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Guidelines for Writing a 10-14 Double-Spaced Page Research Paper

1 ) The paper should be 10-14 double spaced pages for the main text, NOT including cover page and appendices (or tables or figures).

  • I’d expect 12 pages on average for the main text, but as long as you can report and explain what you did, fewer is better (even less than 10 pages).
  • If you go in the other direction, 14 pages is the maximum.
  • These pages are for your introduction (1-2 pages), brief discussion of a few relevant literature -no need to be comprehensive (1-2 pages), brief discussion of data/model/ methodology (2-3 pages), and discussion/explanation of results (the rest).

2 ) In data/model/methodology you'd explain your data (variables, source, frequency, sample period; or if cross-section, what is the cross-section).

  • Indicate any data transformation (logs, quadratic terms, etc. and very briefly why) and your estimation method.
  • Indicate your hypothesis and briefly explain what effect -or lack thereof- you expect to find.

3 ) In your results section, briefly discuss the summary statistics of your data (mean, std dev, range of the variables), but the summary stats table would go in an appendix at the end and will not count towards your paper pages.

  • Present briefly the results of your estimation and then give some details of any particular tests you run to examine your hypothesis (t-tests, F-tests, Granger causality, etc.).
  • You don’t need to do them all: depending on the topic, the data, and the hypothesis, some tests will be more important than others, and I will evaluate you on picking the more appropriate tests for your paper.

4 ) Try to be economical in your number of appendices/figures/tables even though they will not be counted for your official number of pages.

  • g., if you run 5 regressions try to put them in one table with 5 columns in one page in the appendix -clearly noting what variables go in each, as well as any relevant coefficients and regression output that you want to share- rather than pasting 5 tables, one for each regression, taking 5 pages.
  • This table should go in an appendix, but you will describe the results in the main text and refer to this table, e.g., "see Table 2, column (3) in the appendix".
  • I should be able to read your results in the main text and understand without looking at the appendix; but if I want to see all the numbers, I’d go to your appendix and look for table 2.
  • Same for figures: see if you can put a few figures (2-3) in the same page (paste and reduce the size of the figure to fit 2-3) rather than one large figure per page in the appendices.

5 ) Write your paper in DOUBLE SPACE.

  • These guidelines are written in single space to reduce the number of pages, but research reports look better and more organized in double space.


7 ) FONT: For font type/size, use either Arial 11 points (in these notes) or Times New Roman (12 points) or Calibri (12 points). I used the actual fonts and size in the previous sentence so you can see them side by side.

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