Bill Southerly's Research Report Checklist


Purpose

What follows is a checklist that I (Bill Southerly) developed and use in my research methods courses when teaching APA-style. I typically pass it out BEFORE the assignment is due and require students to check off each to indicate they have satisfied the requirement. I also have had other student's review someone else's paper with this as a guide. It is more detailed than most and includes a number of areas that reflect my own preferences not APA's.


APA-STYLE CHECKLIST

The following itemizing represents a partial listing of APA-style formatting concerns. These should be used by you to help evaluate whether your paper meets APA-style writing and formatting requirements.

In addition, I have included some other formatting standards (these are indicated by ***) typically viewed as appropriate for most written work. These additional standards are not formally part of APA-style,however, they are frequently adopted by many writers. Therefore, you should incorporate these additional standards into your written work as well, while recognizing you will not find references to them in the APA Manual.

As indicated this listing is not designed to identify all of the formatting requirements of the APA. For the most part, it represents the most frequent problem areas found in students' written assignments. Thus,it is not a substitute for reading and consulting the APA Manual but merely a supplement to that volume.


GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

_ _ _ _ _ Margins (at least 1 inch on all sides)

_ _ _ _ _ Double spacing

_ _ _ _ _ Sections in proper order

_ _ _ _ _ Page numbers

_ _ _ _ _ Short title


APPROPRIATE WRITING STYLE

_ _ _ _ _ Organization

_ _ _ _ _ Sentence structure

_ _ _ _ _ Choice of words

_ _ _ _ _ Attention to transitions between paragraphs

_ _ _ _ _ Indention of paragraphs (5 spaces)

_ _ _ _ _ Paragraph length

_ _ _ _ _ Proper use of quotes

_ _ _ _ _ Abbreviations defined

_ _ _ _ _ Spelling or uncorrected typing errors

_ _ _ _ _ No hyphenated words at the end of a line


TITLE PAGE

T i t l e

_ _ _ _ _ Descriptive title

_ _ _ _ _ Centered

_ _ _ _ _ Length (no more than 12 words)

Author's Name(s)

_ _ _ _ _ Middle initial included

_ _ _ _ _ Centered

Institution's Name

_ _ _ _ _ Centered

_ _ _ _ _ Proper title

Running head:

_ _ _ _ _ Left Justified

_ _ _ _ _ CAPS for actual running head

_ _ _ _ _ Title "Running head:"


Abstract

_ _ _ _ _ New page

_ _ _ _ _ Single paragraph

_ _ _ _ _ Block format (no indent)

_ _ _ _ _ Summarizes all aspects of paper

_ _ _ _ _ No quotes

_ _ _ _ _ Maximum of 120 words

_ _ _ _ _ Avoid abbreviations ***

_ _ _ _ _ Avoid references ***

Proper heading

_ _ _ _ _ Title

_ _ _ _ _ Centered


INTRODUCTION

_ _ _ _ _ Continuous text from Introduction through Discussion (don't start new sections on different pages)

Title

_ _ _ _ _ Matches title page

_ _ _ _ _ Centered

_ _ _ _ _ Interesting opening paragraph

_ _ _ _ _ Adequate background found in early part of this section

_ _ _ _ _ Hypothesis stated clearly near the end of this section

_ _ _ _ _ Definitions of key variables

References

_ _ _ _ _ Proper format

_ _ _ _ _ Proper use of et al.

_ _ _ _ _ Proper use of secondary references


METHOD

Heading

_ _ _ _ _ Title

_ _ _ _ _ Centered

Participants Subsection

_ _ _ _ _ Proper heading (underlined)

_ _ _ _ _ Who were participants?

_ _ _ _ _ Demographics

_ _ _ _ _ Total number

_ _ _ _ _ Any dropouts and why?

_ _ _ _ _ Statement on ethical treatment

_ _ _ _ _ Proper citation

_ _ _ _ _ Appendix citation

Apparatus or Materials Subsection

_ _ _ _ _ Proper heading

_ _ _ _ _ Description of instruments or equipment

_ _ _ _ _ Discussion of validity of instruments

_ _ _ _ _ Discussion of reliability of instruments

_ _ _ _ _ Citations for instruments

_ _ _ _ _ Appendix citation

Procedure

_ _ _ _ _ Proper heading (underlined)

_ _ _ _ _ Enough detail provided to replicate research

_ _ _ _ _ Instructions to subjects

_ _ _ _ _ Group formation (random assignment to group)


RESULTS

Heading

_ _ _ _ _ Title

_ _ _ _ _ Centered

_ _ _ _ _ Descriptive statistics reported

(means, SD, variance ***,mode ***, median ***, range ***)

H y p o t h e s i s

_ _ _ _ _ Clear statement of whether supported or not

_ _ _ _ _ Statistics reported with appropriate format

_ _ _ _ _ No interpretations (should be in discussion, not in results)

_ _ _ _ _ Proper references to figures/tables


DISCUSSION

Heading

_ _ _ _ _ Title

_ _ _ _ _ Centered

_ _ _ _ _ Opening statement of support/nonsupport for hypothesis

_ _ _ _ _ Supported or didn't support

_ _ _ _ _ Similarities/differences between your findings and others

_ _ _ _ _ Any shortcomings of research and implications of these

_ _ _ _ _ Future research


REFERENCES

Heading

_ _ _ _ _ Title

_ _ _ _ _ Centered

_ _ _ _ _ New page

_ _ _ _ _ Proper indention of first line

_ _ _ _ _ One-to-one match with text

_ _ _ _ _ No split references between pages ***

Journal Articles

_ _ _ _ _ Author(s)

_ _ _ _ _ Initials (Author's first and middle)

_ _ _ _ _ Year (in parentheses)

_ _ _ _ _ Title

_ _ _ _ _ Upper/lower case

_ _ _ _ _ Journal name

_ _ _ _ _ Underline journal name and volume number

_ _ _ _ _ Volume number

_ _ _ _ _ Page numbers

_ _ _ _ _ Proper spacing

B o o k s

_ _ _ _ _ Author(s)

_ _ _ _ _ Initials

_ _ _ _ _ Year

_ _ _ _ _ Title

_ _ _ _ _ Upper/lower case

_ _ _ _ _ Underline book title

_ _ _ _ _ Edition

_ _ _ _ _ Proper spacing


Thanks to Bill Southerly and TIPS for this checksheet.

Bill Southerly Dept. of Psychology Frostburg State University Frostburg, Maryland, USA 21532 E2PYTIPS@FRE.FSU.UMD.EDU


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