Running head: APA STYLE FOR RESEARCH REPORTS 1
Introduction to APA Publication
Style for Research Reports in Psychology
Dawn M. McBride
Illinois State University
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The purpose of this paper is to describe and model APA-style of writing for research reports. Each section of an APA-style paper is described and is written according to the APA-style guidelines to allow you to use it as a model. The Abstract summarizes the main points of the paper in 120 or fewer words. The Introduction should describe the research topic and hypotheses and the ...view middle of the document...
Do not begin too generally (e.g., discussing all of psychology), but do not begin too specifically either (e.g., by stating the hypothesis). Be sure to define any terms you are using that are specific to the field of study. Indicate what your operational definitions are.
In subsequent paragraphs, you should be building a case for your study. Explain what has been found in previous research on this topic, describe what gap exists in this literature, and explain how your study will fill the gap (i.e., provide a unique study that will contribute new knowledge in the area).
Toward the end of your Introduction, you should briefly describe the design of your study in such a way that it connects to the justification you’ve given for the purpose of the study and leads to your hypotheses. Be sure to briefly review the justification for
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your hypotheses. Do not simply state your hypotheses and assume the reader will know why you are making them.
In the Method section, you should describe the details of how the study was conducted. You should provide the reader with enough information to be able to replicate your study. Details that are not important for replication should not be included (e.g., what type of pencils the participants used, etc.). The reader should also be able to evaluate the appropriateness of your methods for the hypothesis you made. Method sections may vary in the number of sections the authors include, but the most common sections are described below. The entire Method section should be written in past verb tense.
Describe who participated in your study. How many participants were in the study and how were they selected/recruited? In what way were the participants compensated for running in the study? Were any data sets deleted? If so, why were they deleted? Describe any demographics of the participants that important to the study. If you’ve conducted an experiment, indicate how many participants were assigned to each condition.
The design may appear separately in a journal article or it may be combined with another section (e.g., Materials section). Either way, it is important to explain the design of the study. What variables were manipulated and/or measured? How were they
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manipulated/measured? If there are independent variables in the study, indicate the levels of each variable and whether each variable was manipulated within- or between-subjects.
Describe the materials used in the study. What were the stimuli? How were they developed? If appropriate, provide examples of the stimuli. Provide citations if the stimuli have been used in previous research. If there are questionnaires or surveys, describe them and relevant reliability and validity statistics.