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13.1 Formatting a Research Paper

❶Subsection headings use left-aligned, boldface type. Let us know in the comments.

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APA Sample Paper
APA Headings and Seriation
April 14, 2011

Briefly introduce the topic, state your findings, and sum up what conclusions you can draw from your research. Use the word count feature of your word-processing program to make sure your abstract does not exceed one hundred fifty words.

Depending on your field of study, you may sometimes write research papers that present extensive primary research, such as your own experiment or survey. In your abstract, summarize your research question and your findings, and briefly indicate how your study relates to prior research in the field.

APA style requirements also address specific formatting concerns, such as margins, pagination, and heading styles, within the body of the paper. Review the following APA guidelines. Begin formatting the final draft of your paper according to APA guidelines. You may work with an existing document or set up a new document if you choose. Depending on the length and complexity of the paper, its major sections may also be divided into subsections, sub-subsections, and so on.

These smaller sections, in turn, use different heading styles to indicate different levels of information. In essence, you are using headings to create a hierarchy of information. The following heading styles used in APA formatting are listed in order of greatest to least importance:. Visually, the hierarchy of information is organized as indicated in Table A college research paper may not use all the heading levels shown in Table For a brief paper, you may find that level 1 headings suffice.

Longer or more complex papers may need level 2 headings or other lower-level headings to organize information clearly. Use your outline to craft your major section headings and determine whether any subtopics are substantial enough to require additional levels of headings. Working with the document you developed in Note Include your title and at least two to three major section headings, and follow the formatting guidelines provided above.

If your major sections should be broken into subsections, add those headings as well. Use your outline to help you.

Because Jorge used only level 1 headings, his Exercise 3 would look like the following:. Throughout the body of your paper, include a citation whenever you quote or paraphrase material from your research sources. What Will I Learn? Your in-text citations provide basic information about your source; each source you cite will have a longer entry in the references section that provides more detailed information.

In-text citations must provide the name of the author or authors and the year the source was published. When a given source does not list an individual author, you may provide the source title or the name of the organization that published the material instead. When directly quoting a source, it is also required that you include the page number where the quote appears in your citation.

This information may be included within the sentence or in a parenthetical reference at the end of the sentence, as in these examples. The page number appears in parentheses after the closing quotation marks and before the period that ends the sentence. Again, the parenthetical citation is placed after the closing quotation marks and before the period at the end of the sentence.

Here, the writer chose to mention the source title in the sentence an optional piece of information to include and followed the title with a parenthetical citation. Note that the parenthetical citation is placed before the comma that signals the end of the introductory phrase. Another variation is to introduce the author and the source title in your sentence and include the publication date and page number in parentheses within the sentence or at the end of the sentence. As long as you have included the essential information, you can choose the option that works best for that particular sentence and source.

Citing a book with a single author is usually a straightforward task. Of course, your research may require that you cite many other types of sources, such as books or articles with more than one author or sources with no individual author listed. You may also need to cite sources available in both print and online and nonprint sources, such as websites and personal interviews. APA is just one of several different styles with its own guidelines for documentation, formatting, and language usage.

Depending on your field of interest, you may be exposed to additional styles, such as the following:. The brief citations included in the body of your paper correspond to the more detailed citations provided at the end of the paper in the references section. Again, this information allows your reader to follow up on the sources you cited and do additional reading about the topic if desired. The specific format of entries in the list of references varies slightly for different source types, but the entries generally include the following information:.

If an entry continues for more than one line, the second line and each subsequent line are indented five spaces. Review the following example. In APA style, book and article titles are formatted in sentence case, not title case. They received course credit for their participation. We placed flyers about the study on bulletin boards around campus, and the study was included on the list of open studies on the Psychology Department website.

During the initial interview session, doctoral level psychology students assessed participants for psychiatric diagnoses. All participants attended a follow-up session to complete assessments. Participants were instructed to bring a friend with them who would complete the other-report measures. We first administered several self-report measures, as follows.

State and trait anxiety. We adapted the RSQ so that questions referred to the target participant rather than the self. Results State and Trait Anxiety State anxiety. For state anxiety, participant self-report data indicated that participants were significantly less likely For state anxiety, other-report data indicated that friends of participants were significantly more likely For trait anxiety, participant self-report data indicated that participants were significantly less likely For trait anxiety, other-report data indicated that friends of participants were significantly more likely Rejection Sensitivity The results for rejection sensitivity paralleled those for anxiety, demonstrating that Discussion Strengths and Limitations Some of the strengths of our research were Directions for Future Research In the future, we hope that researchers will consider multiple sources of information when making assessments of anxiety.

Socio-demographic and medical history data gathering. Level 4 Paragraph begins here…. Writing is meant to communicate ideas and get our points across as clearly and as effective as possible. You have to write in such a way that every part of your paper will have a logical sequence and sound structure to make it comprehensive and easy to understand.

There are certain ways in writing a clear and concise paper, and here are simple tips which are especially useful for scientific studies:. As a writer, I think the most important among the aforementioned tips is the organization of structure. Once you have a complete picture of what you will include in your paper, everything else will follow.

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Research Papers. Writing a Research Paper; Genre and the Research Paper; Choosing a Topic; Identifying Audiences; Where do I Begin? APA Headings and Seriation; APA PowerPoint Slide Presentation; APA Sample Paper; APA Tables and Figures 1; APA Tables and Figures 2; APA Abbreviations; Statistics in APA;.

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A research paper written in APA style should be organized into sections and subsections using the five levels of APA headings. APA recommends using subheadings only when the paper has at least two subsections within a larger section.

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A paper that is written in American Psychological Association (APA) Style usually contains a number of sections. Research papers that are written for a classroom assignment may contain some or all of the following main sections. The use of headings and subheadings give the readers a general idea of what to expect from the paper and leads the flow of discussion. These elements divide and define each section of the paper. APA recommends five-level heading structure based on the level of subordination.

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A college research paper may not use all the heading levels shown in Table “Section Headings”, but you are likely to encounter them in academic journal articles that use APA style. For a brief paper, you may find that level 1 headings suffice. APA Paper Formatting & Style Guidelines Your teacher may want you to format your paper using APA guidelines. If you were told to create your citations in APA format, your paper should be formatted using the APA guidelines as well. Your abstract summary is a way to introduce readers to your research topic, the questions that will be answered.