Academically acceptable length of a good research paper
How many pages should a good research paper be? To answer this question, we need to look at a few technical aspects of the paper—how it’s written, what its purpose is and what format it should be in. These and other features should help you to gauge, with a high level of certainty, at what point your paper is long enough to be academically acceptable.
How it’s written
Most professors require written projects to be typed in size 12, Times New Roman font. Bearing this in mind, a full Word document page will consist of approximately 500 words (including your heading and other format requirements). Your research text should contain a total of between 2500 to 3000 words.
A note on relevance
Going a little bit over or under this word count isn’t exactly academic suicide, but bear in mind that your professor will want to dedicate enough time to your paper to give it a good score, and at the same time won’t want to waste too much time reading irrelevant information.
The purpose and subject
Certain research papers require additional information besides words; such as images, graphs, tables or other illustrations. Try to remember not to use up as much space as you can when using any of these mediums so as to minimize the word content (professors have seen all these tricks before). If your research paper unavoidably requires lots of space-robbing mediums, then always make up for that space by writing an acceptable amount of content too.
Headings, subtitles and captions will affect your research paper length, but don’t exclude these from your word count. Each one of them is just as much a part of your paper as the rest of the plain text, and should be treated as such. Involve the reader with catchy subtitles and enthral them with captions that actively describe your photo or graph.
Your main heading should be moderately large, but don’t overdo it. Making it look like you’re trying to take up space will most often result in a negative score.
Considering all of these points, we can comfortably conclude that about 7 pages is an acceptable length for a good research paper. Falling back to 6 pages is fine, but try not to go over 8 pages as this will just start becoming too long for your professor to give your research paper the attention it deserves.
What we help with
- Midterm projects
- Research papers
- Topic selection
- Outline structure
- Fighting plagiarism
Welcome to OpenScrolls.org - the best free academic resource for college students. We will teach you how to write impeccable introductions and conclusions for your term papers as well as show you how to conduct research for your term papers.