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The structure of an APA research paper Throughout the course of our studies, we have all read a lot of literature reviews or scientific papers, those whose methodological standard we could have learned from and improved and others that make us wonder how they ever made it through the peer- review process of the journal.
Nevertheless, we have to admit that we all still make mistakes and sometimes submit manuscripts that do not match APA guidelines. In order to improve our general knowledge about how to format papers in our beloved APA style or to refresh our previous knowledge related to it, this post intends to give a brief overview over the structure of a scientific paper and some other crucial APA features your paper should contain.
Main sections of your research paper Whereas a literature review summarizes the most important experimental and qualitative studies that have been conducted in a specific are of interest, the experimental report is the most common form, one that you will employ when reporting the results of your own thesis or study.
Its structure reflects the scientific method and the steps relate to the course your research project follows. It helps interested readers to quickly find the section they are looking for and as it is universally determined by the APA guidelines, it is easy to memorize since you will always have to follow the same structure.
Thus, your paper should cover the following areas of interest: Nevertheless, make sure to check the guidelines for paper submission every journal has in order to prepare and structure your research work according to their wishes.
If you refer to them, it might help you speeding up the reviewing process a little bit, since they will not have to make a large amount of technical corrections. In the following paragraph, the sections of a scientific paper are listed chronologically from the beginning of the paper to its end providing some short ideas on the core features that those sections should contain.
Normally an experimental report consists of the following sections: The title page The title page should contain the following important parameter: Type your title in upper and lowercase letters centered in the upper half of the page. APA recommends that your title be no more than 12 words in length and that it should not contain abbreviations or words that serve no purpose.
Your title may take up one or two lines. All text on the title page, and throughout your paper, should be double-spaced. All subsequent pages of your article should contain a running head that indicates the title of your paper in the left column of the page, like this: The abstract Beginning a new page after the first one introducing your research, your abstract page should already contain the above mentioned running head.
Beginning with the next line, write a concise summary of the key points of your research. Your abstract should contain at least your research topic, research questions, participants, methods, results, data analysis, and conclusions. Moreover, it should be a single paragraph double-spaced with a normal lenght of somewhat between and words.
You may also want to list keywords from your paper in your abstract.
To do this, indent as you would if you were starting a new paragraph, type Keywords: Listing your keywords will help researchers find your work in databases.
The introduction After having briefly described your entire research conducted in your paper, you can now focus on a more detailed presentation of the theoretical background of your research topic.
Never forget to refer to the authors you received the theoretical information from and to enlist them later on in the reference list. The method This section will contain information about the participants of your experimental study, the research design you have employed, the procedure underlying your experiment or whatever it is you did to collect some qualitative or quantitative data such as a brief information about the analysis method for instance: Materials or questionnaires that you have presented the participants should be referred to briefly and added to the Appendix section at the end of your paper, because it would interrupt the flow of reading if you inserted it here.
The results A description of the results you have obtained from your research is destined to be presented here. Sometimes, it is useful to present your results in a table or a figure, but they should simply be additional to the results you have mentioned in the text, not replacing it.
Focus on a rather descriptive information about your results, since its discussion will follow in the next part.
The discussion Since the result section is rather descriptive and you have suffered from not being able to reveal the brilliant interpretations, this is where you can impress the world out there or your supervisor with the conclusions you have drawn from your data analysis.
Nevertheless, do not forget to include limitations and future research ideas in this section. The reference list Sometimes, you feel like the reference list and those thousands of different citation rules you have to stick to need an entire study programme on its own.
It really is crazy, but those previous posts about referencing software and ideas could help you manage it. Appendices if you have any 9. If this post helped you sort the diffuse ideas you had in your mind, you are more than welcome.
But if there are some questions that remain unanswered, discuss them with us here or in our APA Questions and Answers tool here. References American Psychological Association.Research Proposal Guidelines: APA Style - 2 Research Paper Guidelines Understanding the process that undergirds principles of research is a primary objective.
Order Research Paper Proposal and Get Guaranteed Academic Success. Research papers are probably the most frequently assigned task for college and university students. The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, and we provide these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue.
Section Headings: Main Section Headings: Each main section of the paper begins with a heading which should be capitalized, centered at the beginning of the section, and double spaced from the lines above and pfmlures.com not underline the section heading OR put a .
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An APA Research Paper Model Thomas Delancy and Adam Solberg wrote the following research paper for a psychology class. As you review their paper.