In-depth knowledge of theresearch cycle: I was interest in…….. Interest in idea awoken So I read aRecommendations for the future bit about and this agreed / disagreed it…. with what I read Deeper level of interestGaps identified related to original theme and the answer was… I realizedResults reflected upon there were some gaps.. To find out I did… Methodologies identified Major themes identified So I decided to find out if….. Distillation & refinement of research question (Courtesy of Heather Hill, De Montfort University)
• How to recognize the potential application of research findings, use the current literature, and appreciate its application to actual practice. – Has the paper been thoroughly and properly researched?
Difficulties in evaluation• Finding, accessing, and managing information to validate the paper.• Insufficiency of library materials at the local library.• Access to internet resources.• Determining standard format, if any.• Richness or limitation in experience of thesis adviser.
Evaluating Format• Writing an APA Style Research Paper – An APA –style paper includes the ff: • Title page • Abstract • Introduction • Methodology • Results • Discussion • And references
It may also include:• One or more tables• A figure caption page• One or more figures
• No page breaks in between introduction, methodology, results, and discussion sections.• The title page, abstract, references, table/s, figure caption page, and figure/s should be on their own pages.• The entire paper should be written in the past tense, in a 12-font
TITLE PAGE (APA Format)• Title should be between 10-12 words and should reflect content of paper.• Title, name, and college/university are all centered and double-spaced (no extra spaces)
• Running head: THE RUNNING HEAD SHOULD BE IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS.• The running head is a short title that appears at the top of the pages of published articles.• It is typed flush left and should not exceed 50 characters, including punctuation and spacing.
• Page header and page # go to the top right-hand side of page (this should appear on all pages except the figure page.• Create a header using the “view header” function in Microsoft word).• The page header is the first three words of your title, its purpose is to serve identify manuscript pages in case they get separate.
ABSTRACT• No more than 120 words, one paragraph, block format (i.e. don’t indent), double- spaced.• State topic, preferably in one sentence.• Provide overview of method, results, and discussion.• Introduction (title of paper goes at the top of the page; do not label as “introduction”).
• The introduction of an APA-style paper is the most difficult to write.• A good introduction will summarize, integrate, and critically evaluate the empirical knowledge in the relevant area(s) in a way that sets the stage for the study and why it was conducted.• The introduction part starts out broad (but not too broad) and gets focused toward the end.
Guidelines for constructing a good introduction• Start with a topic sentence that is interesting and catchy.• It maybe an example or anecdote illustrative of the study.• State the purpose of the study briefly to give an overview of the information that will follow later.
• The introduction should show a logical flow of ideas that leads up to the hypothesis.• Organize intro in terms of ideas rather than who did what and when.• Brainstorm all the ideas, then prioritize.• Think about how to present transition between ideas.
• When an idea is complex, use a real- life example to clarify it to the reader.• The intro will end with a brief overview of the study and finally the specific hypothesis.• The hypothesis should flow logically out of everything that has been presented.
• When incorporating references into the intro, do not necessarily describe every single study in complete detail, particularly if different studies use similar methodologies.• Be careful in citing sources.• There must be a one-to-one correspondence between articles cited in the intro and the articles listed in the reference section.
METHODOLOGY• Use straight-forward methodology.• Be precise.• Describe details of the study, so another researcher could duplicate methods exactly.
• The methodology section includes: – Participants – Materials/apparatus – Procedure. – If the procedure is complicated include a separate “Design and Procedure” section. – Participants •Total number of participants (demographic profile). •Sampling method.
• Write for broad audience.• Avoid choppy sentences. Combine information into a coherent long sentence.
Materials/Instruments• Carefully describe any stimuli, questionnaire, and so forth.• Questionnaire should be described to include: – how many items, – the response format (e.g. a 5-point Likert-type scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree), – How many items are reverse-scored,
• Whether the measure has subscales and so forth.• Prepare rubrics for interpretation• Provide a sample item or two.• Author constructed instrument should be attached in Appendix.• Apparatus – if specialized equipment were used; describe in detail.
Procedure• What did participants do, and in what order?• When you list a control variable, explain WHY.• Procedure must be brief and concise as possible.• Avoid redundancy.
RESULTS• Describe how data was analyzed and result.• Complex data analyses must be broken down into section, labeled as sub-sections, perhaps one section for each hypothesis.• List the type of analysis or test conducted to test hypothesis.• Use correct format.
• Following the presentation of all the statistics and numbers, state whether nature of the finding(s) in words and whether or not they support the hypothesis.• Include relevant means and standard deviations.
• It may be useful to include a table or figure to visually represent results.• Refer to these in the paper (e.g. “As illustrated in Figure…..).• Present a set of findings either as a table or as a figure, but not as both.• Text should not be redundant with tables/figures.
• If table of means and standard deviations are presented, no need to report these in the text.• However, if figure represent results, means and standard deviations may be reported in the text, as these may not be precisely ascertained by examining the figure.• Describe trends in the figures.• Do not spend time explaining results.• Save that for the discussion section.
DISCUSSION• The goal of discussion is to interpret findings and place them in the broader context of the literature area.• Discussion section is like reverse of the introduction.• Begin with the specifics and work toward the more general .
Pointers:• Begin with brief statement of the findings (using words not numbers). – Did they support the hypothesis or problem or not? – If not, why not? – Were there any surprising or interesting findings?
• How do the findings tie into the existing literature on the topic, or extend previous research? – What do the results say about the broader behavior under investigation? – Bring back some literature discussed in the introduction. – Show how results fit in (or don’t fit in, as the case may be).
• If there are surprising findings, discuss other theories that can help to explain the findings.• Begin with assumption that results are valid and explain why they might differ from others in the literature.• What are the limitations of the study?–If findings differ from other researchers, or if resultsdiffer statistically with other researches, don’t waste toomany explanations.–Provide one or two suggestions, instead that could beincorporated in future research.
• What additional questions were generated from the study? – What further research should be conducted on the topic? – What gaps are there in the current body of research? – Whenever an idea is presented for future research study, explain why that particular study should be conducted, based on the researcher’s perception.
– What new knowledge could be gained from it?– What are the theoretical and/or practical implications of the findings?– How do these results relate to larger issues of human thoughts, feelings, and behavior?– Give readers “the big picture.”– Try not to answer the question, “So what?”
• Final paragraph: – Sum up the paper with a final concluding statement. – Don’t trail off with an idea for a future study. – End with a positive note, reminding the reader of the importance of the study, and what it added to the literature.
REFERENCES• Provide an alphabetical listing of the references. – Alphabetize by last name of the first author. – Double-spaced all, with no extra spaces between references. – The second line of each reference should be indented (hanging indent). – Format references correctly –journals, books, etc.
• Journal: – Only the first letter of the word of the article is capitalized; the journal name and volume are italized. – If journal names had multiple words, each of the major words would be capitalized. – Book Chapter: •Only the first letter of the first word of both the chapter title and book title are capitalized.
• Table – There are various formats for tables, depending upon the information to be included.• Figure Caption – This page gets titled :Figure…..; no quotation marks and includes a brief title. – The figure caption typically includes the IVs/predictor variables and the DVs.
• Figure – This is the only page that do not include a running head or page number. – If there are more than one figure, each one gets its own page. – Label the x and y axes clearly, and note units of measurement of the DV.
• In-text citations – When citing sources in paper, include the authors’ names and publication date. – When including the citation as part of the sentence, use AND: “According to Jones and Smith (2003), the…..” – When the citation appears in parenthesis, use “&”. – If quoting directly (try to avoid) include the page number.
• For sources with three or more authors, once the authors’ name have been listed, write “et al” on subsequent mentions.• For sources with two authors, both authors must be included every time the source is cited.• For sources of six or more authors, the first author’s last name and “et al” are used every time the source is cited.