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3.2. Standard Parts of an APA Paper

3.2.1. Title page

❶Some research papers require a recommendations section, postulating the further directions of the research, as well as highlighting how any flaws affected the results. Obviously, the exact methodology varies depending upon the exact field and type of experiment.

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Unless you are a psychology major, most of your papers will use other headings more appropriate for the paper you have been assigned. As you determine the appropriate section labels, note the standard formatting for headings indicating new sections or subsections. The following diagram shows the appropriate format for section headings and subsections at various levels:.

Fourth level headings are left-aligned, indented, italicized, bold, and ending with a period. You probably will not have much need for third- and fourth-level headings, unless writing a paper more than 10 or 15 pages.

Some instructors may ask that you avoid headings for particular assignments. When allowed, you are generally encouraged to take advantage of APA section headings for papers more than three or four pages. Be aware also that your instructor or the assignment itself may direct you to use specific headings reflecting the aims of the genre of paper you are writing.

When you do not use those headings to arrange material in the body of your paper, you will likely have points deducted from the grade of the paper.

No extra line spacing appears before or after the headings. Do Left-align the body of the paper: Indent each paragraph a half inch: Again, use the Paragraph settings of your word processor Use one-inch margins throughout: This is usually achieved with the Page Layout options. Double space the entire document: This is usually achieved with the Paragraph settings. Indent block quotations an extra half inch from the left margin: This is also achieved with the Paragraph settings see more in Section 2 above.

Repeat the title of the paper at the top of the first page: Insert a running page header with numbering: Do Not Put a heading before the introductory paragraphs. Insert blank lines before or after paragraphs. Force page breaks or manual insert page headers. Begin on a separate page. The word References should be centered at the top of the page do not bold, italicize, underline, or use quotation marks. This page is still numbered using the same page header appearing throughout the paper.

Do Begin on a separate page. This page is still numbered, using the same page header appearing throughout the paper. When source information runs onto a second, third, or additional line, indent those lines by. Double-space with 1-inch margins. List sources alphabetically using the first word s of each entry excluding A, An or The: For multiple sources with same author s , list them from earliest to latest years; if years match also, sort by title.

Do Not Put a colon after the page heading. Insert extra blank lines between entries. List sources that you do not actually cite in the body of the paper. Appendices can be used in papers for a variety of purposes, but their main function is to provide fuller information about some source or observation discussed in the body of the paper.

The contents of appendices generally include either more detailed analyses or extra data, from graphs and tables to survey questions or interview transcripts. While you may never have cause to provide an appendix, some instructors may require them in order to document primary research, since such sources are not generally accessed through the type of information appearing on the References page.

Start each appendix on a separate page. Use the same page header as the main body of the paper, including a short title and page numbers. The heading centered at the top of the first page of each appendix should include the word Appendix , and, when more than one is provided, a capital letter distinguishing each one which should be used when referring to the appendix in the body of the paper. The appendix material itself should be formatted like similar material appearing in the body of the paper.

Grant, Columbus, OH writing franklin. Researching and Writing Responsibly 2. APA Document Formatting 4. Paragraph and type settings 3. There is a big methodological difference between the apparatus based research of the physical sciences and the methods and observation methods of social sciences. However, the key is to ensure that another researcher would be able to replicate the experiment to match yours as closely as possible, but still keeping the section concise.

You can assume that anybody reading your paper is familiar with the basic methods, so try not to explain every last detail. For example, an organic chemist or biochemist will be familiar with chromatography, so you only need to highlight the type of equipment used rather than explaining the whole process in detail. In the case of a survey , if you have too many questions to cover in the method, you can always include a copy of the questionnaire in the appendix.

In this case, make sure that you refer to it. This is probably the most variable part of any research paper, and depends on the results and aims of the experiment. For quantitative research , it is a presentation of the numerical results and data, whereas for qualitative research it should be a broader discussion of trends, without going into too much detail.

For research generating a lot of results , then it is better to include tables or graphs of the analyzed data and leave the raw data in the appendix, so that a researcher can follow up and check your calculations. A commentary is essential to linking the results together, rather than just displaying isolated and unconnected charts and figures. It can be quite difficult to find a good balance between the results and the discussion section, because some findings, especially in a quantitative or descriptive experiment , will fall into a grey area.

Try to avoid repeating yourself too often. It is best to try to find a middle path, where you give a general overview of the data and then expand on it in the discussion - you should try to keep your own opinions and interpretations out of the results section, saving that for the discussion later on.

This is where you elaborate on your findings, and explain what you found, adding your own personal interpretations. Ideally, you should link the discussion back to the introduction, addressing each point individually.

In keeping with the hourglass principle, you can expand on the topic later in the conclusion. The conclusion is where you build on your discussion and try to relate your findings to other research and to the world at large. In a short research paper, it may be a paragraph or two, or even a few lines.

In a dissertation, it may well be the most important part of the entire paper - not only does it describe the results and discussion in detail, it emphasizes the importance of the results in the field, and ties it in with the previous research. Some research papers require a recommendations section, postulating the further directions of the research, as well as highlighting how any flaws affected the results. In this case, you should suggest any improvements that could be made to the research design.

No paper is complete without a reference list , documenting all the sources that you used for your research. This should be laid out according to APA , MLA or other specified format, allowing any interested researcher to follow up on the research. One habit that is becoming more common, especially with online papers, is to include a reference to your own paper on the final page.

Check out our quiz-page with tests about:. Martyn Shuttleworth Jun 5, Parts of a Research Paper. Retrieved Sep 14, from Explorable. The text in this article is licensed under the Creative Commons-License Attribution 4. You can use it freely with some kind of link , and we're also okay with people reprinting in publications like books, blogs, newsletters, course-material, papers, wikipedia and presentations with clear attribution. Share this page on your website: This article is a part of the guide: Select from one of the other courses available:

3.2.2. Abstract page

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For many students, writing the introduction is the first part of the process, setting down the direction of the paper and laying out exactly what the research paper is trying to achieve. For others, the introduction is the last thing written, acting as a .

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Following is a list of the parts commonly found in research articles. Title; Abstract; Introduction; Literature Review; Methods; Results; Discussion/Conclusion; References/Bibliography; Research papers are organized so that the information flow resembles an hourglass in that it goes from general to specific and then back to .

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