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Template for Students using APA (American Psychological Association) Format
for Architectural Thesis
Research Focus as Sub Title
Alfredo N. Lapuebla
Institute of Architecture and Fine Arts

The abstract should be a single paragraph in block format (without paragraph
indentation) and the appropriate length depends on the journal to which you
are submitting but they are typically 150 200 words. (Students should consult
their thesis adviser for the recommended length of the abstract) The abstract
is important because many journal readers first read the abstract to determine
the entire article is worth reading. The abstract should describe all three
chapters of the thesis book. Consider writing one or two sentences
summarizing each part of a paper and you will have a nice abstract. Use font
10, italized, single space. Abstract can be written after the whole two courses
are completed and successfully defended before the jurors.
Keywords: Choose three or four special words from your write up. These may
be words with new meaning or application to your work. Do not define.



Template for Students using APA Format for Architectural Thesis
Research Focus as Sub Title
Chapter 1 (Bold)
Before getting started you will notice some things about this paper. First everything is
double-spaced. Second, margins are 1-inch wide on all sides. Third, there are several
headings used throughout to separate different parts of the paper: some of the headings are in
bold. Fourth, there is exactly one space after each punctuation mark (except for periods at the
end of a sentence after which there are two spaces). Fifth, the upper left of each page has a
running head in all capital letters, and in the upper right, the surname of the author. At the
bottom right is the page number. Try to pay attention to all of these details as you look
through this paper. Use Times New Roman Font 12.
Now that those details are out of the way, you should know that this part of the paper is
called the Introduction section, yet it does not have a heading that actually says
Introduction. Instead, the title and sub-title of the paper is typed at the top of the top of the
first page (be sure to center the title but do not put them in bold). In this section you would
often start with a topic paragraph that introduces the problem of the study. The
importance and the urgency of the study should be very clear from the first paragraph
or two of the Introduction.
The bulk of the Introduction section is the background literature on the topic. Here the
literature review is often very helpful to provide a theoretical or empirical basis for the
research. Try to provide the reader enough information on the topic to be able to conclude
that the research is important and the hypotheses are reasonable. Include the
commissioning client or possible clients, functions, activities, special requirements from the
clients (if any), all types of users and ball-park budget in this section. Any prior work on the

topic would be useful to include here, although prior work that is most directly related to the
hypotheses would be of greatest value. The student presents the conceptual framework
both for the building and the site of the project. If graphical presentation is included, such
presentation shall be done after Introduction section.
Remember to cite your sources often in the Introduction and throughout the manuscript.
Articles and books are cited in the same way as text yet they appear differently on the
Reference page. For example, an article by Crombach and Meehl (1955) and a book by
Bandura (1986) are written with the authors name and the year of publication in parentheses.
However, if you look on the Reference page they look a little different. Remember that APA
style does not use footnotes or anything like that for citation. Two other things about
citations are important. When a citation is written inside a parenthesis (e.g. Crombach &
Meehl, 1959), an ampersand is used between the authors name instead of the word and.
Second, when citing the authors work using quotations, be sure to include page number. For
example, Rogers (1961) once wrote that two important elements of a helping relationship are
genuineness and transparency (p. 37). Notice that the page number is included here.
Unless a direct quotation is taken from the source, the page number is not included.
The last section of the Introduction states the purpose (goals/objectives/strategies)
of the research. The purpose can be summarized in few sentences only. This section also
includes the formal presentation of the Statement of the Problem both major and minor
in narrative or declarative forms. Reminder: The problem here is NOT what you
mentioned in the first few paragraphs. This is your architectural problem. It is about the
project you are about to design later. The major problem deals with designing your project
and the minor problems are directly related to what you want your project to be (i.e. low cost,
affordable, energy efficient, etc.). It might be interesting to note that minor problems must
also be in line with your research focus. The student also includes his/her Hypothesis for the

whole project to properly end the section. State your hypothesis as predictions (e.g. It is
predicted that) and avoid using passive tense (e.g. It was predicted that). You will
notice that predictions are written in past tense because you are describing a study you have
finished. Hypothesis is what your research focus will do to your project and it is very
important that all conditions required by your focus be met in your design (Arch 522) to
prove the validity of your hypothesis.
Review of Related Literature
You mentioned a number of related literatures in the introduction. This section is a
careful study of all available primary and secondary sources of data and information
pertaining to the area or problem under investigation. The survey of related literature
involves the comprehensive documentation of published and unpublished materials
relevant to the architectural problem. For these Thesis Courses, the minimum
requirements are either three (3) Foreign Literatures or two (2)Local Literatures or three (3)
Local Literatures and two (2) Foreign Literatures. The format shall be:
Title/Topic of the Literature

Synopsis (Brief Summary of the Subject)

Critique: Advantages/Disadvantages (Your assessment of the subject)
How it will enhance your ideas of the project.

Conceptual Framework
In this section, you explain why a project is done in a particular way and it helps you
understand the use the ideas of others who have done similar things. It is directly related to
Research Focus and usually, this is the basis of the concept you want to apply in your project.
A framework helps you decide and explains why you use certain methods or approaches to
get to a certain point, in this case, the solution of the Thesis problem. With Conceptual
Framework, you can justify why you would try this or that path, based on the experience of

others, and on what you would like to explore or discover. This is your input to the project
to make it your original project as the output. The Thesis Courses require you to prepare
a schematic diagram showing the route you will be taking from the inception of the
problem to the proposed solution of the project. For each stage in the diagram, it is
mandatory to show what you intend to do and what results are to be expected. One of the
aims of Thesis Courses is for you to have a unique project; thus, you must have your own
unique Conceptual
Research Design (Bold)
This section describes the whole research approach of the student. It must be specified
whether the research is quantitative or qualitative. If quantitative, show how statistics are
presented and what are the methods of analysis. If qualitative, describe the method of data
gathering and the method of data analysis. Describe in in-depth the design of the study and
how the student expects to get the result. This section also includes the description of data
gathering methods for all architectural programming section of the thesis book. Architecture
thesis is predominantly qualitative and quantitative research. It deals mainly on codes,
standards, ocular inspections and library works. The quantitative part is the determination of
the possible catchment user population and these statistics are projected accordingly.
Scope and Limitations
This section shows a condensed description of the works extent or coverage. It is
important to determine the dimension of difficulty of the proposed study. It must present a
clearer view of what you are going to undertake (i.e. the selection and process of site
investigation, environmental systems and the processes involved, space design and planning

theories/principles to be applied, cost and budget sources and constraints, etc.). Limitations
constitute the weaknesses of the study beyond your control. There are resources which you
are not permitted to have access to. The limitation statement should be clearly provided to
give the reader the extent of your study in terms of its comparison with the scope given
Scope and limitation are validating complements of each other,
Significance of Research
This section indicates how your research will refine, revise, or extend existing
knowledge in Architecture and how your proposed solution will inspire others to pursue
further study. You are also to indicate how your research will respond to the prevailing
issues. There are three potential audiences in this study: practitioners of the architectural
professions and students in architecture and the target users of the project. Statements
relating to the significance of the research to all groups are essential and in order.

Chapter 2 (Bold)
Chapter 2 signifies the start of all architectural analyses which are deviating from the
standard APA format. All items under Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 in the original thesis book
are to be thoroughly discussed under this section. The heading for each analysis is written in
bold letters at the right side of the paper as shown. Follow the numbering standard
provided by the Thesis Manual.
Site Selection Process
There are two analytical approaches in this section: analysis for projects with given site
and analysis for projects without any given site. Project with given site requires that the site
be evaluated through SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis to
determine the feasibility of the site for the proposed project and the possible strategies to be

adapted to maximize the strengths and opportunities of the site and to minimize or totally
remove the weaknesses and threats of the site. Site selection is undertaken if there is no site
provided. Three possible sites are chosen and using site criteria required by the project,
comparative analysis using acceptable points system rating table is conducted. Pictures of the
three sites must be presented as proof of your visitations of the sites.
Site Analysis
Macro Site Analysis
Site analysis section involves two components: macro analysis and micro analysis.
Macro analysis is everything outside of the site usually 5 to 10 kilometers catchment radius
with the site as the center. Vicinity map is included to show existing structures, roads, traffic
route and other important features that will help in the proper assessment of the site. You
also need to present zoning map and land use maps. It should be noted that when presenting
any type of maps, the north direction should always be pointed upwards and for every map,
your site must be properly delineated. Pictures will help a lot in the analysis. If possible, use
panoramic lenses to capture the existing visual impact of the surrounding areas. Sun path,
wind direction and project orientation should be given importance for these are critical in the
placement of the project on the chosen site. You should be familiar with the use of sun path
and the use of the values given by the weather bureau. All values should be translated into
graphical representation (i.e. wind velocity and direction). All that is seen, felt, seen, smelled
and heard in this catchment area can be represented in an image map. This is a critical tool in
the study of site.
This section also includes the socio-economic profile of the users. It is in this section
where statistics and projections are presented. Statistics are not just sets of numbers. This
must give enough information to help you in the programming of your project.. Be sure you

have chosen the right demographics which include the economic background to be able to
tailor your project with the intended users.
Micro Site Analysis
Micro analysis refers to the description of the site conditions within the boundary of the
site and its immediate environs. Every feature must be fully checked and to be taken into
consideration when doing the project design. Topography, utility line, sanitary line, existing
vegetation, lot shape and existing structures are but a few to consider when doing the micro
site analysis. Take note of the existing manholes and electrical tapping points. These are
critical in your site development. Take panoramic pictures of the site. Choose the best part
of your area and during your visits, immerse yourself. NOTE: From both Macro and Micro
analysis, you are required to list all possible DESIGN PRIORITIES for the proposed
projects. You will use them in your site development options.
User Analysis
This section discusses the demographic data of your expected users. It further shows the
Statistical data of major users/clients/visitors of the proposed facilities.
Statistical data coverage depends on the projected users. Is the project municipal,
provincial, regional, or national?

Specific sector of the population to be targeted must be identified. Is it the

Tourists (foreign or local)? The economically disadvantaged? Or anybody?

Are you going to target the whole population or only percentage of it?

The organizational structure shows the hierarchy of the people who shall manage
the site project after its completion


Laws/Ordinances (Being implemented in the site)
This section deals mainly with the existing laws and ordinances which are in effect in the
chosen site. There might be special ordinances that you may have to follow when designing
your projects. This is true to business center and projects under Planned Unit Development
where different zonings and other requirements are being implemented by the local
associations. Exclusive subdivisions and other special built environment projects have
special laws in effect. You are to take all of these into considerations. Laws and ordinances
also include DENR ordinance/requisites specially the requirements of the Environmental
Impact Assessment (EIA).
Site Development Options
Finally in this section, site development options using the DESIGN PRIORITIES from
the macro and microsite analysis are formulated. Example: Site Development Options using
the design priorities in terms of orientations sun path or Site Development Options based on
access and existing roads and traffic route or Site development Options based on existing
structures, vegetation, landmarks and views. The three site development options may be
combined to form the final site development option to be used in the final building layout.
Research Focus
In this section, you are to discuss thoroughly the very essence of your hypothesis. It
Will give you all the conditions that must be applied in your final design to be able to meet
The requirements of the hypothesis. It is the research topic that will make the thesis project
unique or increase its architectural value. It can be an existing theory or a concept that you
are interested to apply to the project. It is advisable to start the inception of your Research
Focus during the finalization stage of your thesis topic. Research Focus is a very broad
subject thus, topics will be limited to Ecological Technology; Green Architecture; ideas used

in Tropical Architecture (cross ventilation); Passive Cooling; etc. Note: Choosing your
Research Focus is determined by the observed or felt Problems you stated in your
Introduction. You are to justify/rationalize the topic you have decided to use for your thesis,
state your goal and objectives and explain clearly through an analytical framework how your
topic will work. For uniformity, you are to include the following:
Title of Research Focus (include source of data)

Summary (include photos, illustrations of research focus being

Significance of the Research Focus

Objectives of the Research: How the topic will make the project unique,
what is needed to be proven and why.

Analytical Framework: Show the basis of the research and the
approaches you are going to apply.

Description and comparative analysis of your focus compared with other
conventional options.

Recommendation for application

Case Studies of Related Work

In this part, you will present case studies of previous architectural studies, whether
proposed or existing. This study will give you more information (Spaces, Areas,
Organizational Chart, Types of Users, etc.) about the project through investigation of existing
structures or otherwise which are related to the one being proposed. Critiquing is an
important aspect of this chapter. You should not be solely dependent on references found in
textbooks. Actual gathering of information from existing local structures related to the thesis
topic is highly advisable. Case studies to be presented shall be composite of local and foreign
cases preferably a set of two foreign and one local or two locals and one foreign. You are
going to search for meanings or inspiration from the cases NOT necessarily copying them.
Presentation of Case Studies shall be as follows:

Title of Case Studies (include source of data)

Summary of (positive and/or negative) Critiques (include photos,
illustrations of case studies showing plans and other architectural

Significance of the Case to be studied

Objectives of the Case Studies to show how the studies are
beneficial to the thesis project.

Analytical Framework: the approaches that you have adapted

Description and comparative analysis of the cases

Recommendation for application

Architectural Programming
In this section, you are going to investigate, identify and document the needs of the client
for use in the design of the project. This will mean getting to know the clients needs,
facilities required to satisfy the needs: the functions that it will perform, space required,
instruction both on land use and facilities, size of the project and cost both initial and
operational. Spatial or design elements must be determined and its identification must be
known according to what the project requires. Spatial elements and their identification can
be done through the following approaches/sources:
Staffing requirements consistent with projected target users/clients
of the project.

Organizational charts of existing similar projects.

Projects in the Case Studies to determine space requirements and
their relationships.

You are required to undertake a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the spatial

elements. Qualitative analysis states the quality of spaces desired as to color, ambiance,

planning, lighting, etc. while quantitative analysis shows space parameters derived from

standards such as the National Building Code (NBC), Local or Time Saver Standards. Using


design parameters for furniture and equipment and adapting the unit space measure for

individual user and corresponding circulation percentage, you can compute for the
approximate area of the element. You are advised to formulate

your own space modules for ease of computation.

Space Requirements

Matrices and Space Interrelationship

Space Programming using table identifying spaces, users, quality
of space, space parameter, approximate areas and space modules.

Laws/Ordinances pertaining to space requirements. You must be
aware of the laws, codes and other ordinances that regulate your
type of project i.e. Fire Code regulating the width of the corridor,
the locations and distances of doors, location of stairs etc.

Space Module Example

Feasibility Studies

Thesis Courses require you to prepare an in-depth analysis to check whether or not the

project can be realized. This is done through Cost of Project-Benefits from Project analysis.

The cost of project includes cost of building and other developments using various estimating

methods with the operating (overhead) cost for a specific target number of years while the

benefits are the income generated by the project. Using these values, you can prepare a

simple income statement leading you to the computation of the ROI (Return on Investments

or when will the clients get back their investment) and the PP (Payback Period or when can

the project payback the investment using its yearly income). As a general rule, you cannot

have a positive ROI before the PP. It is recommended that you compute your ROI after the



PP. Refer to the Thesis Manual for standard values and method of computation. It is

necessary to compute the operating cost through the use of the organizational chart and

providing values for salary cost, and utility cost. For ease in computation, however, 10% of

the building cost will suffice for the project.