Type the word Apparatus flush with the left margin and italicize it. Describe what materials were used and how they functioned in the study. If you use a piece of equipment, you must give the model number, company, and state where the company resides as a two-letter abbreviation. You must give the dimensions and perhaps other descriptive details of any important items used in the study. Standard equipment such as furniture, stopwatches, pencils and paper, can usually be mentioned without providing a lot of details.
In fact, you may often simply mention these items in passing as part of the procedure. Be careful not to describe procedures in this section. You should make clear what purpose the apparatus served, but do not give a lot of details on the use of the apparatus at this point. One hint in this regard is to avoid using action verbs in this section. Design Do not purposely start a new page for this section. Type the word Design flush with the left margin and italicize it.
Describe the design and clearly spell out the independent and dependent variables. Indicate what the levels of the independent variables were, and whether the factor s were repeated, matched, or independent. Describe how the subjects were assigned to groups. Describe any control procedures used. Procedure Do not purposely start a new page for this section.
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- Descriptive Research;
Type the word Procedure flush with the left margin and italicize it. Carefully summarize each step in the execution of the study. Indicate what a typical test, trial, or session involved.
Describe any phases that the study had or any instructions that the subjects received. When referring to groups, try to use descriptive labels. For example, instead of saying Group 1 or the experimental group , you might say the drugged group. Another technique in this regard is to use abbreviations that emphasize meaning. Results Do not purposely start a new page for this section.
Simply center the word Results and continue typing on the very next double-spaced line i. Look carefully at the results. That is, take a good hard look at all those numbers you collect. Think of different ways to summarize them describe , as well as to make sense of them analyze. You might find my Psychological Statistics Site helpful.
Video on Formatting an Essay with APA Sixth Edition
Briefly state the main findings in words. That is, first give a general description, then go into the details. When presenting the results of statistical tests, give descriptive statistics before the corresponding inferential statistics. When presenting means, it is reasonable to use one additional digit of accuracy than what is contained in the raw data. In other words, if the raw data consisted of whole numbers, then the means should contain one decimal place.
When presenting nominal or ordinal data, give the percents rather than frequencies since percents are independent of the sample size. Note that exact p values are preferred. Also, if the computer output says the probability is. When possible, include some statistical estimate of effect size.
Welcome to the Purdue OWL
When actually presenting the results, try to emphasize the meaning of the statistics. That is, clearly describe what it is you are testing and what significance means for the variables involved. See some examples of the correct way to present the results of several common statistical tests. Do not discuss the implications of the results in this section. Do not talk about the meaning of the alpha level or the null hypothesis, and what chance factors have to do with it. Since you are writing for the scientific community, you can assume the reader will have a working knowledge of statistics.
If you are presenting a lot of material here, you may wish to employ subheadings as is done in the methods section. These subheadings should have meaning and relevance to the data and should help to organize your presentation of it. In other words, they should not be organized by the type of analysis employed. Since this is not expected by the reader, it is a good idea to precede the subheadings with a paragraph informing the reader of the logical organization of this section. In cases where the reader would expect something to be significant and it is not, you should address the issue.
Do not provide raw data unless, for some reason, you require a single subject approach.
How to Write a Method Section of an APA Paper
Be careful with the word "prove". Since statistical tests are based on probability and can be in error, they do not really prove anything. You can only use wording that implies causality if you actually manipulated the independent variable i.
For example, suppose you manipulated whether subjects received a drug while employing appropriate control procedures, etc. In this case, you would be able to conclude that the drug caused the difference in memory ability; it impaired it. As another example, suppose that you compared drug use as determined from the results of a survey with memory ability and found a correlation greater use went along with poorer memory performance. Since correlation doesn't say much about causality, we could only conclude that there is a relationship between drug use and memory ability.
Discussion Do not purposely start a new page for this section.
Simply center the word Discussion and continue typing on the very next double-spaced line i. The purpose of this section is to evaluate and interpret the results, especially with respect to the original research question. Start off with a brief, non-technical summary of the results. In other words, tell the reader about the main findings without using statistical terminology.
Then go on to discuss the implications of the results. In other words, whatever was found needs to be discussed. It is also important to discuss how the results relate to the literature you cited in the introduction. In other words, emphasize any theoretical consequences of the results. You might or might not also mention any limitations of the study and any suggestions for future research in this section. Finally, you need an ending paragraph in which you make a final summary statement of the conclusions you have drawn.
You are also encouraged, when appropriate, to comment on the importance and relevance of your findings. How are your findings related to the big picture? Thus, this section should contain an absolute minimum of three paragraphs: the non-technical summary, discussion of the results and their implications, and the concluding paragraph. References Start on a new page. Center the word References at the top. As usual, double space. Any citations made in the manuscript must be presented in this section and vice versa. That is, if something is not cited in the text, then it should not appear in this section.
In still other words, this is not a bibliography. In any of the previous sections, whenever you say something like studies have shown you must provide a citation. This section tells the reader where they can find these citations. This section is alphabetized by last name of the first author involved in the study.