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This part discusses the general problems that the researcher wishes to address in the study. The first part of the introduction should give the readers a background knowledge about the studies and issues that manifest into actual problem and the consequence of the problem for the society INTRODUCTION The researcher should make the problem understood by showing the justification and rationale of the study, cite problematic situation supported by statistics in the micro and macro levels and it's legal basis, relevant to the study. This part is written in not more than three pages.

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The complexities and diversities of human nature and challenges necessitated the need to discover and identify ways to solving and meeting human and academic problem needs. The existence of problems gave rise to the the need for research. The book takes researchers and students through the latest and best research practice through the adoption of simple, adoptable and practicable research models for academic and contemporary research writing.

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Writing Research Papers

Whether you are writing a B.S. Degree Research Paper or completing a research report for a Psychology course, it is highly likely that you will need to organize your research paper in accordance with American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines.  Here we discuss the structure of research papers according to APA style.

Major Sections of a Research Paper in APA Style

A complete research paper in APA style that is reporting on experimental research will typically contain a Title page, Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, and References sections. 1  Many will also contain Figures and Tables and some will have an Appendix or Appendices.  These sections are detailed as follows (for a more in-depth guide, please refer to " How to Write a Research Paper in APA Style ”, a comprehensive guide developed by Prof. Emma Geller). 2

What is this paper called and who wrote it? – the first page of the paper; this includes the name of the paper, a “running head”, authors, and institutional affiliation of the authors.  The institutional affiliation is usually listed in an Author Note that is placed towards the bottom of the title page.  In some cases, the Author Note also contains an acknowledgment of any funding support and of any individuals that assisted with the research project.

One-paragraph summary of the entire study – typically no more than 250 words in length (and in many cases it is well shorter than that), the Abstract provides an overview of the study.


What is the topic and why is it worth studying? – the first major section of text in the paper, the Introduction commonly describes the topic under investigation, summarizes or discusses relevant prior research (for related details, please see the Writing Literature Reviews section of this website), identifies unresolved issues that the current research will address, and provides an overview of the research that is to be described in greater detail in the sections to follow.

What did you do? – a section which details how the research was performed.  It typically features a description of the participants/subjects that were involved, the study design, the materials that were used, and the study procedure.  If there were multiple experiments, then each experiment may require a separate Methods section.  A rule of thumb is that the Methods section should be sufficiently detailed for another researcher to duplicate your research.

What did you find? – a section which describes the data that was collected and the results of any statistical tests that were performed.  It may also be prefaced by a description of the analysis procedure that was used. If there were multiple experiments, then each experiment may require a separate Results section.

What is the significance of your results? – the final major section of text in the paper.  The Discussion commonly features a summary of the results that were obtained in the study, describes how those results address the topic under investigation and/or the issues that the research was designed to address, and may expand upon the implications of those findings.  Limitations and directions for future research are also commonly addressed.

List of articles and any books cited – an alphabetized list of the sources that are cited in the paper (by last name of the first author of each source).  Each reference should follow specific APA guidelines regarding author names, dates, article titles, journal titles, journal volume numbers, page numbers, book publishers, publisher locations, websites, and so on (for more information, please see the Citing References in APA Style page of this website).

Tables and Figures

Graphs and data (optional in some cases) – depending on the type of research being performed, there may be Tables and/or Figures (however, in some cases, there may be neither).  In APA style, each Table and each Figure is placed on a separate page and all Tables and Figures are included after the References.   Tables are included first, followed by Figures.   However, for some journals and undergraduate research papers (such as the B.S. Research Paper or Honors Thesis), Tables and Figures may be embedded in the text (depending on the instructor’s or editor’s policies; for more details, see "Deviations from APA Style" below).

Supplementary information (optional) – in some cases, additional information that is not critical to understanding the research paper, such as a list of experiment stimuli, details of a secondary analysis, or programming code, is provided.  This is often placed in an Appendix.

Variations of Research Papers in APA Style

Although the major sections described above are common to most research papers written in APA style, there are variations on that pattern.  These variations include: 

Departures from APA Style

In some cases, official APA style might not be followed (however, be sure to check with your editor, instructor, or other sources before deviating from standards of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association).  Such deviations may include:

Workshops and Downloadable Resources

Downloadable Resources

Further Resources

How-To Videos     

APA Journal Article Reporting Guidelines

External Resources

1 VandenBos, G. R. (Ed). (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.) (pp. 41-60).  Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

2 geller, e. (2018).  how to write an apa-style research report . [instructional materials]. , prepared by s. c. pan for ucsd psychology.

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  1. What Does PDF Mean?

    In the world of technology, PDF stands for portable document format. The purpose of this format is to ensure document presentation that is independent of hardware, operating systems or application software.

  2. How Do You Make an Acknowledgment in a Research Paper?

    To make an acknowledgement in a research paper, a writer should express thanks by using the full or professional names of the people being thanked and should specify exactly how the people being acknowledged helped.

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    The reason for a PDF file not to open on a computer can either be a problem with the PDF file itself, an issue with password protection or non-compliance with industry standards. It could also be an issue with the PDF reader being used, Acr...

  4. Parts of a Research Paper

    This section covers laying out the parts of a research paper, including the various experimental methods [6] and designs. The principles for literature review [

  5. (PDF) Writing a Research Paper: From the Parts to the Whole

    Abstract · 1. The nature of the problem you address in the paper, · 2. The essence of the state of the art in the domain of the paper · 3. The aim of the paper and

  6. Key components of a research paper

    A well-defined and specific research question guides ... Most studies are conducted with a part of the target.

  7. Anatomy of a Research Paper

    The Discussion Section. The Conclusions Section. Acknowledgements. Summary. Writing, editing, and publishing the paper is the last step in the research

  8. Discussion Section for Research Papers

    The discussion section is one of the final parts of a research paper, in which an author describes, analyzes, and interprets their findings.

  9. Results Section for Research Papers

    The results (or findings) section is one of the most important parts of a research paper, in which an author reports the findings.

  10. Ten Steps for Writing Research Papers

    thesis can be divided into three parts that, in effect, provide a rough outline.

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    Sometimes the most difficult part of writing a research paper is just getting it started. Contained in this packet, you will find a list of six steps that


    This part is written in not more than three pages. Read Article.

  13. Research Paper Structure

    A complete research paper in APA style that is reporting on experimental research will typically contain a Title page, Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results

  14. How to Read a Research Article (PDF)

    The thesis statement can include the writer's hypothesis and/or research questions regarding the topic. The literature review tends to be a difficult area to