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Writing A Research Paper In The APA Style: A Step-By-Step Guide

The APA writing style was elaborated by the American Psychological Association and it is generally used to write and format academic papers in different areas of social sciences. In an APA style project, you should present and interpret results of your independent research. Therefore, it has the most suitable structure to meet your needs. All research papers in the APA style consist of the following parts: a title page, an abstract, an introduction, methods, results, a discussion, and references. Take the following steps to write and organize your work well:

  • Create your introduction.
  • Start your introduction broad and make it more specific till the end. In the first paragraphs, you should summarize and assess the existing empirical knowledge in your field of study and explain why it is worth to do deeper research in it. Logically lead to your specific hypotheses.

  • Write the method section.
  • Share all details of your independent research. Write the following subsections:

    • Participants
    • Provide all relevant details, like the number of participants, their age range, racial and ethnic characteristics (if necessary). Explain your choice of these people in particular.

    • Materials
    • Describe all things and equipment that were necessary to record the responses and analyze these data. For example, these may be: a computer, the data recording sheet, paper and pencils, etc. If you used a questionnaire, describe it in details.

    • Apparatus
    • Mention any specialized equipment that you used to do the job. If you didn’t, skip this section.

    • Procedure
    • Describe what the participants did, what order was used, and how you controlled the process. Explain why it was necessary to organize the procedure this way.

  • Share your findings in the results section.
  • Describe how you analyzed the information and what you found. To present the statistics and numbers visually, use tables or figures. Quantitative data are usually arranged in the tables while the figures are used to represent some trends or compare the results of experiments.

  • Interpret your results in the discussion section.
  • Briefly restate your findings. Analyze why they proved (didn’t prove) your hypothesis. What do your results add to the existing knowledge in the field? Explain why it may be useful to go on with further research in this niche. How can your findings be practically applied? In a final paragraph, summarize your work and emphasize why it is important.

  • Present your topic in the abstract.
  • Make a brief overview of your paper (not more than 80-120 words)

  • Refer to the APA style guide in order to format the references and the title page correctly.