Can You Use Subheadings in a Research Paper


  • What are subheadings?
  • Can you use subheadings in a research paper
  • APA subheadings in a research paper
  • How to do subheadings in a research paper

What are subheadings?

Research work is an independent study of the student, revealing his knowledge and the ability to apply them to solve specific practical problems. The work should be logically completed and demonstrate the ability of the learner to use competent terminology correctly, clearly state their thoughts, and argue the proposals.

The range of scientific research is quite wide. These include abstracts, reports, test papers, course papers, term papers, methodological developments, projects, etc.

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When writing work, it is important to keep a well-organized structure for which headings and sub-headings are used.

The heading is the designation of the structural part of the main text of the work (section, chapter, paragraph, table, etc.) or publication. You can think of this as the title of this section. Brief documents usually do not require the use of headings. However, for headlines and other complex readings, headings are important, because they help readers determine the main points of each section in the research paper.

In addition, if the heading implies coverage of a fairly extensive topic, it is better to divide it into several parts using subheadings. The subtitle is an optional, second heading (usually located under the main one) that complements the main heading, breaking the article into several parts.

Can you use subheadings in a research paper

Yes, of course, you can use subheadings in your research work. When constructing any research work, the use of subheading is very important, especially when you aspire to get the “A” mark. Subheadings are needed to indicate the key points of a well-reasoned presentation: it helps to look at what you expect to do and make sure whether your plan is good. This approach helps to organize your thoughts and follow your specific research goal.

Effective use of subheadings is not just the designation of the main points that you want to cover. Their sequence may also indicate the presence or absence of logic in the coverage of the topic.

Also, based on the subheadings, you structure your argument; it is here that you have to substantiate (logically, using data or rigorous reasoning) the argument/analysis you are proposing.

Filling the content of sections with your argument (corresponding subheadings), limit within the paragraph consideration of one main idea.

APA subheadings in a research paper

Style APA (from the English American Psychological Association Style) is used for formation of works related to the social sciences. APA’s style was developed by sociologists and scientists studying behavior problems, for applying it in coursework, research reports, technical and economic analyzes, literary reviews, methodological articles, etc.

Headings and subtitles allow the reader to understand the general concepts of the article.

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APA style headers have five levels and are designed as follows, which allows the reader to keep the writer’s thinking and immediately find out which key topics are covered:

In fact, you use the headers to create a hierarchy of information. In order of least importance:

  • Level 1 Section heading
  • Level 2 Subsection heading
  • Level 3 Subsection of a subsection heading
  • Level 4 Subsection under a subsection of a subsection heading
  • Level 5 Subsection under the three subsections heading

According to the APA format, the title is not needed for the first part of the article, since it is assumed that this is an introduction.

Before the headings and subtitles, letters and numbers are not used.

In order to create an organized structure, you need to use as many levels in your article as possible.

The same level of heading or subtitle should be of equal importance, regardless of the number of subsections under it.

For each section and sub-section, at least two subheadings are used.

Start with level 1 through 5.

The paragraph begins below levels 1 and 2, whereas for levels 3-5, the paragraph begins in line with the headings.

Capitalize each word for levels 1 and 2.

For levels 3-5, the headings are indented and end with a period.

Only the first word is capitalized for levels 3-5.

How to do subheadings in a research paper

In order to make subheadings for your research work, you need to follow the instructions:

  • Subheadings in a persuasive research paper should avoid as far as possible narrowly specialized terms, abbreviations, abbreviations, mathematical formulas.
  • The headings of subsections and paragraphs should begin with a paragraph indentation. The title is written in capital letters, the subtitle – in lowercase, with the first uppercase. In the end, there is no point or emphasis.
  • The length of the sub-title line should be no more than 40-45 characters. Word wraps in the subtitle are also unacceptable.
  • The location of the title and subtitle is central or flagship (left).
  • Subheadings are usually put through every 2-5 paragraphs, but this, above all, depends on the content. If the section is too large (over seven paragraphs), think about how to split it into two or several parts.
  • If your article contains subheadings only of the first level, it’s better than if it did not have them at all. However, the longer the article, the more paragraphs, tips, “steps” in each part, the more likely it is that you need to add one more level of detail: subheadings of the second level.
  • Do not use more than three levels of subtitles.
    • Level 1: Paris “h1”
    • Level 2: Architecture “h2”
    • Level 3: Attractions and tourism “h3”
    • Level 2: Temples, churches and mosques “h2”
    • Level 3: Parks and gardens “h3”