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GUIDELINES IN WRITING A RESEARCH PAPER General Considerations: 1.

Research papers usually have five chapters with well-established sections in each chapter. Readers of the paper will be looking for these chapters and sections so you should not deviate from the standard format unless you are specifically requested to do so by the research sponsor. 2. Most research studies begin with a written proposal. Again, nearly all proposals follow the same format. In fact, the proposal is identical to the first three chapters of the final paper except that it's written in future tense. In the proposal, you might say something like "the researchers will secure the sample from ...", while in the final paper, it would be changed to "the researchers secured the sample from ...". Once again, with the exception of tense, the proposal becomes the first three chapters of the final research paper. 3. The most commonly used style for writing research reports is called "APA" and the rules are described in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Any library or bookstore will have it readily available. The style guide contains hundreds of rules for grammar, layout, and syntax. This paper will cover the most important ones. 4. Avoid the use of first person pronouns. Refer to yourself or the research team in third person. Instead of saying "I will ..." or "We will ...", say something like "The researcher will ..." or "The research team will ...". 5. A suggestion: Never present a draft (rough) copy of your proposal, thesis, dissertation, or research paper...even if asked. A paper that looks like a draft, will interpreted as such, and you can expect extensive and liberal modifications. Take the time to put your paper in perfect APA format before showing it to anyone else. The payoff will be great since it will then be perceived as a final paper, and there will be far fewer changes. 6. Your essay should be typed, double-spaced on standard-sized paper (8.5" x 11"). Style, Layout and Formatting 1. Title page All text on the title page is centered vertically and horizontally. The title page has no page number and it is not counted in any page numbering. 2. Page layout Left margin: 1" Right margin: 1" Top margin: 1" Bottom margin: 1" 3. Page numbering Pages are numbered at the top right. There should be 1" of white space from the top of the page number to the top of the paper. Numeric page numbering begins with the first page of Chapter 1 (although a page number is not placed on page 1). 4. Spacing and justification All pages are single sided. Text is double-spaced, except for long quotations and the bibliography (which are single-spaced). There is one blank line between a section heading and the text that follows it. Do not right-justify text. Use ragged-right (Aligned Left). 5. Font face and size Any easily readable font is acceptable. The font should be 10 points or larger. Generally, the same font must be used throughout the manuscript, except: o tables and graphs may use a different font, and o chapter titles and section headings may use a different font. 6. References (Citations) APA format should be used to cite references within the paper. If you name the author in your sentence, then follow the authors name with the year in parentheses. For example:

Jones (2004) found that...

If you do not include the authors name as part of the text, then both the author's name and year are enclosed in parentheses. For example:

One researcher (Jones, 2004) found that...


A complete bibliography is attached at the end of the paper. It is double spaced except single-spacing is used for a multiple-line reference. The first line of each reference is indented. Examples:

Arai, Lisa (2005). Peer and neighbourhood influences on teenage pregnancy and fertility: Qualitative findings from research in English communities. Health & Place: Volume 13, Issue 1, March 2007 (Pages 87-98). Elsevier Ltd. Barbara, Hannah (2001). Adolescent parenthood: a costly mistake or a search for love?. Reproductive Health Matters: Volume 9, Issue 17, May 2001 (Pages 101-107). Elsevier Ltd.
7. Headings APA Style uses a unique headings system to separate and classify paper sections. There are 5 heading levels in APA. They are not, however, used in order. Their respective formatting is as follows:

Level 1 Headings Are Centered and Require Standard Capitalization Level 2 Headings Are Centered and Italicized with Standard Capitalization Level 3 Headings Are Italicized, Flush-Left with Standard Capitalization Level 4 headings are indented: only first words and words after colons capitalized; end with a period.Text follows immediately. LEVEL 5 HEADINGS ARE CENTERED IN ALL CAPS

CHAPTER II GUIDELINES IN WRITING A RESEARCH PAPER (level 5) General Rule (level 1) Paper (level 2) Layout (level 3) Margins (level 4). Paper margin should be set 1 (left) and 1 in the remaining sides. Paper Size. The recommended paper size is 8 x 11.
Example format for heading levels 5, 1, 2, 3 ,and 4. Determine how many headings your paper will require. The introduction of a paper is never given its own section name (e.g. Introduction). You may only need one level of basic headings (i.e. Methods, Results, etc.). However, you may require sub-headings within those basic headings and sub-headings below those sections. Most undergraduate papers will use three levels of headings or less. After determining how many headings your paper will require, follow the below examples:

CHAPTER II GUIDELINES IN WRITING A RESEARCH PAPER General Rule (level 1) Research papers usually have five chapters with well-established sections in each chapter. Readers of the paper will be looking for these chapters and sections so you should not deviate from the standard format unless you are specifically requested to do so by the research sponsor. Paper Layout (level 1) Paper margin should be set 1 (left) and 1 in the remaining sides. The recommended paper size is 8 x 11.

Example format for heading level 1 (General Rule and Paper Layout are the only headings)

CHAPTER II GUIDELINES IN WRITING A RESEARCH PAPER General Rule (level 1) Paper Layout (level 3) Paper margin should be set 1 (left) and 1 in the remaining sides. The recommended paper size is 8 x 11. Title Page (level 3) All text on the title page is centered vertically and horizontally. The title page has no page number and it is not counted in any page numbering.

Example format heading levels 1 & 3.

CHAPTER II GUIDELINES IN WRITING A RESEARCH PAPER GUIDELINES General Rule (level 1) Research papers usually have five chapters with well well-established sections in each chapter. Readers of the paper will be looking for these chapters and sections so you should not deviate from the standard format unless you are standard specifically requested to do so by the research sponsor. Paper Layout (level 3) Margins (level 4). Paper margin should be set 1 (left) and 1 in the remaining sides. Layout (level 4). The recommended paper size is 8 x 11.
Example format for heading levels 1, 3 and 4.

Chapter I. The Problem and Review of Related Literature - Introductory Paragraph - Related Literatures - Related Studies - Conceptual/Theoretical Framework - Conceptual/Theoretical Paradigm - Statement of the Problem - Hypothesis/Null Hypothesis - Significance of the Study - Scope and Delimitation - Definition of Terms Chapter II. Method - Research Design - Respondents/Participants - Sampling - Instrument/s - Data Collection - Data Analysis Introduction (may be given a more descriptive name)

Provides background information and rationale for the research, so that the reader is persuaded that it will be useful/interesting. It usually also serves as frame within which the reader reads the rest of the thesis. Provides background information related to the need for the research. Builds an argument for the research and presents research question(s) and aims. May present a theoretical starting point. For a minor thesis, it usually includes methodology. Gives an outline of subsequent chapters. Some tips on how to write the introduction: o T-rend in the field (exemplified by Statistics) o I-ssues in the problem under study o O-bjectives of the paper o C-ontribution of paper (significance) Theories Practice Research

Literature Review (this may consist of more than one chapter with descriptive titles)

To show the reader/examiner that you are familiar with issues and debates in the field (you need to explain these and discuss the main players' ideas. To show the reader that there is an area in this field to which you can contribute (thus, the review must be critically analytical). This is the section where you cite the most, where your use of verb tense becomes most important in conveying subtle meanings, where you must beware of unwarranted repetition. This is where plagiarism becomes an issue. You must remember to discuss theory which is directly relevant to your research. In a minor thesis, this may be incorporated into other parts of the piece presented (eg, in the introduction, throughout a video, in a discussion). Alternatively a literature review may be the main source of data, and fulfill the aims of the thesis, in which case it may need to consist of one or more large chapters. Tips on writing literature review: o Not necessary to provide particulars for every reference. o Studies with comparable findings often can be summarized together. o Summarize in your own words. o Do not ignore a study because its findings contradict other studies. o Write findings of research in verbs that are tentative. o Do not inject opinions into the review. o Reviewers own opinion do not belong in a review with the exception of assessments of study quality.

Components: 1. Introduction 2. Review of Related Literatures and Studies 3. Theoretical/Conceptual Framework 4. Theoretical/Conceptual Paradigm or Research/Study Paradigm

5. 6. 7. 8.

Statement of the Problem Hypotheses/Null Hypotheses Significance of the Study Definition of Terms

Methodology

Presents an understanding of the philosophical framework within which you see your inquiry (ie, discusses epistemology of the research - using literature). Presents a rationale for the methodological approach (using literature). Describes and justifies the methods of research and analysis (using literature). Reveals the boundaries of the research (this may occur instead in the Introduction). Describes what you did (past tense) for selection of site, participants, data gathering and analysis. It may include illustrations (eg, a timeline depicting stages/steps in the research). In minor theses, this section may appear in the Introduction. Describes steps taken to ensure ethical research practice (shows you are a serious researcher who takes account of how research may affect participants).

Results

Presents the data and findings, ordered/analysed in ways justified earlier (methodology). Past tense is a feature here (usually). Data in tables should be carefully set out, checked and discussed.

Discussion

Discusses findings, drawing out main achievements and explaining results. Makes links between aims, and findings (and the literature). May make recommendations these could appear in the Conclusion chapter.

References: Walonick, David S. (2005). Elements of a Reseach Proposal and Report. Retrieved on November 3, 2008 from http://www.statpac.com/research-papers/research-proposal.htm Brizee, A., Karper, E., Neyhart, D., Russell, T., Seas, K., & Wagner, J. (2008). APA Formattng and Style Guide. Retrieved on November 3, 2008 from http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/