Formatting a chemistry research paper

Research papers written in the chemistry field may be required to follow what is the ACS style of formatting (American Chemical Society). This type of formatting style may seem simple enough; it is just a matter of understanding how and where sources are cited in the text. The formatting style has the same purpose for other common styles academic students use including APA and MLA, but used to reference written works in chemistry.

This form may be best understood when used in example text or properly written research papers that follow this format. The following points provide details on how ACS may be used in research papers.

  • Citations for ACS may be done in two parts including in-text citations and reference lists.
  • With in-text citations you may need to use superscript numbers or italic numbers at the end of a sentence or within a sentence after a word to cite information. Superscript numbers may be the number that appears very small at the end of a sentence or next to a word in the right corner. Italic numbers may appear in the same position as the superscript numbers but appear larger.
  • Your citation information may include mentioning the year of the publication and the author who wrote it. It may include either parts or one part such as the year of publication alone. For instance, the author last name and year of publication may appear at the end of a sentence in parenthesis.
  • Reference lists may be formatted differently depending on the content you include. This includes listing books, articles, patents, conference, web and online content included in your research.
  • For books, there is a specific format to follow if you are listing a single author, book in a series, or article from a reference book.
  • Articles have a specific way to be listed as well depending on where it originated from. You may include the title of the article, author, and page number if from a scientific magazine or journal, and date accessed.
  • Note any requirements such as font size, font style, and spacing or margins and/or sentences. Your guidelines and instructions from your instructor may provide further details on how your content should be displayed.
  • Your school/educational institution or college/university website may provide an in-depth tutorial on how to format your chemistry paper. There you can also find examples of related publications and sources including how they are cited within academic text.