ERA: What is it? An ERA is presented in sections that follow a set order. Generally, the report is presented in a logical sequence that describes: • what was done • why it was done • how it was done • what was found • what the findings probably mean. Although the different sections of the report described below are usually presented in the order shown, they do not have to be prepared in that order. For example, the abstract, which summarises the investigation, appears first in the report but is usually easier to write last. The following sections of an ERA will be discussed
TITLE PAGE The title should be brief (usually one sentence)and indicate clearly what the investigation wasabout. Quite often, researchers use a statementbased on the hypothesis for a title.
ABSTRACT The abstract is a brief summary of the investigation, usually presented as a single paragraph. It should include a statement of the aim (purpose) of the investigation, the main features of the method (information about the participants and an overview of the procedures used), the results (main findings) and the conclusions.
INTRODUCTION Background information relevant to the study. This often summarises relevant theory and results of other research related to the investigation being reported. Present a research that conducted the same research as this one and the results of that past research In the last paragraph state the aim of the research followed by the hypothesis *Remember you must write in the third person (Do not use ‘I’ or ‘We’ or ‘Our’)
METHOD Participants: (number, age, gender, population from which the sample was drawn and allocation to groups) Materials: A list of equipment and materials used. Examples of word lists/tables/cards should be recorded in the appendix at the end of the report. Procedure: A detailed description of the steps involved in conducting the investigation. This should be presented in a logical, step by step sequence, however must be full sentences rather than dot points.
RESULTS This should be a summary of the main results. Tables and graphs can be used. Summarised data (not raw data) Data should not be analysed, but described and trends identified. You are simply stating the results, not interpreting them Usually presented with a graph or two then a written description describing the graph(s). Tables and graphs should be labelled with appropriate headings EG: Table 1 Class percentages for time perception in ASC state.
DISCUSSION In this section, the results are interpreted and explained. The discussion should be started with a statement accepting, or rejecting, the investigation’s hypothesis based on the results obtained. Describe the results obtained from the investigation and give valid explanation. Describe the general relevance of the results to the population from which they were drawn. Do the results of the investigation support or contradict previous research identified in the introduction of your report. Describe any limitations of the study, explain what they were using appropriate psychological terms and how they may affect interpretations of results. What recommendations would you make for further research in light of these limitations? Describe any ethical considerations relevant to the research. Formulate a conclusion. Can these results be generalised to a wider population
REFERENCES This section has a list of all sources cited in the report. Every quotation or summary of information from another source used in the report must be substantiated with a reference. The list of references should be presented in alphabetical order based on the surname of the first named author of a source. EG: Grivas, J., Down, R., Letch, N., Carter, L. (2010). Psychology VCE Units 3&4. Melbourne: Macmillan.
APPENDICES (If any) Materials that do not fit into the other sections of the report are placed in the appendices.