Guidelines to Research Paper Writing and Questionnaire Design Students handout
If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it? Einstein
I- APA Research Paper Format
Although some research papers would take on different layouts depending on the nature of the research or class and/or advisors’ requirements; an APA style would be genuinely the most preferred and common format for scientific papers. An APA research paper or report should include the following sections:
The Title Page should include title of the paper, running head and page, name(s) of the author(s), name of the course and instructor), date of final approval/submission (month and year), and name of school. Careful thought should be given to selection of an appropriate title, and it must include no more than fifty characters.
This is where you acknowledge/thank whoever helped you and/or contributed to the completion of your project.
ABSTRACT (if required)
The Abstract or executive summary should clearly state the project objectives and rationale, provide a brief summary of the procedure employed, and describe the final results produced from the project. The Abstract should be written as a completely self-contained section (i.e., it should provide sufficient information to a reader who may read no other portion of the project). Sample title Page
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
A Table of Contents is useful for directing readers to the location of specific information they see. It also allows them to obtain a quick overview of the contents of the entire project. All titles and subtitles in the Table of Contents must be exactly the same as in the text, and all divisions/subdivisions used in the text must be present in the Table of Contents. The typing format for each level of division must be consistent from chapter to chapter.
CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION
This chapter introduces the subject of the project to the reader, and identifies the scope (aspects and dimensions) of your research paper. It includes: Background to the topic: - A brief reference to major findings/theories in the literature to support and contextualize your research topic
- Highlighting some gaps/limitations in the literature (to make transition to your rationale) The Rationale: What has driven you to carry out your study;
The Objectives: Goals and sub-goals of your study;
The Research problem: The specific focus of your study.
CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
The purpose of this section of your paper is to give a substantial – and consistently informative and critical – background to your research topic by: - Showing where your study fits within its scientific context; - Highlighting any theoretical issues, concepts, or technical aspects that need clarification; - Arguing why it is an issue that is worth investigating;
- Approaching similar studies in a critical way;
- Supporting your research questions with scientific/logical evidence; - Discussing alternatives, and highlighting benefits of similar research, and, eventually, your own; - Identifying gaps/limitations of other studies.
Although content organization depends on the topic and purpose of your research, it is generally advised to start your literature review with definitions of key concepts, clarification of complex ideas, and categorization of items – if required; thus, equipping the reader with a theoretical and technical background necessary for subsequent discussions. Follow a deductive (reasoning by inferring from general principles) or inductive (reasoning from particular facts to general conclusions) - depending on the argument - reasoning throughout your discussion. The...
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