Writing Research Paper

American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines are likely to be required whether you’re writing a B.S. degree research paper or producing a research report for a psychology course. The APA format for research articles is described here.

Sections of an APA-Styled Research Paper

The title page, abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion, and references are all standard components of an APA-style experimental research paper.

Figures and tables are commonplace, as are appendices or appendices. For more extensive guidance, please see “How to Write a Research Paper in APA Style,” a comprehensive handbook prepared by Prof. Emma Geller. 2

Title Page Abstract: Methods of Initiation Expand All

sDiscussion sResults sReferences

Tables and figures


Extend the APA Style to All Varieties of Research Papers

Despite the fact that most APA-formatted research papers follow the basic structure outlined above, there are a few exceptions. Among them are the following:

When there is no need to include any methods or results sections in a literature review when the work is just reiterating the findings of previous research, such as when writing a qualitative review. As an alternative, you may use a different format that includes parts for the various components of the study being examined, followed by a section for discussion.

When doing numerous experiments, it is typical to follow the introduction with an Experiment 1 part, which includes methods, results, and discussion subsections. Afterwards, there is a similar arrangement for Experiment 2 and so on until all experiments are addressed. There is a general discussion section at the conclusion of the article, followed by a list of references. The results and discussion portions of several different experiments may be integrated into a single section titled “Results and Discussion” in publications describing several different studies.

Examples of APA-style deviations

The APA style manual may not be followed in all circumstances (however, be sure to check with your editor, instructor, or other sources before deviating from the standards of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association). Among the possible variances are:

Tables and figures are sometimes incorporated into the text to make it simpler to comprehend the article as a whole (for example, having a bar graph placed in the relevant Results section). One of the most prevalent APA style violations is the use of tables and/or figures inside the text (which is commonly allowed in B.S. Degree Research Papers and Honors Theses; however, you should check with your instructor, supervisor, or editor first).

B.S. degree research papers in this department are occasionally written regarding research that has yet to be completed. In certain cases (that is, in cases where the research itself has not formally begun), only an introduction and methods section may be included, followed by a list of relevant references. In some cases, preliminary results are provided and labeled as such in the Results section. As always, double-check.with your instructor, supervisor, or editor before making any changes to your work.

For several classes in this area, APA-formatted assignments are required, but they’re not precisely research papers (for instance, a student might be asked to write about an article that they read and to write that report in APA style). In this situation, the document’s structure could be similar to that of a standard APA-formatted research paper, but not completely. For further information, speak with your professor.

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