Madison Area Technical College
This paper is loosely based on primary research report organization.
It’s similar to (but different from) a lab report.
the APA Manuscript Template in the
RESEARCH PROJECT main menu area;
save and rename the template on your
Read and type in content relevant to your
paper; type over the suggestions provided in
Use section headings of Introduction,
Methods, Discussion, Results, and
For examples, look at what your classmates
submit in the Peer Review discussion forum.
Compose a statement of the question to be
investigated, a brief statement of the general
method of approach to the problem, and
Explain what you imagined your answer to
the research question would be before you
did any searching at all.
Length: ½ page or so.
This section tells the reader how and with what tools the
work was done. The methods and materials section of a
research paper is often glossed over by many readers,
but, in terms of the report, this section is crucial.
Strike a balance between an over-detailed description of
even the most trivial items and a very sketchy statement
that provides insufficient information. The important
guideline is that another student of similar training and
ability, following your description, should get the same
Note: This section should be written as a description
of what you did, not as a set of instructions.
Length: ½ a page or so.
Identify and justify the criteria you selected
to determine which search strategy is best.
WHY are those criteria significant, relevant, and
fair when searching for information about your
program of study?
Order the paragraphs from most important criteria to least
Length: 1-2 pages, multiple unified and logically coherent
paragraphs. Describe one criteria per paragraph.
VERY important section!
Explain in paragraph format what you found
in all three searches. Give the raw data.
This section may contain a table with raw data
presented side-by-side. (Example on next slide)
Don’t give the answer to the research question in this
Length: about 1-2 pages
Criteria 1: (e.g.
Criteria 3, etc.
and Graphs are NOT self-explanatory;
you need to explain data in the text of the
Tables should be numbered and provided
with a title.[e.g. Table 1: Comparison of Tools]
Argue your final answer to the research
question—which search strategy is best for
your topic search? The conclusion should
explain your final decision and justify your
Your answer must follow from the results of
your searches based on the criteria you
Length: about 1 page
the title at the top of the section
Copy/paste or generate APA format
citations for all web pages or periodical
articles you used in your paper.
Order entries alphabetically