like your thesis, main supporting evidence, and findings. Avoid lengthy explanations and jargon or technical terms a casual reader might not understand. [13] X Research source

Step 5 Create your bibliography page and cite your sources.

  • While peppering quotes throughout your text is a good way to help make your point, don’t overdo it. If you use too many quotes, you’re basically allowing other authors to make the point and write the paper for you. When you do use a quote, be sure to explain why it is relevant in your own words.
  • Try to sort out your bibliography at the beginning of your writing process to avoid having a last-minute scramble. When you have all the information beforehand (like the source’s title, author, publication date, etc.), it’s easier to plug them into the correct format.

Step 6 Come up with a good title.

Revising & Finalizing Your Term Paper

Step 1 Make your writing as concise as possible.

  • Trade in weak “to-be” verbs for stronger “action” verbs. For example: “I was writing my term paper” becomes “I wrote my term paper.”

Step 2 Check for grammar and spelling errors.

  • It’s extremely important to proofread your term paper. If your writing is full of mistakes, your instructor will assume you didn’t put much effort into your paper. If you have too many errors, your message will be lost in the confusion of trying to understand what you’ve written.
  • If you add or change information to make things clearer for your readers, it’s a good idea to look over your paper one more time to catch any new typos that may have come up in the process.

Matthew Snipp, PhD

  • The best essays are like grass court tennis—the argument should flow in a "rally" style, building persuasively to the conclusion. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • If you get stuck, consider giving your professor a visit. Whether you're still struggling for a thesis or you want to go over your conclusion, most instructors are delighted to help and they'll remember your initiative when grading time rolls around. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • At least 2 hours for 3-5 pages.
  • At least 4 hours for 8-10 pages.
  • At least 6 hours for 12-15 pages.
  • Double those hours if you haven't done any homework and you haven't attended class.
  • For papers that are primarily research-based, add about two hours to those times (although you'll need to know how to research quickly and effectively, beyond the purview of this brief guide).

short term paper format

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  • ↑ https://www.binghamton.edu/counseling/self-help/term-paper.html
  • ↑ Matthew Snipp, PhD. Research Fellow, U.S. Bureau of the Census. Expert Interview. 26 March 2020.
  • ↑ https://emory.libanswers.com/faq/44525
  • ↑ https://writing.wisc.edu/handbook/assignments/planresearchpaper/
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/the_writing_process/thesis_statement_tips.html
  • ↑ https://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/outline
  • ↑ https://gallaudet.edu/student-success/tutorial-center/english-center/writing/guide-to-writing-introductions-and-conclusions/
  • ↑ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26731827
  • ↑ https://writing.wisc.edu/handbook/assignments/writing-an-abstract-for-your-research-paper/
  • ↑ https://www.ivcc.edu/stylesite/Essay_Title.pdf
  • ↑ https://www.uni-flensburg.de/fileadmin/content/institute/anglistik/dokumente/downloads/how-to-write-a-term-paper-daewes.pdf
  • ↑ https://library.sacredheart.edu/c.php?g=29803&p=185937
  • ↑ https://www.cornerstone.edu/blog-post/six-steps-to-really-edit-your-paper/

About This Article

Matthew Snipp, PhD

If you need to write a term paper, choose your topic, then start researching that topic. Use your research to craft a thesis statement which states the main idea of your paper, then organize all of your facts into an outline that supports your thesis. Once you start writing, state your thesis in the first paragraph, then use the body of the paper to present the points that support your argument. End the paper with a strong conclusion that restates your thesis. For tips on improving your term paper through active voice, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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13.1 Formatting a Research Paper

Learning objectives.

  • Identify the major components of a research paper written using American Psychological Association (APA) style.
  • Apply general APA style and formatting conventions in a research paper.

In this chapter, you will learn how to use APA style , the documentation and formatting style followed by the American Psychological Association, as well as MLA style , from the Modern Language Association. There are a few major formatting styles used in academic texts, including AMA, Chicago, and Turabian:

  • AMA (American Medical Association) for medicine, health, and biological sciences
  • APA (American Psychological Association) for education, psychology, and the social sciences
  • Chicago—a common style used in everyday publications like magazines, newspapers, and books
  • MLA (Modern Language Association) for English, literature, arts, and humanities
  • Turabian—another common style designed for its universal application across all subjects and disciplines

While all the formatting and citation styles have their own use and applications, in this chapter we focus our attention on the two styles you are most likely to use in your academic studies: APA and MLA.

If you find that the rules of proper source documentation are difficult to keep straight, you are not alone. Writing a good research paper is, in and of itself, a major intellectual challenge. Having to follow detailed citation and formatting guidelines as well may seem like just one more task to add to an already-too-long list of requirements.

Following these guidelines, however, serves several important purposes. First, it signals to your readers that your paper should be taken seriously as a student’s contribution to a given academic or professional field; it is the literary equivalent of wearing a tailored suit to a job interview. Second, it shows that you respect other people’s work enough to give them proper credit for it. Finally, it helps your reader find additional materials if he or she wishes to learn more about your topic.

Furthermore, producing a letter-perfect APA-style paper need not be burdensome. Yes, it requires careful attention to detail. However, you can simplify the process if you keep these broad guidelines in mind:

  • Work ahead whenever you can. Chapter 11 “Writing from Research: What Will I Learn?” includes tips for keeping track of your sources early in the research process, which will save time later on.
  • Get it right the first time. Apply APA guidelines as you write, so you will not have much to correct during the editing stage. Again, putting in a little extra time early on can save time later.
  • Use the resources available to you. In addition to the guidelines provided in this chapter, you may wish to consult the APA website at http://www.apa.org or the Purdue University Online Writing lab at http://owl.english.purdue.edu , which regularly updates its online style guidelines.

General Formatting Guidelines

This chapter provides detailed guidelines for using the citation and formatting conventions developed by the American Psychological Association, or APA. Writers in disciplines as diverse as astrophysics, biology, psychology, and education follow APA style. The major components of a paper written in APA style are listed in the following box.

These are the major components of an APA-style paper:

Body, which includes the following:

  • Headings and, if necessary, subheadings to organize the content
  • In-text citations of research sources
  • References page

All these components must be saved in one document, not as separate documents.

The title page of your paper includes the following information:

  • Title of the paper
  • Author’s name
  • Name of the institution with which the author is affiliated
  • Header at the top of the page with the paper title (in capital letters) and the page number (If the title is lengthy, you may use a shortened form of it in the header.)

List the first three elements in the order given in the previous list, centered about one third of the way down from the top of the page. Use the headers and footers tool of your word-processing program to add the header, with the title text at the left and the page number in the upper-right corner. Your title page should look like the following example.

Beyond the Hype: Evaluating Low-Carb Diets cover page

The next page of your paper provides an abstract , or brief summary of your findings. An abstract does not need to be provided in every paper, but an abstract should be used in papers that include a hypothesis. A good abstract is concise—about one hundred fifty to two hundred fifty words—and is written in an objective, impersonal style. Your writing voice will not be as apparent here as in the body of your paper. When writing the abstract, take a just-the-facts approach, and summarize your research question and your findings in a few sentences.

In Chapter 12 “Writing a Research Paper” , you read a paper written by a student named Jorge, who researched the effectiveness of low-carbohydrate diets. Read Jorge’s abstract. Note how it sums up the major ideas in his paper without going into excessive detail.

Beyond the Hype: Abstract

Write an abstract summarizing your paper. Briefly introduce the topic, state your findings, and sum up what conclusions you can draw from your research. Use the word count feature of your word-processing program to make sure your abstract does not exceed one hundred fifty words.

Depending on your field of study, you may sometimes write research papers that present extensive primary research, such as your own experiment or survey. In your abstract, summarize your research question and your findings, and briefly indicate how your study relates to prior research in the field.

Margins, Pagination, and Headings

APA style requirements also address specific formatting concerns, such as margins, pagination, and heading styles, within the body of the paper. Review the following APA guidelines.

Use these general guidelines to format the paper:

  • Set the top, bottom, and side margins of your paper at 1 inch.
  • Use double-spaced text throughout your paper.
  • Use a standard font, such as Times New Roman or Arial, in a legible size (10- to 12-point).
  • Use continuous pagination throughout the paper, including the title page and the references section. Page numbers appear flush right within your header.
  • Section headings and subsection headings within the body of your paper use different types of formatting depending on the level of information you are presenting. Additional details from Jorge’s paper are provided.

Cover Page

Begin formatting the final draft of your paper according to APA guidelines. You may work with an existing document or set up a new document if you choose. Include the following:

  • Your title page
  • The abstract you created in Note 13.8 “Exercise 1”
  • Correct headers and page numbers for your title page and abstract

APA style uses section headings to organize information, making it easy for the reader to follow the writer’s train of thought and to know immediately what major topics are covered. Depending on the length and complexity of the paper, its major sections may also be divided into subsections, sub-subsections, and so on. These smaller sections, in turn, use different heading styles to indicate different levels of information. In essence, you are using headings to create a hierarchy of information.

The following heading styles used in APA formatting are listed in order of greatest to least importance:

  • Section headings use centered, boldface type. Headings use title case, with important words in the heading capitalized.
  • Subsection headings use left-aligned, boldface type. Headings use title case.
  • The third level uses left-aligned, indented, boldface type. Headings use a capital letter only for the first word, and they end in a period.
  • The fourth level follows the same style used for the previous level, but the headings are boldfaced and italicized.
  • The fifth level follows the same style used for the previous level, but the headings are italicized and not boldfaced.

Visually, the hierarchy of information is organized as indicated in Table 13.1 “Section Headings” .

Table 13.1 Section Headings

A college research paper may not use all the heading levels shown in Table 13.1 “Section Headings” , but you are likely to encounter them in academic journal articles that use APA style. For a brief paper, you may find that level 1 headings suffice. Longer or more complex papers may need level 2 headings or other lower-level headings to organize information clearly. Use your outline to craft your major section headings and determine whether any subtopics are substantial enough to require additional levels of headings.

Working with the document you developed in Note 13.11 “Exercise 2” , begin setting up the heading structure of the final draft of your research paper according to APA guidelines. Include your title and at least two to three major section headings, and follow the formatting guidelines provided above. If your major sections should be broken into subsections, add those headings as well. Use your outline to help you.

Because Jorge used only level 1 headings, his Exercise 3 would look like the following:

Citation Guidelines

In-text citations.

Throughout the body of your paper, include a citation whenever you quote or paraphrase material from your research sources. As you learned in Chapter 11 “Writing from Research: What Will I Learn?” , the purpose of citations is twofold: to give credit to others for their ideas and to allow your reader to follow up and learn more about the topic if desired. Your in-text citations provide basic information about your source; each source you cite will have a longer entry in the references section that provides more detailed information.

In-text citations must provide the name of the author or authors and the year the source was published. (When a given source does not list an individual author, you may provide the source title or the name of the organization that published the material instead.) When directly quoting a source, it is also required that you include the page number where the quote appears in your citation.

This information may be included within the sentence or in a parenthetical reference at the end of the sentence, as in these examples.

Epstein (2010) points out that “junk food cannot be considered addictive in the same way that we think of psychoactive drugs as addictive” (p. 137).

Here, the writer names the source author when introducing the quote and provides the publication date in parentheses after the author’s name. The page number appears in parentheses after the closing quotation marks and before the period that ends the sentence.

Addiction researchers caution that “junk food cannot be considered addictive in the same way that we think of psychoactive drugs as addictive” (Epstein, 2010, p. 137).

Here, the writer provides a parenthetical citation at the end of the sentence that includes the author’s name, the year of publication, and the page number separated by commas. Again, the parenthetical citation is placed after the closing quotation marks and before the period at the end of the sentence.

As noted in the book Junk Food, Junk Science (Epstein, 2010, p. 137), “junk food cannot be considered addictive in the same way that we think of psychoactive drugs as addictive.”

Here, the writer chose to mention the source title in the sentence (an optional piece of information to include) and followed the title with a parenthetical citation. Note that the parenthetical citation is placed before the comma that signals the end of the introductory phrase.

David Epstein’s book Junk Food, Junk Science (2010) pointed out that “junk food cannot be considered addictive in the same way that we think of psychoactive drugs as addictive” (p. 137).

Another variation is to introduce the author and the source title in your sentence and include the publication date and page number in parentheses within the sentence or at the end of the sentence. As long as you have included the essential information, you can choose the option that works best for that particular sentence and source.

Citing a book with a single author is usually a straightforward task. Of course, your research may require that you cite many other types of sources, such as books or articles with more than one author or sources with no individual author listed. You may also need to cite sources available in both print and online and nonprint sources, such as websites and personal interviews. Chapter 13 “APA and MLA Documentation and Formatting” , Section 13.2 “Citing and Referencing Techniques” and Section 13.3 “Creating a References Section” provide extensive guidelines for citing a variety of source types.

Writing at Work

APA is just one of several different styles with its own guidelines for documentation, formatting, and language usage. Depending on your field of interest, you may be exposed to additional styles, such as the following:

  • MLA style. Determined by the Modern Languages Association and used for papers in literature, languages, and other disciplines in the humanities.
  • Chicago style. Outlined in the Chicago Manual of Style and sometimes used for papers in the humanities and the sciences; many professional organizations use this style for publications as well.
  • Associated Press (AP) style. Used by professional journalists.

References List

The brief citations included in the body of your paper correspond to the more detailed citations provided at the end of the paper in the references section. In-text citations provide basic information—the author’s name, the publication date, and the page number if necessary—while the references section provides more extensive bibliographical information. Again, this information allows your reader to follow up on the sources you cited and do additional reading about the topic if desired.

The specific format of entries in the list of references varies slightly for different source types, but the entries generally include the following information:

  • The name(s) of the author(s) or institution that wrote the source
  • The year of publication and, where applicable, the exact date of publication
  • The full title of the source
  • For books, the city of publication
  • For articles or essays, the name of the periodical or book in which the article or essay appears
  • For magazine and journal articles, the volume number, issue number, and pages where the article appears
  • For sources on the web, the URL where the source is located

The references page is double spaced and lists entries in alphabetical order by the author’s last name. If an entry continues for more than one line, the second line and each subsequent line are indented five spaces. Review the following example. ( Chapter 13 “APA and MLA Documentation and Formatting” , Section 13.3 “Creating a References Section” provides extensive guidelines for formatting reference entries for different types of sources.)

References Section

In APA style, book and article titles are formatted in sentence case, not title case. Sentence case means that only the first word is capitalized, along with any proper nouns.

Key Takeaways

  • Following proper citation and formatting guidelines helps writers ensure that their work will be taken seriously, give proper credit to other authors for their work, and provide valuable information to readers.
  • Working ahead and taking care to cite sources correctly the first time are ways writers can save time during the editing stage of writing a research paper.
  • APA papers usually include an abstract that concisely summarizes the paper.
  • APA papers use a specific headings structure to provide a clear hierarchy of information.
  • In APA papers, in-text citations usually include the name(s) of the author(s) and the year of publication.
  • In-text citations correspond to entries in the references section, which provide detailed bibliographical information about a source.

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Term paper – master your fear of writing.

Just be honest and tell me, how many words? And how much time have you got to do it? If you’re about to embark on writing a term paper, I have excellent news for you – this is a crash course! I’m about to introduce you to the fine art of writing term papers for any topic. We will look at an airtight outline example, some life hacks, and the usual formatting tips. Let’s dive right in!

term paper - studysmarter magazine

What Is a Term Paper? Definition and Guidelines

If you’ve only just started university and have already been slammed by this frightful word, welcome to this new level of study! University is not only about cramming from tons of books: It should also, ideally, foster critical thinking, teach you how to argue your points effectively, and help you develop research skills. And you will need all three of these to write a stellar term paper!

But hang on a sec, what is a term paper? A term paper is a longer type of research-based homework on a particular topic. Term papers range from 15 to 25 pages because any less is considered lazy and any more is too much for any professor to read (trust me, I teach at a university).

In general, you should be free to select a topic for your term paper, but regardless of whether you’re free to do it or are assigned one, term papers mostly have the same goal. Namely, they test your ability to formulate and support your arguments and locate yourself in a particular theoretical framework. Sound scary yet? Don’t worry! I’m here to illuminate some of the vaguer aspects of term paper writing.

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Structuring Your Term Paper Outline (+ Sample Term Paper Outline PDF)

Before you begin writing, it’s advisable to have an idea about where exactly your writing is going. The best way to achieve this is to write an outline, or (as we sleep-deprived academics like to call it) an abstract. An abstract is a short description of your paper/article/project that outlines your main research questions and the theoretical framework you will be working with.

I generally suggest that people start with a very simple pyramid structure when writing an abstract:

  • The foundation. This is where you introduce a broad, general statement on the topic of your choice. You can clarify and specify this in a few more sentences to ease your readers into the research project.

Example: Contemporary drama boasts the power to transform the audience through careful selection and crafty delivery of impactful images. By creating faux-reality, drama sometimes appeals to the affective side of the audience in order to provide commentary on a number of social and psychological issues. Duncan Macmillan’s Every Brilliant Thing capitalises on its affect-inducing potential, tackling the issue of suicidal depression.

  • The middle. In this part of the outline, you state the aims of your study. Some of my favourite phrases to signal your intentions include: this paper aims to shed light on, the goal of this research paper is, the idea behind this term paper is, etc. Feel free to add some powerful verbs of action such as examine, assess, illuminate, discern, analyse, cross-reference, etc. to emphasise your ideas.

Example: This paper aims to explore how the play creates a more realistic setting by deviating from the audience’s expectations, thus blurring the line between drama and real life. It may be argued that simulated reality, exemplified through a number of exaggerations, impacts the affective component in the audience’s attitude formation and that its neglect of the cognitive reinforces the transformative power of Every Brilliant Thing .

  • The top. The final part of your outline should highlight coherent hypotheses or research questions that your study will answer. While academic papers usually dream of some originality, this should not concern you yet – you don’t need to invent hot water in your term papers, but as you gain experience, novel conclusions will become easier to form.

Example: This paper will then take a final look at how the structure of the play simulates depression in order to sensitise the audience and to which extent it attains its goal of conveying the message of the universality and repercussions of the disease.

Writing an outline is a good way to organise your thoughts, figure out what kind of books you need, and anticipate your results.

In the abovementioned examples, the books you’d need would have to do with theatre, psychological influences, and simulation of reality.

This process applies to any subject. The outline can be more detailed, but it needn’t go over 300 words. A word of advice: if you cannot summarise the key points of your topic in 300 words, you should do some more brainstorming until you reach the specific goal.

PS Check out this excellent term paper outline sample !

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Term Paper Format – The Safety Net

Each term paper should follow a relatively familiar structure and way of arguing your points. Let’s start with the basics:

  • Cover page. This is where your title goes (centred, bolded, pt24 ideally). The cover page should also list your personal details, such as name, address, email, student ID number, phone number (maybe), and the institution and the department for which you are writing your term paper. Each university tends to have its own layout for the cover page, but the rule of thumb is that institutional information goes above the title, whereas personal information is below.
  • Table of contents – your readers need to know what to expect!
  • Introduction. This is a more elaborate version of your project outline. You should specify what the paper is dealing with, what theoretical framework you’re using, and what your hypothesis is. My pro tip is to write the introduction last because term papers tend to grow as you write and you may end up with vastly different results from those you had expected.
  • Theoretical framing. Explain which theories or ideas you’re using.
  • Methodology. This is mostly present in scientific papers where you must explain what methods will guide your study (i.e. experiments).
  • Analysis. Close readings, experiments, data surveys – whatever your project is doing, it should be doing it here.
  • Discussion . Feel free to start interpreting your results in this section. A great paper does not simply list data – it compares and contrasts. You must be able to draw conclusions about what your analysis has shown you. Results as expected? Hypothesis confirmed. Results not ideal? There’s something to write about. Consider why something turned out differently and what that means for future studies.
  • Optional: pitfalls and future improvements. Again, this is more present in sciences than humanities, but you could address possible pitfalls or blind spots in your study and suggest how they can be improved upon in the future. You can also talk about what lines of research your project can inspire.
  • Conclusion . Time to wrap it all up. Briefly summarise the key points of research and main results. If you haven’t already devoted a separate section of the paper to this, you can also write about indications for future research in your conclusion.

Term Paper Structure Example

To give you a more precise example of a structured term paper, here’s a more detailed structure of the above-described example on theatre:

term paper - studysmarter magazine

Still Unsure about How to Write a Term Paper?

Excellent, I love good questions! The truth is, writing a term paper is a labour of love (it is hard labour, especially if you’re carrying all the books!), so I will give you some tips on how to make it an enjoyable experience.

  • Pick a topic you’re interested in. There’s nothing you can say to convince me that your subject is so absolutely wretchedly uninteresting that you simply cannot find such a topic. You just haven’t done your work yet. Start digging and follow the internet clicking abyss until you stumble upon something that takes your fancy. My master thesis idea was based on a single line I read in a magazine about Neil Gaiman’s American Gods – I managed to turn it into 80 pages, two scientific articles, and two talks just fine, even though it may not have been researched previously. So, whatever you’re writing about, there’s got to be a fun angle to it.
  • Start reading. You cannot write a term paper from nothing. Once you have a general topic and an outline, you should start collecting your materials. Check out your library and inform yourself about the inter-library loan. Get acquainted with various scientific databases like JSTOR and ResearchGate – your university probably has wide access to many knowledge repositories you can use through an official VPN or library computers. Search by keywords and titles and save everything that sounds interesting. Learn to recognise important elements and ideas in those texts and be ready to use them to support your arguments.
  • Know when to stop, too. Sometimes you’ll find yourself deep in the excitement of learning something new, but there will come a point when you realise you’re ready to put what you’ve found into your own words. Set up an experiment, survey, or study and follow up on the results. In humanities, this may mean a closer analysis of selected texts. This is where you start writing – again, leave the introduction for later and jump right into the core of the work.
  • Mind the style. When writing a term paper, you need to keep certain standards up. Term papers are written in the ‘academic’ style and involve lots of passive voice, verbs of enlightenment (illustrate, examine, assess), and words marking cause-effect relationships. Don’t be afraid to use transition words to make your text and conclusions flow easily.
  • Cite properly! Oh, how I hated learning all the citation styles when I was just starting out, but once you do learn the ropes, it gets easier. It’s a bit of drudgery, but my advice is to write down your sources meticulously as you go along. As soon as you cite someone, make sure you add the full citation at the end of the text (I like having them in a separate document), and don’t forget in-text citations. Depending on what field you’re studying in, you will have different citation styles (like MLA, Chicago, APA) at your disposal – make sure you check the requirements for each course and consult the corresponding websites with guidelines.

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Don’t Forget about Term Paper Editing!

And there goes the last-minute churning of text and hitting send before passing out for the next two days. Writing a term paper at university should not be left for the last minute. If you’re a chronic procrastinator, it’s time to learn to organise your time and devote enough of it to your assignments.

When you’re done with writing, you should leave your paper alone for a few days – sleep on it, as they say. You can treat this distance like any good study break – it’ll help you clear your mind, prevent resentment towards the subject, and allow you to see it through new eyes. Before submitting, re-read your text carefully and edit the writing. Weed out spelling and grammatical errors and prune unnecessary examples or repetitive statements. A good way to do this is to change the font or even font size in your writing software – this engages your perception and makes spotting mistakes easier.

Editing is also the time to consider how your arguments are holding together and whether you need to add or replace some text and/or rearrange your points. It’s an extremely important part of the writing process, but you shouldn’t overdo it either. Perfectionism can get you into the editing spiral that usually leads to messing up parts that were initially good. A few re-reads are fine, but anything more and you might as well start to rewrite the whole thing.

The last question to consider is whether you are happy with your result. Remember, this is a term paper and you’re still learning, so nobody expects it to be perfect, but you should be satisfied with what you’ve accomplished.

The Key Takeaways of Writing a Term Paper

Writing a term paper is a longer commitment than a simple essay. To ensure your success, start well ahead of time or you might find yourself rushed and stressed .

  • Try to find a topic of personal interest to you.
  • Scribble an outline to work out your angle or general direction of the paper.
  • Read enough materials. Your library and online databases are your friends.
  • Form hypotheses and set up experiments or analyses.
  • Get down to business (and stop procrastinating !).
  • Don’t forget to edit the paper well and format it correctly.

Source: Danica Stojanovic, ‘Theatrical (Hyper)Reality: The Effects of Breaking Formal Boundaries in Every Brilliant Thing ’, Over The Horizon, London, 2020, pp. 81‑100.

short term paper format

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Generate accurate APA citations for free

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  • APA Style 7th edition
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APA Formatting and Citation (7th Ed.) | Generator, Template, Examples

Published on November 6, 2020 by Raimo Streefkerk . Revised on January 17, 2024.

The 7th edition of the APA Publication Manual provides guidelines for clear communication , citing sources , and formatting documents. This article focuses on paper formatting.

Generate accurate APA citations with Scribbr

Throughout your paper, you need to apply the following APA format guidelines:

  • Set page margins to 1 inch on all sides.
  • Double-space all text, including headings.
  • Indent the first line of every paragraph 0.5 inches.
  • Use an accessible font (e.g., Times New Roman 12pt., Arial 11pt., or Georgia 11pt.).
  • Include a page number on every page.

APA format (7th edition)

Let an expert format your paper

Our APA formatting experts can help you to format your paper according to APA guidelines. They can help you with:

  • Margins, line spacing, and indentation
  • Font and headings
  • Running head and page numbering

short term paper format

Table of contents

How to set up apa format (with template), apa alphabetization guidelines, apa format template [free download], page header, headings and subheadings, reference page, tables and figures, frequently asked questions about apa format.

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

References are ordered alphabetically by the first author’s last name. If the author is unknown, order the reference entry by the first meaningful word of the title (ignoring articles: “the”, “a”, or “an”).

Why set up APA format from scratch if you can download Scribbr’s template for free?

Student papers and professional papers have slightly different guidelines regarding the title page, abstract, and running head. Our template is available in Word and Google Docs format for both versions.

  • Student paper: Word | Google Docs
  • Professional paper: Word | Google Docs

In an APA Style paper, every page has a page header. For student papers, the page header usually consists of just a page number in the page’s top-right corner. For professional papers intended for publication, it also includes a running head .

A running head is simply the paper’s title in all capital letters. It is left-aligned and can be up to 50 characters in length. Longer titles are abbreviated .

APA running head (7th edition)

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The AI-powered Citation Checker helps you avoid common mistakes such as:

  • Missing commas and periods
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short term paper format

APA headings have five possible levels. Heading level 1 is used for main sections such as “ Methods ” or “ Results ”. Heading levels 2 to 5 are used for subheadings. Each heading level is formatted differently.

Want to know how many heading levels you should use, when to use which heading level, and how to set up heading styles in Word or Google Docs? Then check out our in-depth article on APA headings .

APA headings (7th edition)

The title page is the first page of an APA Style paper. There are different guidelines for student and professional papers.

Both versions include the paper title and author’s name and affiliation. The student version includes the course number and name, instructor name, and due date of the assignment. The professional version includes an author note and running head .

For more information on writing a striking title, crediting multiple authors (with different affiliations), and writing the author note, check out our in-depth article on the APA title page .

APA title page - student version (7th edition)

The abstract is a 150–250 word summary of your paper. An abstract is usually required in professional papers, but it’s rare to include one in student papers (except for longer texts like theses and dissertations).

The abstract is placed on a separate page after the title page . At the top of the page, write the section label “Abstract” (bold and centered). The contents of the abstract appear directly under the label. Unlike regular paragraphs, the first line is not indented. Abstracts are usually written as a single paragraph without headings or blank lines.

Directly below the abstract, you may list three to five relevant keywords . On a new line, write the label “Keywords:” (italicized and indented), followed by the keywords in lowercase letters, separated by commas.

APA abstract (7th edition)

APA Style does not provide guidelines for formatting the table of contents . It’s also not a required paper element in either professional or student papers. If your instructor wants you to include a table of contents, it’s best to follow the general guidelines.

Place the table of contents on a separate page between the abstract and introduction. Write the section label “Contents” at the top (bold and centered), press “Enter” once, and list the important headings with corresponding page numbers.

The APA reference page is placed after the main body of your paper but before any appendices . Here you list all sources that you’ve cited in your paper (through APA in-text citations ). APA provides guidelines for formatting the references as well as the page itself.

Creating APA Style references

Play around with the Scribbr Citation Example Generator below to learn about the APA reference format of the most common source types or generate APA citations for free with Scribbr’s APA Citation Generator .

Formatting the reference page

Write the section label “References” at the top of a new page (bold and centered). Place the reference entries directly under the label in alphabetical order.

Finally, apply a hanging indent , meaning the first line of each reference is left-aligned, and all subsequent lines are indented 0.5 inches.

APA reference page (7th edition)

Tables and figures are presented in a similar format. They’re preceded by a number and title and followed by explanatory notes (if necessary).

Use bold styling for the word “Table” or “Figure” and the number, and place the title on a separate line directly below it (in italics and title case). Try to keep tables clean; don’t use any vertical lines, use as few horizontal lines as possible, and keep row and column labels concise.

Keep the design of figures as simple as possible. Include labels and a legend if needed, and only use color when necessary (not to make it look more appealing).

Check out our in-depth article about table and figure notes to learn when to use notes and how to format them.

APA table (7th edition)

The easiest way to set up APA format in Word is to download Scribbr’s free APA format template for student papers or professional papers.

Alternatively, you can watch Scribbr’s 5-minute step-by-step tutorial or check out our APA format guide with examples.

APA Style papers should be written in a font that is legible and widely accessible. For example:

  • Times New Roman (12pt.)
  • Arial (11pt.)
  • Calibri (11pt.)
  • Georgia (11pt.)

The same font and font size is used throughout the document, including the running head , page numbers, headings , and the reference page . Text in footnotes and figure images may be smaller and use single line spacing.

You need an APA in-text citation and reference entry . Each source type has its own format; for example, a webpage citation is different from a book citation .

Use Scribbr’s free APA Citation Generator to generate flawless citations in seconds or take a look at our APA citation examples .

Yes, page numbers are included on all pages, including the title page , table of contents , and reference page . Page numbers should be right-aligned in the page header.

To insert page numbers in Microsoft Word or Google Docs, click ‘Insert’ and then ‘Page number’.

APA format is widely used by professionals, researchers, and students in the social and behavioral sciences, including fields like education, psychology, and business.

Be sure to check the guidelines of your university or the journal you want to be published in to double-check which style you should be using.

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

Streefkerk, R. (2024, January 17). APA Formatting and Citation (7th Ed.) | Generator, Template, Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved February 21, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/apa-style/format/

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  • A Research Guide
  • Writing Guide
  • Assignment Writing

How to Write a Term Paper

  • Purpose of a term paper
  • How to start a term paper
  • Structure and outline

Step-by-step writing guide

Standard term paper format.

  • Term paper examples
  • Writing tips

What is the purpose of a term paper?

How to start a term paper correctly.

  • Choose your topic by focusing on what inspires you unless you are already given a topic.
  • Take time to research and analyze your subject.
  • Start with a term paper outline (see our templates in the next sections).
  • Come up with a strong thesis statement before writing anything for body paragraphs.
  • Provide topic sentences and practical examples.
  • Provide a strong lesson in the conclusion if it suits the subject you write about.
  • Edit and proofread available information for trustworthiness.

Term paper structure and outline

  • Introduction. This is where you talk about the subject and a problem you are researching. It helps to introduce your thesis statement and explain the objectives that have been set.
  • Body Paragraphs. As a rule, in writing college term papers, one must write down several subheadings and headings to divide ideas and arguments into several (at least four) paragraphs. As done below, each body paragraph should contain one idea and a strong topic sentence.
  • Heading 1: History of the argument and background.
  • Heading 2: Extent of the problem that you write about.
  • Heading 3: Effects of the problem and possible causes.
  • Heading 4: Possible solutions and outcomes.
  • Conclusion. The final part should represent a strong summary and a response to your thesis statement.

Step 1: Data collection

Step 2: explaining research relevance, step 3: introducing your subject, step 4: literature review preparation, step 5: offering results and conclusions, step 6: structural term paper evaluation, step 7: check your citations and references.

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Helpful term paper examples

  • Term paper examples that earned an A grade from the University of Delaware
  • Sample term paper offered by the Justus-Liebig Universitat Giessen
  • Purdue Owl Lab Citation Formats Database
  • Simon Fraser University Sample Term Paper

Term paper writing tips

  • Choose a topic that inspires you if you have an opportunity. If you have been given an already existing prompt to write, research your subject online and ask about the use of course materials. It will help you to narrow things down and already have source materials for referencing purposes.
  • If you can choose a subject to write a final paper for your course, think about something you can support with statistical data and some practical evidence.
  • Most importantly, keep your term paper relevant to the main objectives of your study course.
  • Keep your tone reflective and natural as you write.
  • Double-check your grading rubric regarding limitations and obligatory requirements that must be met.
  • Always proofread your term paper aloud!
  • If you have an opportunity, consider editing your term paper with the help of a friend or a fellow college student.

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Term paper format.

Format for Term Papers

Below are some links and a general outline on how to write your term papers.   Depending on your topic you may want to rely on the scientific report style or literature review styles, or a combination of the two.  The choice is yours.   Links to these styles can be accessed by the buttons below.  Below the three buttons I outline the scientific report style.  More details can be found by clicking the scientific format button below.

Format for a Scientific Report

    Short (three-quarters of a page) description of the paper.   Describe what the issue or problem is, why it is important or interesting, and your findings.

Introduction

  • What is the issue or problem?
  • Literature review: what is current thinking, findings, and approaches on the problem?
  • What is the significance of the problem?
  • How do you plan to deal with the problem? What is your solution?
  • How did you search for information or data on the topic?
  • What is your impression of the ulility, relevance, or quality of the data you collected?
  • What special steps did you take to select or utilize the data?
  • What are your findings?
  • Are their problems with your findings in terms of answering the questions posed in the introduction?
  • What do your observations mean?
  • Summarize the most important findings.
  • What conclusions can you draw?
  • How do your results fit into a broader context?

How To Write a Term Paper: A Guide That Works

30 June, 2020

16 minutes read

Author:  Mathieu Johnson

Once you’ve started your university career, you are going to be asked to present a term paper. What’s the difference between a term paper and a research paper? How can you write a good term? What’s the best way to structure it? Where can you find some tips to make the writing process faster? In this article, we’ll discuss a few tips to help you prepare a term paper quickly and professionally.

term paper

What Is a Term Paper… And What Is The First Step?

A term paper is a critical and analytical report on the topic or subject that you covered within the course of studies. It usually consists of two separate but equally important aspects: your own thoughts about the topic and a demonstration of your understanding of the existing literature. The main goal of this assignment is to summarize the material you learned and showcase your understanding of the topic. This aspect makes the term paper a universal instrument for assessing a student’s proficiency. It also explains why term papers cost so many points of your course grade.

We usually associate a term paper with a research paper , but although the concepts are quite similar, a research paper requires a more academic approach and a deeper investigation into the literature of your field of study.

To write an outstanding college term paper, you must understand that your professor has requested it in order to test your analytical thinking skills. You must collect relevant data, analyze it, and then make a summary or solve a particular problem. Such skills are highly relevant to the business world, so this type of the task is as practical as it is educational.

So, let’s start the preparation!

Before you begin writing

Dip into the topics and make a research

Unfortunately, there is no magical recipe that allows you to get everything done fast. You will need to choose the best way forward in whatever situation you find yourself, but here are some tips to help you prepare for the assignment.

To begin with, take the research stage seriously . Sometimes, when students are really interested in a topic, they only want to present their personal ideas about the problem. Unfortunately, if you’re not completely familiar with all the data from the various sources, you will need to reinvent the bicycle.

Term paper writing was never an easy ride. Well, not for our expert writers. Place an order with our term paper writing service and secure yourself an “A!”

In the initial stages of your research, investigate everything you can find on the topic . This may sound like a tall order, but you’ll find that it doesn’t actually entail that much reading. At this point you are only compiling the research, so you will be skimming through numerous prospects rather than reading them completely. Bear in mind that your aim is to get acquainted with the various aspects of your problem. The term paper summarizes the knowledge you gained within a course and requires to familiarize yourself with the research that other people have already made on your topic.

Thinking that your opinions are completely original and unique is quite egocentric, and it can get you into trouble. So, “your” thoughts about the problem are usually just somebody else’s statements that you have rephrased (or even a well-established academic concept!). Remember that your professor will be familiar with all the literature surrounding the issue: if you merely rewrite someone else’s thoughts and present them as your own (even if you don’t realize doing it), be prepared for criticism!

Applying a Structure To Your Term Paper

Term paper structure

Once you have read all the leading authors and their approaches to your problem, it’s time to create a structure for your work. This is not yet an outline; you just need to decide what to write about. Sketch out the topic for the theoretical portion of your work and think about practical aspects and how you can approach the research in the best possible way.

At this point, you really need to call or email your supervisor . Your professor will have seen hundreds of term papers like yours (i.e., they have not yet been written, but a definite idea exists!) and will be prepared to give you feedback and advice. He or she will tell you what literature you have omitted, offer suggestions about what you should read, and give you feedback about your paper. It may well be that your approach has already occurred to somebody else, in which case there is no need to repeat it.

Choosing a Topic: Easy as Riding a Bike?

When you choose your topic, make sure you choose something that you are interested in . That’s our advice if you want a painless term paper. If you prefer to investigate a field that you’ve never really explored before, you can challenge yourself to do that, too. That might be sophisticated, but why not?

If you decide to investigate a topic or a problem that you are pretty familiar with, your writing will be more fluid. You will focus your attention on a specific aspect of the chosen field and expand your knowledge within that scope. On the contrary, choosing an unfamiliar subject matter can wash out your expertise.

Be prepared to change the topic if you find out that your research isn’t going anywhere. It might occur that you presuppose that your topic has a potential but somewhere at the stage of initial research, you find that it just won’t work. It’s always a good idea to consider two or three topics when you kick off the term paper writing – even if they are just different ways of examining the same problem. By doing this, you will be able to choose the best version, which may not be the one you started with at all!

Related Post: 100 Persuasive essay topics

Formulating a Thesis statement

Term paper thesis statement

Writing a proper thesis statement can also be challenging. To begin with, write down a couple of prominent ideas or concepts, then try to make rough drafts of them to see how they’ll work in the structural framework. You will probably find that one idea fits your style, interests, and knowledge base: you can choose that one as your thesis statement.

Remember that the thesis statement is the skeleton, the central concept of your paper. It is the elemental attribute of almost any academic paper – from master’s thesis to a simple five paragraph essay. If you do a thorough job on it, you will find that writing (and defending!) your argument is much easier.

Be aware that all of these stages are parts of a procedure – one leads to another. When writing a term paper, you should collect the material and wrap it up at the same time.

Planning – The Key To Success

Some people claim that they can write a term paper without any planning. In our opinion, this is impossible. If you don’t have a postgraduate degree and you aren’t a certified genius, you need to prepare an outline for your project. It may come as a surprise, but even people who claim otherwise actually prepare outlines – in their heads. But if you don’t have that much experience, use a pencil and your notebook to ensure that you don’t forget anything.

Don’t procrastinate on your College or University papers anymore. Get professional help with our essay writer !

That’s when we get to preparing your first draft . There’s only one thing to add here: do as many drafts as you need in order to achieve your goal. Understand that your aim is to create an excellent term paper and keep working at it until you are satisfied.

Term Paper Outline: Write Everything In The Proper Section!

Term paper outline

In the Introduction , state the topic that you are going to investigate and the context of your work. This is the critical ‘selling’ moment of your work. In a nutshell, your introduction combined with a conclusion should give a sneak peek into what the whole paper is about. If your introduction is well-prepared, it will be quite complacent about the body of your project. The introduction must include an abstract that presents your thesis statement . You should explain your motivation (why should the reader be concerned about this problem?) , your methods (what scientific tools did you use?) , and the results (what you achieved) .

The Literature Review totally corresponds to its name – it is here to review the literature you compiled. Your professor will double check it to make sure that you understand the context of your argument. One more thing to add is: collect all the information you can! Ideally, you should read or at least glance through every book and author that you can find on the topic. Think of your task as a fascinating journey: if you approach it like that, reading hundreds of pages won’t seem like that much of a challenge.

In the Discussion , you must present the interpretations of the problem. Be honest, explain what you pieces of data you don’t agree with and what ideas and concepts you support. This section connects the dots between theory and practice when writing a term paper. Wherever possible, provide several interpretations of the subject matter, then choose the one(s) that are most relevant to the case you are presenting.

In the Body , focus on those arguments that prove your thesis statement. This section must be absolutely logical. If you have chosen a more complicated topic, use heading and sub-headings to improve the appearance of this section. While writing the body, keep your target audience (your professors) in mind. In other words, don’t just record the obvious causes/effects/solutions but also showcase your own findings – what you have discovered and how that proves your thesis statement. Demonstrate that you are familiar with the details and you will stun your readers with the prolific mastery of the topic.

Now, the Conclusion   is her to summarize both the content and the purpose of the paper. The most challenging part is not to make it too dry. Reiterate your thesis statement and briefly show how your results justified your proposition. At the very end, you can suggest a call to action or pose a rhetorical question or statement that leaves your reader wanting more.

What to do next?

When you have finished, reread your work a couple of times. You will almost certainly find a few faults, whether they are contextual, factual, syntactical, grammatical, or even simple spelling mistakes. A very useful tip is to wait for two or three days after writing your final draft to proofread it afterward. Your brain will have time to process the information, and you’ll be able to look at it with a fresh view.

How to write a good term paper

When proofreading, take care to polish the structural problems. The skeleton (the logic and the thesis statement) should make sense. If they don’t, try to approach the problem from another perspective. The changes may take some time, but bear in mind that your objective is to produce professional work. Be patient!

After that, print the term paper. The human eye processes information differently on the paper than on a computer screen; that’s why you need to print it and take one final look for any possible mistakes. Even if you don’t see any serious defects, pay attention to formatting, punctuation, and synonyms. It’s an academic text, so make it shine!

Term Paper Sample

Be sure to check the sample of a term paper, completed by our writers. Use it as an example to perfect your own writing. Link:  Term Paper Sample: Consumer Buying Behavior .

The Do’s and Don’ts of Term Paper Writing

There you have the most important tips to help you succeed in writing a term paper. Now it’s up to you to stop reading and start writing!

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MLA General Format 

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MLA Style specifies guidelines for formatting manuscripts and citing research in writing. MLA Style also provides writers with a system for referencing their sources through parenthetical citation in their essays and Works Cited pages. 

Writers who properly use MLA also build their credibility by demonstrating accountability to their source material. Most importantly, the use of MLA style can protect writers from accusations of plagiarism, which is the purposeful or accidental uncredited use of source material produced by other writers. 

If you are asked to use MLA format, be sure to consult the  MLA Handbook  (9th edition). Publishing scholars and graduate students should also consult the  MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing  (3rd edition). The  MLA Handbook  is available in most writing centers and reference libraries. It is also widely available in bookstores, libraries, and at the MLA web site. See the Additional Resources section of this page for a list of helpful books and sites about using MLA Style.

Paper Format

The preparation of papers and manuscripts in MLA Style is covered in part four of the  MLA Style Manual . Below are some basic guidelines for formatting a paper in  MLA Style :

General Guidelines

  • Type your paper on a computer and print it out on standard, white 8.5 x 11-inch paper.
  • Double-space the text of your paper and use a legible font (e.g. Times New Roman). Whatever font you choose, MLA recommends that the regular and italics type styles contrast enough that they are each distinct from one another. The font size should be 12 pt.
  • Leave only one space after periods or other punctuation marks (unless otherwise prompted by your instructor).
  • Set the margins of your document to 1 inch on all sides.
  • Indent the first line of each paragraph one half-inch from the left margin. MLA recommends that you use the “Tab” key as opposed to pushing the space bar five times.
  • Create a header that numbers all pages consecutively in the upper right-hand corner, one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin. (Note: Your instructor may ask that you omit the number on your first page. Always follow your instructor's guidelines.)
  • Use italics throughout your essay to indicate the titles of longer works and, only when absolutely necessary, provide emphasis.
  • If you have any endnotes, include them on a separate page before your Works Cited page. Entitle the section Notes (centered, unformatted).

Formatting the First Page of Your Paper

  • Do not make a title page for your paper unless specifically requested or the paper is assigned as a group project. In the case of a group project, list all names of the contributors, giving each name its own line in the header, followed by the remaining MLA header requirements as described below. Format the remainder of the page as requested by the instructor.
  • In the upper left-hand corner of the first page, list your name, your instructor's name, the course, and the date. Again, be sure to use double-spaced text.
  • Double space again and center the title. Do not underline, italicize, or place your title in quotation marks. Write the title in Title Case (standard capitalization), not in all capital letters.
  • Use quotation marks and/or italics when referring to other works in your title, just as you would in your text. For example:  Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas  as Morality Play; Human Weariness in "After Apple Picking"
  • Double space between the title and the first line of the text.
  • Create a header in the upper right-hand corner that includes your last name, followed by a space with a page number. Number all pages consecutively with Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.), one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin. (Note: Your instructor or other readers may ask that you omit the last name/page number header on your first page. Always follow instructor guidelines.)

Here is a sample of the first page of a paper in MLA style:

This image shows the first page of an MLA paper.

The First Page of an MLA Paper

Section Headings

Writers sometimes use section headings to improve a document’s readability. These sections may include individual chapters or other named parts of a book or essay.

MLA recommends that when dividing an essay into sections you number those sections with an Arabic number and a period followed by a space and the section name.

MLA does not have a prescribed system of headings for books (for more information on headings, please see page 146 in the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing , 3rd edition). If you are only using one level of headings, meaning that all of the sections are distinct and parallel and have no additional sections that fit within them, MLA recommends that these sections resemble one another grammatically. For instance, if your headings are typically short phrases, make all of the headings short phrases (and not, for example, full sentences). Otherwise, the formatting is up to you. It should, however, be consistent throughout the document.

If you employ multiple levels of headings (some of your sections have sections within sections), you may want to provide a key of your chosen level headings and their formatting to your instructor or editor.

Sample Section Headings

The following sample headings are meant to be used only as a reference. You may employ whatever system of formatting that works best for you so long as it remains consistent throughout the document.

Formatted, unnumbered:

Level 1 Heading: bold, flush left

Level 2 Heading: italics, flush left

Level 3 Heading: centered, bold

Level 4 Heading: centered, italics

Level 5 Heading: underlined, flush left

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Research Method

Home » Research Paper Format – Types, Examples and Templates

Research Paper Format – Types, Examples and Templates

Table of Contents

Research Paper Formats

Research paper format is an essential aspect of academic writing that plays a crucial role in the communication of research findings . The format of a research paper depends on various factors such as the discipline, style guide, and purpose of the research. It includes guidelines for the structure, citation style, referencing , and other elements of the paper that contribute to its overall presentation and coherence. Adhering to the appropriate research paper format is vital for ensuring that the research is accurately and effectively communicated to the intended audience. In this era of information, it is essential to understand the different research paper formats and their guidelines to communicate research effectively, accurately, and with the required level of detail. This post aims to provide an overview of some of the common research paper formats used in academic writing.

Research Paper Formats

Research Paper Formats are as follows:

  • APA (American Psychological Association) format
  • MLA (Modern Language Association) format
  • Chicago/Turabian style
  • IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) format
  • AMA (American Medical Association) style
  • Harvard style
  • Vancouver style
  • ACS (American Chemical Society) style
  • ASA (American Sociological Association) style
  • APSA (American Political Science Association) style

APA (American Psychological Association) Format

Here is a general APA format for a research paper:

  • Title Page: The title page should include the title of your paper, your name, and your institutional affiliation. It should also include a running head, which is a shortened version of the title, and a page number in the upper right-hand corner.
  • Abstract : The abstract is a brief summary of your paper, typically 150-250 words. It should include the purpose of your research, the main findings, and any implications or conclusions that can be drawn.
  • Introduction: The introduction should provide background information on your topic, state the purpose of your research, and present your research question or hypothesis. It should also include a brief literature review that discusses previous research on your topic.
  • Methods: The methods section should describe the procedures you used to collect and analyze your data. It should include information on the participants, the materials and instruments used, and the statistical analyses performed.
  • Results: The results section should present the findings of your research in a clear and concise manner. Use tables and figures to help illustrate your results.
  • Discussion : The discussion section should interpret your results and relate them back to your research question or hypothesis. It should also discuss the implications of your findings and any limitations of your study.
  • References : The references section should include a list of all sources cited in your paper. Follow APA formatting guidelines for your citations and references.

Some additional tips for formatting your APA research paper:

  • Use 12-point Times New Roman font throughout the paper.
  • Double-space all text, including the references.
  • Use 1-inch margins on all sides of the page.
  • Indent the first line of each paragraph by 0.5 inches.
  • Use a hanging indent for the references (the first line should be flush with the left margin, and all subsequent lines should be indented).
  • Number all pages, including the title page and references page, in the upper right-hand corner.

APA Research Paper Format Template

APA Research Paper Format Template is as follows:

Title Page:

  • Title of the paper
  • Author’s name
  • Institutional affiliation
  • A brief summary of the main points of the paper, including the research question, methods, findings, and conclusions. The abstract should be no more than 250 words.

Introduction:

  • Background information on the topic of the research paper
  • Research question or hypothesis
  • Significance of the study
  • Overview of the research methods and design
  • Brief summary of the main findings
  • Participants: description of the sample population, including the number of participants and their characteristics (age, gender, ethnicity, etc.)
  • Materials: description of any materials used in the study (e.g., survey questions, experimental apparatus)
  • Procedure: detailed description of the steps taken to conduct the study
  • Presentation of the findings of the study, including statistical analyses if applicable
  • Tables and figures may be included to illustrate the results

Discussion:

  • Interpretation of the results in light of the research question and hypothesis
  • Implications of the study for the field
  • Limitations of the study
  • Suggestions for future research

References:

  • A list of all sources cited in the paper, in APA format

Formatting guidelines:

  • Double-spaced
  • 12-point font (Times New Roman or Arial)
  • 1-inch margins on all sides
  • Page numbers in the top right corner
  • Headings and subheadings should be used to organize the paper
  • The first line of each paragraph should be indented
  • Quotations of 40 or more words should be set off in a block quote with no quotation marks
  • In-text citations should include the author’s last name and year of publication (e.g., Smith, 2019)

APA Research Paper Format Example

APA Research Paper Format Example is as follows:

The Effects of Social Media on Mental Health

University of XYZ

This study examines the relationship between social media use and mental health among college students. Data was collected through a survey of 500 students at the University of XYZ. Results suggest that social media use is significantly related to symptoms of depression and anxiety, and that the negative effects of social media are greater among frequent users.

Social media has become an increasingly important aspect of modern life, especially among young adults. While social media can have many positive effects, such as connecting people across distances and sharing information, there is growing concern about its impact on mental health. This study aims to examine the relationship between social media use and mental health among college students.

Participants: Participants were 500 college students at the University of XYZ, recruited through online advertisements and flyers posted on campus. Participants ranged in age from 18 to 25, with a mean age of 20.5 years. The sample was 60% female, 40% male, and 5% identified as non-binary or gender non-conforming.

Data was collected through an online survey administered through Qualtrics. The survey consisted of several measures, including the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) for depression symptoms, the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) for anxiety symptoms, and questions about social media use.

Procedure :

Participants were asked to complete the online survey at their convenience. The survey took approximately 20-30 minutes to complete. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics, correlations, and multiple regression analysis.

Results indicated that social media use was significantly related to symptoms of depression (r = .32, p < .001) and anxiety (r = .29, p < .001). Regression analysis indicated that frequency of social media use was a significant predictor of both depression symptoms (β = .24, p < .001) and anxiety symptoms (β = .20, p < .001), even when controlling for age, gender, and other relevant factors.

The results of this study suggest that social media use is associated with symptoms of depression and anxiety among college students. The negative effects of social media are greater among frequent users. These findings have important implications for mental health professionals and educators, who should consider addressing the potential negative effects of social media use in their work with young adults.

References :

References should be listed in alphabetical order according to the author’s last name. For example:

  • Chou, H. T. G., & Edge, N. (2012). “They are happier and having better lives than I am”: The impact of using Facebook on perceptions of others’ lives. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 15(2), 117-121.
  • Twenge, J. M., Joiner, T. E., Rogers, M. L., & Martin, G. N. (2018). Increases in depressive symptoms, suicide-related outcomes, and suicide rates among U.S. adolescents after 2010 and links to increased new media screen time. Clinical Psychological Science, 6(1), 3-17.

Note: This is just a sample Example do not use this in your assignment.

MLA (Modern Language Association) Format

MLA (Modern Language Association) Format is as follows:

  • Page Layout : Use 8.5 x 11-inch white paper, with 1-inch margins on all sides. The font should be 12-point Times New Roman or a similar serif font.
  • Heading and Title : The first page of your research paper should include a heading and a title. The heading should include your name, your instructor’s name, the course title, and the date. The title should be centered and in title case (capitalizing the first letter of each important word).
  • In-Text Citations : Use parenthetical citations to indicate the source of your information. The citation should include the author’s last name and the page number(s) of the source. For example: (Smith 23).
  • Works Cited Page : At the end of your paper, include a Works Cited page that lists all the sources you used in your research. Each entry should include the author’s name, the title of the work, the publication information, and the medium of publication.
  • Formatting Quotations : Use double quotation marks for short quotations and block quotations for longer quotations. Indent the entire quotation five spaces from the left margin.
  • Formatting the Body : Use a clear and readable font and double-space your text throughout. The first line of each paragraph should be indented one-half inch from the left margin.

MLA Research Paper Template

MLA Research Paper Format Template is as follows:

  • Use 8.5 x 11 inch white paper.
  • Use a 12-point font, such as Times New Roman.
  • Use double-spacing throughout the entire paper, including the title page and works cited page.
  • Set the margins to 1 inch on all sides.
  • Use page numbers in the upper right corner, beginning with the first page of text.
  • Include a centered title for the research paper, using title case (capitalizing the first letter of each important word).
  • Include your name, instructor’s name, course name, and date in the upper left corner, double-spaced.

In-Text Citations

  • When quoting or paraphrasing information from sources, include an in-text citation within the text of your paper.
  • Use the author’s last name and the page number in parentheses at the end of the sentence, before the punctuation mark.
  • If the author’s name is mentioned in the sentence, only include the page number in parentheses.

Works Cited Page

  • List all sources cited in alphabetical order by the author’s last name.
  • Each entry should include the author’s name, title of the work, publication information, and medium of publication.
  • Use italics for book and journal titles, and quotation marks for article and chapter titles.
  • For online sources, include the date of access and the URL.

Here is an example of how the first page of a research paper in MLA format should look:

Headings and Subheadings

  • Use headings and subheadings to organize your paper and make it easier to read.
  • Use numerals to number your headings and subheadings (e.g. 1, 2, 3), and capitalize the first letter of each word.
  • The main heading should be centered and in boldface type, while subheadings should be left-aligned and in italics.
  • Use only one space after each period or punctuation mark.
  • Use quotation marks to indicate direct quotes from a source.
  • If the quote is more than four lines, format it as a block quote, indented one inch from the left margin and without quotation marks.
  • Use ellipses (…) to indicate omitted words from a quote, and brackets ([…]) to indicate added words.

Works Cited Examples

  • Book: Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Publisher, Publication Year.
  • Journal Article: Last Name, First Name. “Title of Article.” Title of Journal, volume number, issue number, publication date, page numbers.
  • Website: Last Name, First Name. “Title of Webpage.” Title of Website, publication date, URL. Accessed date.

Here is an example of how a works cited entry for a book should look:

Smith, John. The Art of Writing Research Papers. Penguin, 2021.

MLA Research Paper Example

MLA Research Paper Format Example is as follows:

Your Professor’s Name

Course Name and Number

Date (in Day Month Year format)

Word Count (not including title page or Works Cited)

Title: The Impact of Video Games on Aggression Levels

Video games have become a popular form of entertainment among people of all ages. However, the impact of video games on aggression levels has been a subject of debate among scholars and researchers. While some argue that video games promote aggression and violent behavior, others argue that there is no clear link between video games and aggression levels. This research paper aims to explore the impact of video games on aggression levels among young adults.

Background:

The debate on the impact of video games on aggression levels has been ongoing for several years. According to the American Psychological Association, exposure to violent media, including video games, can increase aggression levels in children and adolescents. However, some researchers argue that there is no clear evidence to support this claim. Several studies have been conducted to examine the impact of video games on aggression levels, but the results have been mixed.

Methodology:

This research paper used a quantitative research approach to examine the impact of video games on aggression levels among young adults. A sample of 100 young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 was selected for the study. The participants were asked to complete a questionnaire that measured their aggression levels and their video game habits.

The results of the study showed that there was a significant correlation between video game habits and aggression levels among young adults. The participants who reported playing violent video games for more than 5 hours per week had higher aggression levels than those who played less than 5 hours per week. The study also found that male participants were more likely to play violent video games and had higher aggression levels than female participants.

The findings of this study support the claim that video games can increase aggression levels among young adults. However, it is important to note that the study only examined the impact of video games on aggression levels and did not take into account other factors that may contribute to aggressive behavior. It is also important to note that not all video games promote violence and aggression, and some games may have a positive impact on cognitive and social skills.

Conclusion :

In conclusion, this research paper provides evidence to support the claim that video games can increase aggression levels among young adults. However, it is important to conduct further research to examine the impact of video games on other aspects of behavior and to explore the potential benefits of video games. Parents and educators should be aware of the potential impact of video games on aggression levels and should encourage young adults to engage in a variety of activities that promote cognitive and social skills.

Works Cited:

  • American Psychological Association. (2017). Violent Video Games: Myths, Facts, and Unanswered Questions. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2017/08/violent-video-games
  • Ferguson, C. J. (2015). Do Angry Birds make for angry children? A meta-analysis of video game influences on children’s and adolescents’ aggression, mental health, prosocial behavior, and academic performance. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 10(5), 646-666.
  • Gentile, D. A., Swing, E. L., Lim, C. G., & Khoo, A. (2012). Video game playing, attention problems, and impulsiveness: Evidence of bidirectional causality. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 1(1), 62-70.
  • Greitemeyer, T. (2014). Effects of prosocial video games on prosocial behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 106(4), 530-548.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Chicago/Turabian Formate is as follows:

  • Margins : Use 1-inch margins on all sides of the paper.
  • Font : Use a readable font such as Times New Roman or Arial, and use a 12-point font size.
  • Page numbering : Number all pages in the upper right-hand corner, beginning with the first page of text. Use Arabic numerals.
  • Title page: Include a title page with the title of the paper, your name, course title and number, instructor’s name, and the date. The title should be centered on the page and in title case (capitalize the first letter of each word).
  • Headings: Use headings to organize your paper. The first level of headings should be centered and in boldface or italics. The second level of headings should be left-aligned and in boldface or italics. Use as many levels of headings as necessary to organize your paper.
  • In-text citations : Use footnotes or endnotes to cite sources within the text of your paper. The first citation for each source should be a full citation, and subsequent citations can be shortened. Use superscript numbers to indicate footnotes or endnotes.
  • Bibliography : Include a bibliography at the end of your paper, listing all sources cited in your paper. The bibliography should be in alphabetical order by the author’s last name, and each entry should include the author’s name, title of the work, publication information, and date of publication.
  • Formatting of quotations: Use block quotations for quotations that are longer than four lines. Indent the entire quotation one inch from the left margin, and do not use quotation marks. Single-space the quotation, and double-space between paragraphs.
  • Tables and figures: Use tables and figures to present data and illustrations. Number each table and figure sequentially, and provide a brief title for each. Place tables and figures as close as possible to the text that refers to them.
  • Spelling and grammar : Use correct spelling and grammar throughout your paper. Proofread carefully for errors.

Chicago/Turabian Research Paper Template

Chicago/Turabian Research Paper Template is as folows:

Title of Paper

Name of Student

Professor’s Name

I. Introduction

A. Background Information

B. Research Question

C. Thesis Statement

II. Literature Review

A. Overview of Existing Literature

B. Analysis of Key Literature

C. Identification of Gaps in Literature

III. Methodology

A. Research Design

B. Data Collection

C. Data Analysis

IV. Results

A. Presentation of Findings

B. Analysis of Findings

C. Discussion of Implications

V. Conclusion

A. Summary of Findings

B. Implications for Future Research

C. Conclusion

VI. References

A. Bibliography

B. In-Text Citations

VII. Appendices (if necessary)

A. Data Tables

C. Additional Supporting Materials

Chicago/Turabian Research Paper Example

Title: The Impact of Social Media on Political Engagement

Name: John Smith

Class: POLS 101

Professor: Dr. Jane Doe

Date: April 8, 2023

I. Introduction:

Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives. People use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to connect with friends and family, share their opinions, and stay informed about current events. With the rise of social media, there has been a growing interest in understanding its impact on various aspects of society, including political engagement. In this paper, I will examine the relationship between social media use and political engagement, specifically focusing on how social media influences political participation and political attitudes.

II. Literature Review:

There is a growing body of literature on the impact of social media on political engagement. Some scholars argue that social media has a positive effect on political participation by providing new channels for political communication and mobilization (Delli Carpini & Keeter, 1996; Putnam, 2000). Others, however, suggest that social media can have a negative impact on political engagement by creating filter bubbles that reinforce existing beliefs and discourage political dialogue (Pariser, 2011; Sunstein, 2001).

III. Methodology:

To examine the relationship between social media use and political engagement, I conducted a survey of 500 college students. The survey included questions about social media use, political participation, and political attitudes. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and regression analysis.

Iv. Results:

The results of the survey indicate that social media use is positively associated with political participation. Specifically, respondents who reported using social media to discuss politics were more likely to have participated in a political campaign, attended a political rally, or contacted a political representative. Additionally, social media use was found to be associated with more positive attitudes towards political engagement, such as increased trust in government and belief in the effectiveness of political action.

V. Conclusion:

The findings of this study suggest that social media has a positive impact on political engagement, by providing new opportunities for political communication and mobilization. However, there is also a need for caution, as social media can also create filter bubbles that reinforce existing beliefs and discourage political dialogue. Future research should continue to explore the complex relationship between social media and political engagement, and develop strategies to harness the potential benefits of social media while mitigating its potential negative effects.

Vii. References:

  • Delli Carpini, M. X., & Keeter, S. (1996). What Americans know about politics and why it matters. Yale University Press.
  • Pariser, E. (2011). The filter bubble: What the Internet is hiding from you. Penguin.
  • Putnam, R. D. (2000). Bowling alone: The collapse and revival of American community. Simon & Schuster.
  • Sunstein, C. R. (2001). Republic.com. Princeton University Press.

IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Format

IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Research Paper Format is as follows:

  • Title : A concise and informative title that accurately reflects the content of the paper.
  • Abstract : A brief summary of the paper, typically no more than 250 words, that includes the purpose of the study, the methods used, the key findings, and the main conclusions.
  • Introduction : An overview of the background, context, and motivation for the research, including a clear statement of the problem being addressed and the objectives of the study.
  • Literature review: A critical analysis of the relevant research and scholarship on the topic, including a discussion of any gaps or limitations in the existing literature.
  • Methodology : A detailed description of the methods used to collect and analyze data, including any experiments or simulations, data collection instruments or procedures, and statistical analyses.
  • Results : A clear and concise presentation of the findings, including any relevant tables, graphs, or figures.
  • Discussion : A detailed interpretation of the results, including a comparison of the findings with previous research, a discussion of the implications of the results, and any recommendations for future research.
  • Conclusion : A summary of the key findings and main conclusions of the study.
  • References : A list of all sources cited in the paper, formatted according to IEEE guidelines.

In addition to these elements, an IEEE research paper should also follow certain formatting guidelines, including using 12-point font, double-spaced text, and numbered headings and subheadings. Additionally, any tables, figures, or equations should be clearly labeled and referenced in the text.

AMA (American Medical Association) Style

AMA (American Medical Association) Style Research Paper Format:

  • Title Page: This page includes the title of the paper, the author’s name, institutional affiliation, and any acknowledgments or disclaimers.
  • Abstract: The abstract is a brief summary of the paper that outlines the purpose, methods, results, and conclusions of the study. It is typically limited to 250 words or less.
  • Introduction: The introduction provides a background of the research problem, defines the research question, and outlines the objectives and hypotheses of the study.
  • Methods: The methods section describes the research design, participants, procedures, and instruments used to collect and analyze data.
  • Results: The results section presents the findings of the study in a clear and concise manner, using graphs, tables, and charts where appropriate.
  • Discussion: The discussion section interprets the results, explains their significance, and relates them to previous research in the field.
  • Conclusion: The conclusion summarizes the main points of the paper, discusses the implications of the findings, and suggests future research directions.
  • References: The reference list includes all sources cited in the paper, listed in alphabetical order by author’s last name.

In addition to these sections, the AMA format requires that authors follow specific guidelines for citing sources in the text and formatting their references. The AMA style uses a superscript number system for in-text citations and provides specific formats for different types of sources, such as books, journal articles, and websites.

Harvard Style

Harvard Style Research Paper format is as follows:

  • Title page: This should include the title of your paper, your name, the name of your institution, and the date of submission.
  • Abstract : This is a brief summary of your paper, usually no more than 250 words. It should outline the main points of your research and highlight your findings.
  • Introduction : This section should introduce your research topic, provide background information, and outline your research question or thesis statement.
  • Literature review: This section should review the relevant literature on your topic, including previous research studies, academic articles, and other sources.
  • Methodology : This section should describe the methods you used to conduct your research, including any data collection methods, research instruments, and sampling techniques.
  • Results : This section should present your findings in a clear and concise manner, using tables, graphs, and other visual aids if necessary.
  • Discussion : This section should interpret your findings and relate them to the broader research question or thesis statement. You should also discuss the implications of your research and suggest areas for future study.
  • Conclusion : This section should summarize your main findings and provide a final statement on the significance of your research.
  • References : This is a list of all the sources you cited in your paper, presented in alphabetical order by author name. Each citation should include the author’s name, the title of the source, the publication date, and other relevant information.

In addition to these sections, a Harvard Style research paper may also include a table of contents, appendices, and other supplementary materials as needed. It is important to follow the specific formatting guidelines provided by your instructor or academic institution when preparing your research paper in Harvard Style.

Vancouver Style

Vancouver Style Research Paper format is as follows:

The Vancouver citation style is commonly used in the biomedical sciences and is known for its use of numbered references. Here is a basic format for a research paper using the Vancouver citation style:

  • Title page: Include the title of your paper, your name, the name of your institution, and the date.
  • Abstract : This is a brief summary of your research paper, usually no more than 250 words.
  • Introduction : Provide some background information on your topic and state the purpose of your research.
  • Methods : Describe the methods you used to conduct your research, including the study design, data collection, and statistical analysis.
  • Results : Present your findings in a clear and concise manner, using tables and figures as needed.
  • Discussion : Interpret your results and explain their significance. Also, discuss any limitations of your study and suggest directions for future research.
  • References : List all of the sources you cited in your paper in numerical order. Each reference should include the author’s name, the title of the article or book, the name of the journal or publisher, the year of publication, and the page numbers.

ACS (American Chemical Society) Style

ACS (American Chemical Society) Style Research Paper format is as follows:

The American Chemical Society (ACS) Style is a citation style commonly used in chemistry and related fields. When formatting a research paper in ACS Style, here are some guidelines to follow:

  • Paper Size and Margins : Use standard 8.5″ x 11″ paper with 1-inch margins on all sides.
  • Font: Use a 12-point serif font (such as Times New Roman) for the main text. The title should be in bold and a larger font size.
  • Title Page : The title page should include the title of the paper, the authors’ names and affiliations, and the date of submission. The title should be centered on the page and written in bold font. The authors’ names should be centered below the title, followed by their affiliations and the date.
  • Abstract : The abstract should be a brief summary of the paper, no more than 250 words. It should be on a separate page and include the title of the paper, the authors’ names and affiliations, and the text of the abstract.
  • Main Text : The main text should be organized into sections with headings that clearly indicate the content of each section. The introduction should provide background information and state the research question or hypothesis. The methods section should describe the procedures used in the study. The results section should present the findings of the study, and the discussion section should interpret the results and provide conclusions.
  • References: Use the ACS Style guide to format the references cited in the paper. In-text citations should be numbered sequentially throughout the text and listed in numerical order at the end of the paper.
  • Figures and Tables: Figures and tables should be numbered sequentially and referenced in the text. Each should have a descriptive caption that explains its content. Figures should be submitted in a high-quality electronic format.
  • Supporting Information: Additional information such as data, graphs, and videos may be included as supporting information. This should be included in a separate file and referenced in the main text.
  • Acknowledgments : Acknowledge any funding sources or individuals who contributed to the research.

ASA (American Sociological Association) Style

ASA (American Sociological Association) Style Research Paper format is as follows:

  • Title Page: The title page of an ASA style research paper should include the title of the paper, the author’s name, and the institutional affiliation. The title should be centered and should be in title case (the first letter of each major word should be capitalized).
  • Abstract: An abstract is a brief summary of the paper that should appear on a separate page immediately following the title page. The abstract should be no more than 200 words in length and should summarize the main points of the paper.
  • Main Body: The main body of the paper should begin on a new page following the abstract page. The paper should be double-spaced, with 1-inch margins on all sides, and should be written in 12-point Times New Roman font. The main body of the paper should include an introduction, a literature review, a methodology section, results, and a discussion.
  • References : The reference section should appear on a separate page at the end of the paper. All sources cited in the paper should be listed in alphabetical order by the author’s last name. Each reference should include the author’s name, the title of the work, the publication information, and the date of publication.
  • Appendices : Appendices are optional and should only be included if they contain information that is relevant to the study but too lengthy to be included in the main body of the paper. If you include appendices, each one should be labeled with a letter (e.g., Appendix A, Appendix B, etc.) and should be referenced in the main body of the paper.

APSA (American Political Science Association) Style

APSA (American Political Science Association) Style Research Paper format is as follows:

  • Title Page: The title page should include the title of the paper, the author’s name, the name of the course or instructor, and the date.
  • Abstract : An abstract is typically not required in APSA style papers, but if one is included, it should be brief and summarize the main points of the paper.
  • Introduction : The introduction should provide an overview of the research topic, the research question, and the main argument or thesis of the paper.
  • Literature Review : The literature review should summarize the existing research on the topic and provide a context for the research question.
  • Methods : The methods section should describe the research methods used in the paper, including data collection and analysis.
  • Results : The results section should present the findings of the research.
  • Discussion : The discussion section should interpret the results and connect them back to the research question and argument.
  • Conclusion : The conclusion should summarize the main findings and implications of the research.
  • References : The reference list should include all sources cited in the paper, formatted according to APSA style guidelines.

In-text citations in APSA style use parenthetical citation, which includes the author’s last name, publication year, and page number(s) if applicable. For example, (Smith 2010, 25).

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What Is Short-Term Paper?

Understanding short-term papers.

  • Investing in Short-Term Papers

Issuers of Short-Term Papers

  • Fixed Income Trading
  • Fixed Income Trading Strategy & Education

Short-Term Paper: What It is, How It Works

James Chen, CMT is an expert trader, investment adviser, and global market strategist.

short term paper format

Thomas J Catalano is a CFP and Registered Investment Adviser with the state of South Carolina, where he launched his own financial advisory firm in 2018. Thomas' experience gives him expertise in a variety of areas including investments, retirement, insurance, and financial planning.

short term paper format

Short-term paper refers broadly to fixed-income securities that typically have original maturities of less than nine months. Short-term paper is usually issued at a discount and provides a relatively low-risk financing alternative for companies, governments, or other organizations to fund normal operations.

Key Takeaways

  • Short-term paper is a broad category of unsecured, but relatively safe, debt with maturities that range from 90 days to nine months.
  • Short-term paper is sold at a discount and then repaid at par value instead of paying regular interest or a coupon.
  • Examples of short-term papers include commercial paper, short-term Treasuries, and promissory notes.
  • Investors rely on depositing funds in short-term paper as it is a better source of return than cash but at the same time allows for funds to be easily accessible if needed.
  • Short-term paper is issued by governments, corporations, and financial institutions.

Short-term papers are negotiable debt instruments that are usually unsecured , but which may also be backed by assets such as securities or loans issued by a corporation. These financial instruments are sometimes considered part of the money market and are almost always issued at a discount to par and then repaid at face value upon maturity.

The difference between the purchase price and the face value of the security represents the return on investment for the holders. For the issuer, this difference represents the cost of financing the loan security. The debt security can also be issued as an interest-bearing security.

Examples of short-term paper include U.S. Treasury bills and negotiable instruments issued by financial and non-financial entities, such as commercial paper , promissory notes, and bills of exchange.

In the case of U.S. Treasury bills, the papers are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government and are, thus, considered the safest investments because the government cannot default.

Investing and Issuing Short-Term Papers

Short-term papers are usually issued with a minimum denomination of $25,000. This means that the main investors of these securities are institutional investors who seek short-term vehicles to deposit their cash temporarily.

Given that short-term papers are a better alternative to holding cash in a bank account because they provided a return as opposed to cash, investors find them an attractive opportunity. Mutual funds, for instance, invest heavily in short-term paper due to their relative safety and high liquidity .

The majority of financial institutions rely on being able to roll over short-term paper for their day-to-day financing needs. During the U.S. financial-market meltdown of 2008 , institutions essentially halted issuing short-term paper and the U.S. government had to intervene to provide liquidity for corporations caught without the means to finance operations.

Short-term paper is issued by a variety of entities, including governments, corporations, and financial institutions as they are a common form of financing the daily operations of any entity. It is a simpler form of financing than having to obtain a loan from a bank, for example. They are also easy to set up and don't require much information to be disclosed.

The issued paper is rated by a rating agency , such as Standard & Poor's , so investors understand the risk of the entity they are purchasing the short-term paper from.

Structured investment vehicles (SIV) that invest in long-term assets finance those assets by selling short-term paper with an average maturity of 90 days or less. The paper can be backed by a pool of mortgages or loans used for collateral and is, hence, referred to as short-term asset-backed paper . In the case of default, investors of the asset-backed paper can seize and sell the underlying collateral assets.

Commercial pape r is a commonly used type of unsecured, short-term paper issued by corporations, typically used for the financing of payroll,  accounts payable , and inventories, as well as meeting other near-term liabilities. Maturities on commercial paper typically last several days, and rarely range longer than 270 days. Commercial paper is usually issued in larger denominations, typically $100,000.

It is not uncommon for issuers to adjust the amounts and/or the maturities of papers to suit the investment needs of a particular buyer or group of buyers. Investors can purchase short-term paper directly from the issuer or through dealers who act as intermediaries between the issuer and the lender.

Treasury Direct. " Treasury Bills ."

Congressional Research Service. " Costs of Government Interventions in Response to the Financial Crisis: A Retrospective ," Page 21.

short term paper format

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short term paper format

Create a form in Word that users can complete or print

In Word, you can create a form that others can fill out and save or print.  To do this, you will start with baseline content in a document, potentially via a form template.  Then you can add content controls for elements such as check boxes, text boxes, date pickers, and drop-down lists. Optionally, these content controls can be linked to database information.  Following are the recommended action steps in sequence.  

Show the Developer tab

In Word, be sure you have the Developer tab displayed in the ribbon.  (See how here:  Show the developer tab .)

Open a template or a blank document on which to base the form

You can start with a template or just start from scratch with a blank document.

Start with a form template

Go to File > New .

In the  Search for online templates  field, type  Forms or the kind of form you want. Then press Enter .

In the displayed results, right-click any item, then select  Create. 

Start with a blank document 

Select Blank document .

Add content to the form

Go to the  Developer  tab Controls section where you can choose controls to add to your document or form. Hover over any icon therein to see what control type it represents. The various control types are described below. You can set properties on a control once it has been inserted.

To delete a content control, right-click it, then select Remove content control  in the pop-up menu. 

Note:  You can print a form that was created via content controls. However, the boxes around the content controls will not print.

Insert a text control

The rich text content control enables users to format text (e.g., bold, italic) and type multiple paragraphs. To limit these capabilities, use the plain text content control . 

Click or tap where you want to insert the control.

Rich text control button

To learn about setting specific properties on these controls, see Set or change properties for content controls .

Insert a picture control

A picture control is most often used for templates, but you can also add a picture control to a form.

Picture control button

Insert a building block control

Use a building block control  when you want users to choose a specific block of text. These are helpful when you need to add different boilerplate text depending on the document's specific purpose. You can create rich text content controls for each version of the boilerplate text, and then use a building block control as the container for the rich text content controls.

building block gallery control

Select Developer and content controls for the building block.

Developer tab showing content controls

Insert a combo box or a drop-down list

In a combo box, users can select from a list of choices that you provide or they can type in their own information. In a drop-down list, users can only select from the list of choices.

combo box button

Select the content control, and then select Properties .

To create a list of choices, select Add under Drop-Down List Properties .

Type a choice in Display Name , such as Yes , No , or Maybe .

Repeat this step until all of the choices are in the drop-down list.

Fill in any other properties that you want.

Note:  If you select the Contents cannot be edited check box, users won’t be able to click a choice.

Insert a date picker

Click or tap where you want to insert the date picker control.

Date picker button

Insert a check box

Click or tap where you want to insert the check box control.

Check box button

Use the legacy form controls

Legacy form controls are for compatibility with older versions of Word and consist of legacy form and Active X controls.

Click or tap where you want to insert a legacy control.

Legacy control button

Select the Legacy Form control or Active X Control that you want to include.

Set or change properties for content controls

Each content control has properties that you can set or change. For example, the Date Picker control offers options for the format you want to use to display the date.

Select the content control that you want to change.

Go to Developer > Properties .

Controls Properties  button

Change the properties that you want.

Add protection to a form

If you want to limit how much others can edit or format a form, use the Restrict Editing command:

Open the form that you want to lock or protect.

Select Developer > Restrict Editing .

Restrict editing button

After selecting restrictions, select Yes, Start Enforcing Protection .

Restrict editing panel

Advanced Tip:

If you want to protect only parts of the document, separate the document into sections and only protect the sections you want.

To do this, choose Select Sections in the Restrict Editing panel. For more info on sections, see Insert a section break .

Sections selector on Resrict sections panel

If the developer tab isn't displayed in the ribbon, see Show the Developer tab .

Open a template or use a blank document

To create a form in Word that others can fill out, start with a template or document and add content controls. Content controls include things like check boxes, text boxes, and drop-down lists. If you’re familiar with databases, these content controls can even be linked to data.

Go to File > New from Template .

New from template option

In Search, type form .

Double-click the template you want to use.

Select File > Save As , and pick a location to save the form.

In Save As , type a file name and then select Save .

Start with a blank document

Go to File > New Document .

New document option

Go to File > Save As .

Go to Developer , and then choose the controls that you want to add to the document or form. To remove a content control, select the control and press Delete. You can set Options on controls once inserted. From Options, you can add entry and exit macros to run when users interact with the controls, as well as list items for combo boxes, .

Adding content controls to your form

In the document, click or tap where you want to add a content control.

On Developer , select Text Box , Check Box , or Combo Box .

Developer tab with content controls

To set specific properties for the control, select Options , and set .

Repeat steps 1 through 3 for each control that you want to add.

Set options

Options let you set common settings, as well as control specific settings. Select a control and then select Options to set up or make changes.

Set common properties.

Select Macro to Run on lets you choose a recorded or custom macro to run on Entry or Exit from the field.

Bookmark Set a unique name or bookmark for each control.

Calculate on exit This forces Word to run or refresh any calculations, such as total price when the user exits the field.

Add Help Text Give hints or instructions for each field.

OK Saves settings and exits the panel.

Cancel Forgets changes and exits the panel.

Set specific properties for a Text box

Type Select form Regular text, Number, Date, Current Date, Current Time, or Calculation.

Default text sets optional instructional text that's displayed in the text box before the user types in the field. Set Text box enabled to allow the user to enter text into the field.

Maximum length sets the length of text that a user can enter. The default is Unlimited .

Text format can set whether text automatically formats to Uppercase , Lowercase , First capital, or Title case .

Text box enabled Lets the user enter text into a field. If there is default text, user text replaces it.

Set specific properties for a Check box .

Default Value Choose between Not checked or checked as default.

Checkbox size Set a size Exactly or Auto to change size as needed.

Check box enabled Lets the user check or clear the text box.

Set specific properties for a Combo box

Drop-down item Type in strings for the list box items. Press + or Enter to add an item to the list.

Items in drop-down list Shows your current list. Select an item and use the up or down arrows to change the order, Press - to remove a selected item.

Drop-down enabled Lets the user open the combo box and make selections.

Protect the form

Go to Developer > Protect Form .

Protect form button on the Developer tab

Note:  To unprotect the form and continue editing, select Protect Form again.

Save and close the form.

Test the form (optional)

If you want, you can test the form before you distribute it.

Protect the form.

Reopen the form, fill it out as the user would, and then save a copy.

Creating fillable forms isn’t available in Word for the web.

You can create the form with the desktop version of Word with the instructions in Create a fillable form .

When you save the document and reopen it in Word for the web, you’ll see the changes you made.

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Examining the short and long-term impacts of child sexual abuse: a review study

  • Review Paper
  • Open access
  • Published: 15 February 2024
  • Volume 4 , article number  56 , ( 2024 )

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  • Sana Ali   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-3474-000X 1 , 2 ,
  • Saadia Anwar Pasha   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-6416-7358 3 ,
  • Ann Cox   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-8399-8050 4 &
  • Enaam Youssef 5  

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Child sexual abuse is a growing problem, representing an egregious abuse of power, trust, and authority with far-reaching implications for the victims. This review study highlights the intricate psychological impacts of child sexual abuse, addressing both short and long-term consequences. Existing literature highlights the deep impacts on the victims’ psychological health and well-being, necessitating an in-depth examination of the subject. Drawing from a sample of n = 19 research articles selected through stringent inclusion and exclusion criteria and the PRISMA approach, this study synthesizes results from publications spanning 2010 to 2022. The review reveals various detrimental impacts on the victims’ psychological well-being, including short-term consequences, i.e., isolation, bullying, stress, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Long-term effects encompass PTSD in later life, disrupted intimate relationships, social and emotional health concerns, revictimization, and more. In conclusion, the study emphasizes the lack of a definitive number of impacts, highlighting the need to discuss and raise awareness about child sexual abuse. This increased awareness is important for parents, guardians, and responsible authorities to effectively counteract these crimes against children. Also, providing emotional support to victims is important to mitigate the long-term impacts. The researchers offer implications and discuss limitations, providing an extensive overview and foundation for future research and interventions.

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Introduction

Child sexual abuse is prevalent across class, race, and ethnicity, with both short-term and long-term impacts. It mainly involves an interaction between the abuser and the child, in which the child is the focus of the sexual stimulation of an observer or the offender (Wagenmans et al. 2018 ). Child sexual abuse is anticipated as silencing the minor, and consequently, reporting such incidents is much less. Even without knowing the full ratio of the relevant incidents, experts agree that 500,000 children face sexual abuse yearly (YWCA.org 2017 ). This sexual offence against children has always been an existing phenomenon in all societies and historical eras. For instance, ancient civilizations openly adopted child sexual abuse as a normal, cultural, and social practice aimed at the learning and development of children (Ali 2019 ). Despite the perceptions about child sexual abuse historically varied, we found varying perceptions ranging from acceptance (justifiable) to rejection (children’s rights violation) (DiLillo et al. 2014 ). Child sexual abuse is not limited only to penetration; instead, showing a child pornographic photos, voyeurism, touching a child’s genitals, and even making the child touch or see the perpetrator’s private body parts is also considered sexual abuse (National Sexual Violence Resource Center 2011 ). It is also notable that both boys and girls are strongly susceptible to sexual abuse. However, girls are more vulnerable as they confront sexual abuse three times more than boys, while boys are more likely to be severely injured or die after sexual molestation (National Sexual Violence Resource Center 2011 ). A report by the World Health Organization in 2006 revealed that more than 20% of women and 8% of men in 39 countries reported that they had faced sexual abuse during childhood.

Similarly, data from 2012 to 2013 shows that 2% of boys and 4% of girls experience some sexual abuse every year (Chan et al. 2013 ). Another report (UNICEF 2020a ) revealed that more than 120 million individuals worldwide face forced sexual acts during their childhood. Most are females (89%), and 11% are males. Globally, this statistic is much higher as every one out of four girls and one in every six boys during the early years of their lives (YWCA.org 2017 ).

Similarly, sexual abuse of children is possible in almost every social setting and location, i.e., schools, roads, justice institutions, and homes. Also, it is prevalent equally among all socio-economic classes and age groups; children facing sexual abuse sometimes cannot realize their molestation (Selengia et al. 2020 ). Around 92.0 of the reported incidents were linked by acquittances (closed relatives), indicating the prevalence of incestuous abuse (Ali et al. 2021 ). Notably, there are three dynamic factors behind child sexual abuse, i.e., psychological, economic, and social. For instance, social factors involve one’s personal experience of sexual exploitation during childhood (Middleton et al. 2017 ). Economic factors involve poverty. For example, parents may ask their girl child to look for a capable man to take care of her primary needs, which may further lead to engaging in sexual activities in return for monetary support (Simuforosa 2015 , p. 1792).

On the other hand, psychological factors are mainly defined as sexual interest in children due to a mental disorder (Tenbergen et al. 2015 ). However, the economic factors responsible for perpetuating child sexual abuse mainly involve forcibly engaging children in sexual acts, selling or buying children pornography, and all the other relevant factors that lead to the economic benefits for the perpetrators (Ali 2019 ). Notably, the impacts of child sexual use are detrimental from different aspects. For instance, these impacts are immediate yet prolonged, indicating their severity during adulthood. According to (Downing et al. 2021 ), stress-induced variations in the pro-inflammatory substances, i.e., alterations in gene expression and cortisol, mediate these detrimental impacts.

Additionally, risky sexual behaviours against children and the opposite gender are further attributed to the impacts of child sexual abuse (Fisher et al. 2017 , p. 11). Child sexual abuse poses an influential societal challenge, demanding careful examination to understand its complexities fully.

Aim and purpose

This research aims to scrutinize the role of Child Sexual Abuse as a risk factor for causing several psychological concerns among the victims. The researcher has reviewed some studies on Child Sexual Abuse and its impacts. Drawing on the aims of this article, the study aims to examine (1) the short-term psychological impacts of Child Sexual Abuse and (2) the long-term psychological impacts of Child Sexual Abuse according to studies conducted during the past twelve years (2010–2022). The overarching goal is to provide a comprehensive synthesis of existing literature, shedding light on the multifaceted consequences of child sexual abuse over both short and long-term durations. By systematically analyzing and assessing a selected set of articles, this study seeks to contribute to the understanding of prevalent themes, methodologies, and gaps in the existing literature surrounding the psychological impacts of child sexual abuse. The significance of this work extends to informing future research, interventions, and policymaking related to child protection and well-being. Finally, the aim is to facilitate the development of targeted and effective strategies for preventing, intervening, and supporting individuals affected by children.

In response to the urgent need for a comprehensive understanding, this review study uses the PRISMA approach to navigate existing literature. Addressing the CSA in current knowledge, we highlight the major difficulties associated with unravelling the complexities of child sexual abuse. This review not only synthesizes an extensive body of research but also discusses their findings and insights to overcome the inherent challenges in comprehending the short and long-term impacts of child sexual abuse. Our study seeks to make a distinctive contribution by explaining the intercity of this fragile subject matter, thus laying the groundwork for more effective interventions and support systems. It addresses the following research questions based on the aims and purposes of current research.

RQ1. What constitutes Child Sexual Abuse, and how can it be accurately defined within the current literature?

RQ2. How does Child Sexual Abuse affect the mental health and overall well-being of individuals, considering both short-term and long-term impacts?

This study is based on the systematic literature review approach. The review-based studies are a significant part of the existing literature as they closely witness the ongoing trends and complexities in the field under study (Ali and Pasha 2022 ). Besides, the relevant studies also highlight the major findings to further the gap and conduct an in-depth analysis of the other aspects of the same concern.

Assumptions and justifications

In the context of this systematic literature review, certain assumptions were made to facilitate the synthesis and analysis of the selected studies. These assumptions are integral to the nature of the review process. First, it was deemed that the definitions of key terms, i.e., “child sexual abuse” and “psychological impacts,” were relatively consistent across the selected studies. This assumption is grounded in the anticipation that researchers within the field comply with widely accepted definitions and classifications. While variations in terminologies exist, a comprehensive screening process and compliance with inclusion criteria mitigated possible discrepancies. The study focused on articles with clear and relevant definitions, assuring homogeneity in the selected literature.

Further, the decision to include articles published from 2010 onwards was based on the assumption that recent research mirrors current trends and developments in comprehending the psychological impacts of child sexual abuse. The rationale is rooted in the dynamic nature of research, focusing on current perspectives. This assumption allows for analyzing the most recent insights into the subject matter and recognizing the evolving nature of societal attitudes and academic discourse.

Evaluation of assumptions

While these assumptions were important for the systematic review process, it is important to acknowledge their probable impact on the results. A few considerations emphasize how these assumptions may affect the outcomes. For example, despite efforts to ensure consistency, variations in definitions across studies may introduce complexities in interpreting psychological impacts. This could influence the synthesis of results, and readers should be aware of the potential heterogeneity in conceptualizing key terms. Besides, the focus on recent publications assumes that newer research accurately represents the current landscape. However, this may bias contemporary perspectives, potentially bypassing practical insights from earlier studies.

Thus, considering the problem’s complexity and continuous research, the researcher selected three specialized platforms: PubMed, Science Direct, and APA PsycNet. However, the selection criteria were not restricted to any age, gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, and language. The keywords for the search were “impacts of child sexual abuse, child sexual abuse, psychological effects of child sexual abuse, short-term effects of child sexual abuse, and long-term effects of child sexual abuse. Later the researcher tabulated the data using Microsoft Excel, which further helped calculate the included articles’ percentages and frequencies. The researcher used the PRISMA method for systematic review, as suggested by (Page and McKenzie 2021 ). Table  1 summarizes the inclusion and exclusion criteria used in the current study:

Based on the PRISMA method of screening, evaluation and Selection, the researchers gathered a total of 113 records from the selected database. After removing the duplicates, 106 total articles were further screened for full-text availability (93). Finally, the researchers selected n  = 19 articles adhering to the selection criteria (See Fig.  1 ).

figure 1

PRISMA flow chart for the articles selection process

Table  2 summarizes the frequencies and percentages of the literature according to their database. It is observable that most of the articles were from PubMed (n = 11 or 57.8). APA PsyNet provided n = 7 or 36.8% articles, while n  = 1 (5.2%) article was obtained from Science Direct.

Table  3 summarizes the frequencies and percentages of the selected literature according to their publication years. As visible, most of the studies ( n  = 12, 63.1%) were published from 2015 to 2020, indicating that these years focused mainly on research scholars in psychology, communication, sociology, criminology, and other fields. These results also reflect the prevalence of the relevant concern demanding a strong consideration towards children’s rights and health protection (Ali and Pasha 2022 ). Followed by 04 or 21.0% of studies published between 2010–2015, n  = 03 or 1.7% of studies published until the end of November 2022.

Concerning the frequencies and percentages of the cited literature according to their designs, most studies (09 or 47.3%) were based on a review approach. Followed by experimental design ( n  = 06 or 31.5%), 03 or 15.7% of studies were based on the perspective method. Finally, online n  = 1 (5.2%) of the study was based on the case study method, and the same number of studies ( n  = 1, 5.2%) was categorized as “other” (See Table  4 ). Additionally, n  = 11 or 7.8% of studies were based on a qualitative approach, n = 11 or 57.8% were based on the quantitative approach, and only one study was based on the mixed method approach (See Table  5 ).

The researchers calculated the frequencies and percentages of the cited literature according to the data-gathering approaches used by the relevant researchers (See Table  3 ). Most studies ( n  = 13, 68.4%) were based on the survey method. Besides, the interview approach was preferred in 04% of studies. While n  = 1 (5.2%) study was based on the literature review approach, and the same number of literature ( n  = 1, 5.2%) was categorized as “other”.

Validation of selected methodology

The methodology used in this systematic literature review underwent a thorough validation process to ensure its reliability and comprehensiveness. Key elements of the validation process are.

Adherence to PRISMA Guidelines: The systematic review methodology rigorously adhered to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, as Page and McKenzie ( 2021 ) recommended. PRISMA guidelines are widely recognized and accepted standards for conducting systematic reviews, assuring a systematic and transparent approach to literature synthesis.

Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria: Establishing clear and strict inclusion and exclusion criteria contributed to the robustness of the methodology. These criteria were designed to select studies that specifically addressed the psychological impacts of child sexual abuse, enhancing the relevance and reliability of the synthesized literature.

Search Strategy: The search strategy employed in selecting articles was exhaustive, using three specialized platforms—PubMed, Science Direct, and APA PsycNet. The chosen keywords were carefully selected to encompass diverse dimensions of child sexual abuse and its psychological impacts, minimizing the risk of overlooking pertinent studies.

Data Tabulation and Analysis: Using Microsoft Excel for data tabulation provided a structured and organized approach to handling the extensive information extracted from the selected articles. This facilitated a systematic calculation of frequencies and percentages, assuring accuracy and consistency in reporting.

PRISMA Flow Chart: A PRISMA flow chart (Fig.  1 ) visually represents the systematic article selection, screening, and inclusion process. This chart improves transparency and serves as a visual validation of the methodological stringency applied in the study.

While this systematic review does not involve the same type of validation as experimental or modelling studies, the validation lies in compliance with established guidelines, rigorous criteria for article selection, and transparent reporting of the review process. These elements collectively contribute to the robustness and credibility of the methodology used in this study.

Review of literature

Defining child sexual abuse.

According to (Pulverman et al. 2018 ), the definition of child sexual abuse has been a major concern for many researchers since the 1970s. The prevalent cases and recent concerns indicate that providing and establishing the definition of child sexual abuse is urgent and needs strong consideration. Notably, it is important to keep the complexity and sensitivity of the relevant issue under consideration when providing a potential definition of child sexual abuse (Pulverman et al. 2018 ) theoretically defined child sexual abuse as the unconscionability of the acts, which further indicates four types of activities such as the relationship of power between an adult and child, the child in the lower position facing inequality, the child’s susceptibility is exploited based on their detriment, and truancy of true consent (Table 6 ).

Defining sexual abuse can vary on a different basis. For instance, (Vaillancourt-Morel et al. 2016 ) argue that child sexual abuse mainly relies on the legal definition. Several self-reported cases of child sexual abuse remained affirmed, leading to further legal actions, yet some cases indicate doubtful accusations. As in the empirical study (Vaillancourt-Morel et al. 2016 ), results indicated 21.3% sexual abuse among females and 19.6% among males. At the same time, 7.1% of females and 3.8% remained consistent with self-defined child sexual abuse. However, (Ma 2018 ) stated that the relevant definition could vary according to the prevalence estimation. Besides, this definition is based on five criteria, including the age of the childhood, the age of the perpetrator or the age difference between the victim and the perpetrator, the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator, the type of sexual acts performed by the perpetrator, and the extension of the coercion. According to (Pulverman et al. 2018 ), child sexual abuse can be defined as unwanted sexual activities between an adult and a child, including vaginal, oral, and anal penetration. Besides, online child sexual abuse, including online sex, child pornography, and others, is also considered a vital type of child sexual abuse.

Impacts of child sexual abuse

Child sexual abuse is strongly detrimental to children’s physical and psychological health. In this regard, researchers and medical experts claim physical consequences as serious as brain damage and immediate death. Minor injuries are also found in some cases. However, death is the most common physical outcome of child sexual abuse (Habes et al. 2022 ). As noted by (Beltran 2010 ), no single impact patterns exist. Sometimes, a victim does not show any prominent impacts that may impede the development of a psychological syndrome that adversely affects a child’s social, emotional and cognitive abilities. Some researchers claim that only 20–30% of children remain emotionally and physically stable after sexual molestation. However, although they remain normal, internally, they develop latent effects of sexual abuse. The short-term and immediate psychological impacts of sexual abuse may involve painful emotions, Post-traumatic stress disorder, cognitive distortions, and disturbed mood. These victims respond to sexual abuse in diverse ways that can be changed over time. However, the psychological harm is still severe and can result in even adverse consequences. During sexual abuse, victims can feel fear, anxiety, self-blame, guilt, confusion, and anger. They feel self-conscious and humiliated, unable to talk about what happened, which can result in stress and frustration (Pulverman et al. 2018 ). Table  1 below provides a summary of studies witnessing the physical and psychological consequences of child sexual abuse (Table 7 ).

(Batool and Abtahi 2017 ) named short-term effects “initial effects”, as these reactions mainly occur during the first two years of abuse. Previous studies revealed that 66.0% of children were emotionally disturbed due to sexual abuse, 5.2% were mild to moderately disturbed, and 24.0% remained stable after the sexual abuse. Similarly, a study conducted by (Fontes et al. 2017 ) also witnessed the short-term impacts of sexual abuse on the mental health of the victims. Results gathered by using the Propensity Score Matching technique revealed that 13.3% of sexually abused children reported a greater feeling of loneliness, 7.5% were having difficulty in making friends, and 9.5% reported insomnia. Despite these effects differing among male and female children, both were equally confronting to the relevant mental disturbances.

Further, regarding the long-term effects of child sexual abuse, (Petersen et al. 2014 ) stated that it results in both short and long-term effects. A survivor may feel peer rejection, confusion, lack of self-confidence, conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and aggression. Similarly, in the later years, the survivor may also develop other extreme psychiatric disorders such as depression, low economic productivity, drug addiction and even severe medical illness. According to (Hodder and Gow 2012 ), long-term child sexual abuse can also result in substance abuse, long-term depression, negative attributions, and even eating disorders. Most recently, practitioners also found even more chronic mental disorders such as delusions, schizophrenia, and personality disorders. However, children who have experienced abuse involving penetration are more likely to develop these chronic psychotic and schizophrenic disorders. Likewise, sexually abused children also have low self-esteem and overly sexualized behaviour, which, in many cases, results in teen pregnancy and motherhood and even an increased vulnerability to another victimization (Townsend 2013 ). Besides, socially isolated children with a disability or emotional disorder are comparatively more vulnerable to victimization. Once the abuse has happened, they also face threats to end the relationship if they refuse to perform sex or threats to publicly share their sexual images (UNICEF 2020b ) (Table 8 ).

Wagenmans et al. ( 2018 ) highlighted the occurrence of prolonged and severe psychological disorders among individuals who previously experienced child sexual abuse. As noted, the prolonged effects are more common when there is a repetitive and interpersonal nature of abuse, mostly leading to develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in later years. Those with a history of Child Sexual Abuse risk developing issues in interpersonal relationships, emotional regulation, and self-concept that result in “Complex PTSD” (p. 2). As (Gupta and Garg 2020 ) noted, child sexual abuse indicates an increased self-harming behaviour, fear, depression, impaired brain development, and others that are criteria for developing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Notably, this sexual abuse is not limited to physical and sexual harm; it also involves emotional abuse that further indicates the severity of the relevant issue today. It is also worth mentioning that most victims report sexual abuse in their later life. These victims also indicate their revictimization as one of the most consistent outcomes of child sexual abuse (Papalia et al. 2021 ). The term revictimization is also defined as any further victimization even during childhood, adolescence, or adulthood after the first incident of sexual abuse during childhood (P.1). However, there can be different factors, including sex, mental health issues, age at initial abuse, and others as different determinants of revictimization (Papalia et al. 2021 ). (MacIntosh and Ménard 2021 ) synthesized the status of research witnessing the long-term impacts of child sexual abuse over the past thirty years. As noted, different researchers have witnessed different impacts. Disturbed academic functioning, substance abuse and alcoholism in later years, revictimization and developing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Besides, sexual disorders, sex-related cognitions, disturbed intimate relationships, and emotional aspects of sexuality remain highlighted, witnessed, and still need much more consideration. Finally, the study by (Schreier et al. 2017 ) highlighted another important dimension regarding the impacts of child sexual abuse, as their focus was on the victims’ siblings as an important factor to determine in post-abuse scenarios. As noted, siblings can confront several emotional responses after disclosing the child’s sexual abuse. Siblings’ reactions are important as negative behaviour can increase the post-abuse stress among the victim and the family. Thus, it is concluded that the siblings should also be provided clinical services to reduce the negative impacts of child sexual abuse. Siblings also indicate symptoms of distress on an average level that needs strong consideration.

The gathered evidence unequivocally highlights the pervasive and profound negative impacts of child sexual abuse on the psychological health, cognitive development, and overall well-being of victims. The complex dynamics of the relationship between the abuser and the child, initially built on trust and affection, morph into a distressing paradigm of power, domination, victimization, and, in some examples, revictimization. The susceptibility of children in such situations places their psychological health at considerable risk, necessitating urgent and effective preventive measures to protect their well-being. This study serves to highlight the enduring and detrimental repercussions of child sexual abuse that can persist throughout a child’s life. The complexities of the psychological toll highlight the need for targeted interventions and support mechanisms. Our findings indicate that discussions and heightened awareness surrounding child sexual abuse are imperative. It is not merely a matter of quantifying impacts but a call to action to proactively empower parents, guardians, and responsible authorities to counteract these blatant crimes against children. Thus, our study affirms the critical importance of providing emotional support to victims, recognizing it as an integral component in mitigating the long-term impacts of child sexual abuse. By shedding light on the deep consequences and supporting awareness, we aim to contribute to the collective efforts toward a safer environment for children, free from the effects of sexual abuse.

Implications

Incidents of child sexual abuse are prevalent, especially since access to vulnerable children is even more feasible due to social media and other digital platforms (Ali et al. 2021 ). Consequently, children are at increased risk of maltreatment, particularly sexual abuse. Consequently, this research has some implications for the service and police departments, parents, and mental healthcare practitioners across the globe.

Families should receive prevention support and guidance through proper risk assessment and multi-level parent education (Tener et al. 2020 ). Parents informing the children about the protection measures can also help them prevent any detrimental incident that may further nullify the impacts of sexual abuse.

Providing mental healthcare services to the victims, their families, and their siblings, as also emphasized by (Schreier et al. 2017 ), also ensures the children’s mental well-being and development, especially among those who have been through any abusive exposure.

Besides psychological impacts, there are other detrimental impacts that child faces after sexual abuse that necessitate the provision of adequate healthcare services. These healthcare services aim to ensure the different consequences of abuse and that the victim may overcome the incident (Rahnavardi et al. 2022 ).

Medical healthcare providers, including staff, should also support and guide the victim and their families. Although exposure to a CSA victim can be traumatizing for healthcare practitioners, their behaviour and support patterns can help the victims cope with the challenges, especially with the psychological impacts (Pérez-Fuentes et al. 2013 ).

A victim can also face other consequences that may further worsen the impact of sexual abuse, including bullying. Schools and teachers can also effectively nullify these impacts by supporting and scrutinizing the victims. The focus should be on avoiding any further outcomes on their mental health (Sawyerr and Bagley 2017 ).

Implementing laws and active consideration towards welfare programs and training sessions for children, parents, and teachers as caregivers can also mitigate the impacts of child sexual abuse (Batool and Abtahi 2017 ).

Limitations and recommendations

Although this study synthesized the findings of recent literature witnessing both short-term and long-term impacts of child sexual abuse, it also contains some primary limitations. First, this study does not involve human subjects or clinical trials that may witness the impacts under study in a particular setting. Second, the Selection of the cited articles was strict and based on only three databases, limiting its scope. Third, the research does not provide any country-specific evidence. Instead, the cited literature is scattered and based on studies from around the world. Finally, although the study empirically witnesses the impacts of child sexual abuse, there are many regions where empirical research on child sexual abuse, its impacts, and causes are understudied. Consequently, this study emphasizes conducting more research on the impacts of child sexual abuse, its prevalence, and causal factors that may further provide strong insights regarding the relevant issue and help propose implications and nullify its impacts.

Data availability

No data is associated with this research project.

Code availability

No codes are available for this study.

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Vaillancourt-Morel M-P, Godbout N, Bédard MG, Charest É, Briere J, Sabourin S (2016) Emotional and sexual correlates of child sexual abuse as a function of self-definition status. Child Maltreat 21(3):228–238. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077559516656069

Wagenmans A, Van Minnen A, Sleijpen M, De Jongh A (2018) El impacto del abuso sexual infantil en los resultados del tratamiento intensivo centrado en el trauma para el TEPT. Eur J Psychotraumatology 9(1). https://doi.org/10.1080/20008198.2018.1430962

Young Women’s Christian Association (2017) Child Sexual Abuse Facts. https://ywcaweekwithoutviolence.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/20190809-WWV19-CSAFactSheet-1.pdf

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Saadia Anwar Pasha

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S.A. conceived the first draft of the manuscript. Dr. S.A.P. gathered data and conducted the analysis. Dr. A.C. revised the manuscript and formatted the language and references. Dr. E.Y. contributed in the final revisions and also contributed to restructuring the questions and validation of selected methodology.

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Ali, S., Pasha, S., Cox, A. et al. Examining the short and long-term impacts of child sexual abuse: a review study. SN Soc Sci 4 , 56 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1007/s43545-024-00852-6

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OpenAI teases an amazing new generative video model called Sora

The firm is sharing Sora with a small group of safety testers but the rest of us will have to wait to learn more.

  • Will Douglas Heaven archive page

OpenAI has built a striking new generative video model called Sora that can take a short text description and turn it into a detailed, high-definition film clip up to a minute long.

Based on four sample videos that OpenAI shared with MIT Technology Review ahead of today’s announcement, the San Francisco–based firm has pushed the envelope of what’s possible with text-to-video generation (a hot new research direction that we flagged as a trend to watch in 2024 ).

“We think building models that can understand video, and understand all these very complex interactions of our world, is an important step for all future AI systems,” says Tim Brooks, a scientist at OpenAI.

But there’s a disclaimer. OpenAI gave us a preview of Sora (which means sky in Japanese) under conditions of strict secrecy. In an unusual move, the firm would only share information about Sora if we agreed to wait until after news of the model was made public to seek the opinions of outside experts. [Editor’s note: We’ve updated this story with outside comment below.] OpenAI has not yet released a technical report or demonstrated the model actually working. And it says it won’t be releasing Sora anytime soon. [ Update: OpenAI has now shared more technical details on its website.]

The first generative models that could produce video from snippets of text appeared in late 2022. But early examples from Meta , Google, and a startup called Runway were glitchy and grainy. Since then, the tech has been getting better fast. Runway’s gen-2 model, released last year, can produce short clips that come close to matching big-studio animation in their quality. But most of these examples are still only a few seconds long.  

The sample videos from OpenAI’s Sora are high-definition and full of detail. OpenAI also says it can generate videos up to a minute long. One video of a Tokyo street scene shows that Sora has learned how objects fit together in 3D: the camera swoops into the scene to follow a couple as they walk past a row of shops.

OpenAI also claims that Sora handles occlusion well. One problem with existing models is that they can fail to keep track of objects when they drop out of view. For example, if a truck passes in front of a street sign, the sign might not reappear afterward.  

In a video of a papercraft underwater scene, Sora has added what look like cuts between different pieces of footage, and the model has maintained a consistent style between them.

It’s not perfect. In the Tokyo video, cars to the left look smaller than the people walking beside them. They also pop in and out between the tree branches. “There’s definitely some work to be done in terms of long-term coherence,” says Brooks. “For example, if someone goes out of view for a long time, they won’t come back. The model kind of forgets that they were supposed to be there.”

Impressive as they are, the sample videos shown here were no doubt cherry-picked to show Sora at its best. Without more information, it is hard to know how representative they are of the model’s typical output.   

It may be some time before we find out. OpenAI’s announcement of Sora today is a tech tease, and the company says it has no current plans to release it to the public. Instead, OpenAI will today begin sharing the model with third-party safety testers for the first time.

In particular, the firm is worried about the potential misuses of fake but photorealistic video . “We’re being careful about deployment here and making sure we have all our bases covered before we put this in the hands of the general public,” says Aditya Ramesh, a scientist at OpenAI, who created the firm’s text-to-image model DALL-E .

But OpenAI is eyeing a product launch sometime in the future. As well as safety testers, the company is also sharing the model with a select group of video makers and artists to get feedback on how to make Sora as useful as possible to creative professionals. “The other goal is to show everyone what is on the horizon, to give a preview of what these models will be capable of,” says Ramesh.

To build Sora, the team adapted the tech behind DALL-E 3, the latest version of OpenAI’s flagship text-to-image model. Like most text-to-image models, DALL-E 3 uses what’s known as a diffusion model. These are trained to turn a fuzz of random pixels into a picture.

Sora takes this approach and applies it to videos rather than still images. But the researchers also added another technique to the mix. Unlike DALL-E or most other generative video models, Sora combines its diffusion model with a type of neural network called a transformer.

Transformers are great at processing long sequences of data, like words. That has made them the special sauce inside large language models like OpenAI’s GPT-4 and Google DeepMind’s Gemini . But videos are not made of words. Instead, the researchers had to find a way to cut videos into chunks that could be treated as if they were. The approach they came up with was to dice videos up across both space and time. “It’s like if you were to have a stack of all the video frames and you cut little cubes from it,” says Brooks.

The transformer inside Sora can then process these chunks of video data in much the same way that the transformer inside a large language model processes words in a block of text. The researchers say that this let them train Sora on many more types of video than other text-to-video models, varied in terms of resolution, duration, aspect ratio, and orientation. “It really helps the model,” says Brooks. “That is something that we’re not aware of any existing work on.”

“From a technical perspective it seems like a very significant leap forward,” says Sam Gregory, executive director at Witness, a human rights organization that specializes in the use and misuse of video technology. “But there are two sides to the coin,” he says. “The expressive capabilities offer the potential for many more people to be storytellers using video. And there are also real potential avenues for misuse.” 

OpenAI is well aware of the risks that come with a generative video model. We are already seeing the large-scale misuse of deepfake images . Photorealistic video takes this to another level.

Gregory notes that you could use technology like this to misinform people about conflict zones or protests. The range of styles is also interesting, he says. If you could generate shaky footage that looked like something shot with a phone, it would come across as more authentic.

The tech is not there yet, but generative video has gone from zero to Sora in just 18 months. “We’re going to be entering a universe where there will be fully synthetic content, human-generated content and a mix of the two,” says Gregory.

The OpenAI team plans to draw on the safety testing it did last year for DALL-E 3. Sora already includes a filter that runs on all prompts sent to the model that will block requests for violent, sexual, or hateful images, as well as images of known people. Another filter will look at frames of generated videos and block material that violates OpenAI’s safety policies.

OpenAI says it is also adapting a fake-image detector developed for DALL-E 3 to use with Sora. And the company will embed industry-standard C2PA tags , metadata that states how an image was generated, into all of Sora’s output. But these steps are far from foolproof. Fake-image detectors are hit-or-miss. Metadata is easy to remove, and most social media sites strip it from uploaded images by default.  

“We’ll definitely need to get more feedback and learn more about the types of risks that need to be addressed with video before it would make sense for us to release this,” says Ramesh.

Brooks agrees. “Part of the reason that we’re talking about this research now is so that we can start getting the input that we need to do the work necessary to figure out how it could be safely deployed,” he says.

Update 2/15: Comments from Sam Gregory were added .

Artificial intelligence

Ai for everything: 10 breakthrough technologies 2024.

Generative AI tools like ChatGPT reached mass adoption in record time, and reset the course of an entire industry.

What’s next for AI in 2024

Our writers look at the four hot trends to watch out for this year

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Google’s Gemini is now in everything. Here’s how you can try it out.

Gmail, Docs, and more will now come with Gemini baked in. But Europeans will have to wait before they can download the app.

Deploying high-performance, energy-efficient AI

Investments into downsized infrastructure can help enterprises reap the benefits of AI while mitigating energy consumption, says corporate VP and GM of data center platform engineering and architecture at Intel, Zane Ball.

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