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The APA Style Paper Format and Documentation of a Research Study
The following fictional manuscript illustrates key features of a research paper reporting the results of an experiment as described by the American Psychological Association (APA) in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.).
The Title Page Page Header (5 spaces) Page number (1 inch margin) Running Head: Title Name Institution These items are centered & double-spaced! complete title right justified Keep 1” margins on all sides throughout the paper. All pages are numbered in sequence beginning with the title page (excludes figure page). Use a standard type font such as Times New Roman, 12 point size throughout Do not use bold font for emphasis.
Schedule-Induced Attack 1 Running Head: SCHEDULE-INDUCED ATTACK IN MOUSE TRAPS Schedule-Induced Attack in Mouse Traps: Behavior Modification of Inanimate Objects Michael Maus Lunchburg College Title Page Example The title should indicate the variables and subjects/participants studied (in this sample, the independent variable=schedule, the dependent variable=attack, and the subjects=mouse traps) Double space the title if more than one line. The name(s) of the author(s) is/are given, followed by the name of the institution at which the research was done. Double space this section. Running Head: This is an abbreviated title, flush left at the top of the page. Write out the words “Running Head:” as shown. The abbreviated title is written in all capital letters. Header: The first 2 or 3 words from the title, followed by 5 spaces, then the page number, flush right, 1” from the edge.
Schedule-Induced Attack 2 Abstract Although aggression has repeatedly been observed in mousetraps in the field, the variable controlling the aggression has not previously been identified. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether aggression in mouse traps could be induced by an intermittent schedule of reinforcement. The necessary condition for concluding that attack is schedule-induced is that more attack occurs during exposure to an intermittent schedule of reinforcement (e.g. food) than in its absence. The abstract is a brief, word summary of the purpose, method, results, and conclusions of the study. This section and the ones that follow are double-spaced. Also, do not indent the first line of the abstract. The abstract has its own page in the paper. No other information is to be included on this page. The past tense is used throughout most of the manuscript including presentation of results. However, the present tense is used when discussing results and presenting conclusions.
Schedule Induced Attack in Mouse Traps: Behavior Modification of Inanimate Objects The introduction begins on the page following the abstract. The introduction is never labeled. This is where you present the logic and background research that suggested this study. The general problem area is mentioned in the first paragraph, followed by a brief review of the relevant published findings. There are specific ways to cite previously published works (Miller, 1941). When there are two or more authors, they are cited this way (Looney & Dove, 1978). Schedule-Induced Attack 3 Complete title This is a typical citation for a single-author work. Notice the comma after the last name. Also, initials are not used in in-text citations. This is a typical 2-author in-text citation. Remember, use “&” instead of “and” when the citation is parenthetical. Continue to use double-spacing through-out the paper. When one section stops in the middle of a page, the next section starts immediately. (DO NOT start a new page for each section!) Introduction: The topic of study is stated, research relevant to your study is described, similarities and differences between your study and others are noted as are hypotheses/predictions you have regarding the outcome of your study. Indent the first line of each paragraph from this point on. The intro is not labeled in the paper Introduction
Schedule-Induced Attack 4 However, Wallace and Singer (1976) noted that facillima saepe non sunt optima accepit hoc. Also in similar studies it was observed that blah blah blah blah blah (Flory & Everist, 1977; Gentry, 1968; Killeen, 1979). Similarly, Flory (1969a) pointed out the problem of “plures viri quam appellabant” (p.384). Consistent with this view Schaal, Shahan, Kovera and Reilly (1998) note that babble babble babble pessimi copiis maius deum. For the present study I will look at the phenomenon mentioned first by Flory (1969b). When the authors are mentioned as part of the text, write out “and”. When more than one work is cited in the same parenthetical reference, always order them alphabetically by the last name of the first author. List all authors the first time a work is cited in you paper. Thereafter, works with 3 or more authors should be cited using the first author with “et al” after it. Example: (Schaal, et al., 1998) When you cite more than one article by the same author within the same publication year, use the lowercase letters to identify them in alphabetical order by title. Use direct quotes sparingly; indicate the page number as shown.
Subjects (Participants) Three household mousetraps purchased from Wal-Mart Super Store in Lunchburg, West Virginia served as subjects. They were housed together in a 35 x 45 x 10 cm drawer lined with No Bugs M’Lady shelf paper, summer floral design. They were deprived of any form of cheese, but roaches and silver fish were freely available. Apparatus Each of three experimental chambers consisted of a 2 X 3 m room containing no windows and painted institutional green. Food delivery and target presentation were accomplished via human hand. Each food presentation consisted of one 2 cm cube of Kraft's longhorn style Colby cheese. The targets were feral mice obtained from the Dempsey Dumpsters in back of Gouda Student Center at Lunchburg College. Schedule-Induced Attack 5 Method Use the term “Subjects” when non-human organisms were studied; “Participants” when the experiment has studied humans. In either case, the subjects or participants studied are described, as well as the manner in which they were chosen. The method section provides information critical to the replication of your study. “Method” is centered above the section. Each subsection label is left-justified and italicized. Apparatus: what equipment and material(s) were used in conducting the study. If no equipment was used, as in most survey studies, this section may be labeled Materials.
Schedule-Induced Attack 6 Procedure Sessions were conducted in the dark since mouse traps are reportedly more active at night. Each subject was placed in an experimental chamber with food presentation occurring on a fixed time (FT) 6-hour schedule following the standard procedure for this variety of subject. The first food presentation occurred upon introduction of the subject into the experimental chamber. The target, a feral mouse, was then introduced into the chamber. Observation and recording of attacks upon the target were made at the end of each 6-hour interval. At that time, a new target animal was presented, if necessary. This phase of the experiment lasted for 10 days. Sessions were terminated after 18 hours during all phases of the experiment. Procedure: this describes how the study was conducted, i.e. what the researchers did and what the participants/subjects were asked to do did.
Schedule-Induced Attack 7 The second phase of the experiment involved removal of the food schedule. The subject and the target were placed in the experimental chamber, but no food was presented. Again, observation and recording of attack were done every 6 hours. The phase of the experiment also lasted for 10 days. The third phase of the experiment was the reinstatement of the food schedule. Food was again presented on a FT 6-hour schedule for a period of 10 days. This page is a continuation of the procedure subsection. You can see how one might explain how an experiment or study was conducted. Remember, in an actual paper, the next section would follow immediately, not begin on a new page.
Schedule-Induced Attack 8 The data from a representative subject are shown in Table 1. Insert Table 1 about here The data are graphed in figure 1. As can be seen from this figure, the subject immediately exhibited high rates of attack upon the target which continued throughout the first phase. Insert figure 1 about here. When the food schedule was discontinued, the attack rate dropped to a very low level. When the food schedule was re-presented, the subject again attacked at high rates. Results This is how your page will look. Actual tables and figures are found at the end of the paper The results section presents the data collected, how they were analyzed, and the outcome of the analysis. If you include table(s) or figure(s) for clarity, insert the lines where the information is discussed.
Schedule-Induced Attack 9 As the results indicate, the behavior of mouse traps does meet the criterion for schedule-induced attack The rate of attack in the presence of the food schedule clearly exceeded that during its absence. Food presentation not only induced attack upon mice, but also upon the experimenter whose fingers are still suffering from the effects of the viscous bites. The results of this study suggest that additional work in the field of inanimate object behavior is warranted. Scott (1971; as cited in Moyer, 1976) discusses the mechanism of stored energy with relation to aggressive behavior, while Pitts and Malagodi (1996) point out that blah bla bla. Discussion The present tense is used in this section. The discussion section includes interpretation of your results in relationship to your hypotheses/predictions and to related studies. You should note any flaws, limitations, and alternate conclusions that have not been ruled out. Scott was cited in Moyer’s work. You have not seen Scott’s original article, so it will NOT appear in your list of references.
Schedule-Induced Attack 10 A similar avenue of research is suggested by recent work with blah blah bla (Schaal, et al., 1998). The results of this study are consistent with tristissiumus haec tibi scribo. Fundani nostri filia defuncta, qua puella nihil umquam festivus, amabilius, nec longiore vita (Calvillo, 1999). The conclusions of this study are limited by vicibus inhaerebat ut nos officio quemque studiose intelligenter qua patientia valetudinem tulit. Medicis obsequebatur, sororem, patrem adhortabatur; ipsamque se destitutam corpis viribus vigore. Recall that this citation was seen on p.4, therefore does not need each author listed again.
The first line of each citation is left-justified; subsequent lines are indented. Journal names and volume numbers are italicized; page numbers aren’t. Schedule-Induced Attack 11 References Calvillo, D. (1999). The theoretical development of aggression. Retrieved August 21, 2002 from: Flory, R.K. (1969a). Attack behavior as a function of minimum inter-food interval. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. 12, Flory, R.K. (1969b). Attack behavior in a multiple fixed-ratio schedule of reinforcement. Psychonomic Science, 16, Flory, R.K. & Everist, H.D. (1977). The effect of a response requirement on schedule- induced aggression. Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society 9, Gentry, W.D. (1968). Fixed-ratio schedule-induced aggression. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior 11, Start references on a new page! Individual web page citation. If you cite more than one work from an author, list them in chronological order (i.e. by date) with the earliest first. The word “References” is centered at the top of a new page. List citations in ABC order by author’s last name, followed by initials for first and middle names. If you have more than one work by the same author in the same year, list in alphabetical order by title of the article. In this section, do not write “and” between authors’ names; always use “&”.
Schedule-Induced Attack 12 Killeen, P. R. (1979). Arousal: Its genesis, modulation, and extinction. In M. Zeiler & P. Harzen (Eds.), Advances in the experimental analysis of behavior (pp.31-78). New York: Wiley. Looney, T.A. & Dove, L.D. (1978). Schedule-induced attack as a function of length of exposure to a fixed-time 90-sec schedule. Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society 12, Moyer, K.E. (1976) The psychobiology of aggression. New York: Harper and Row Publishers. Miller, N. E. (1941). The frustration-aggression hypothesis. Psychological Review 48, This is the standard format for citing a book. Chapter in a book with two editors different from the author of the chapter.
Schedule-Induced Attack 13 Pitts, R.C. & Malagodi, E.F. (1996). Effects of reinforcement amount on attack induced under fixed interval schedule in pigeons. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior 65, Article number A Retrieved 11 June, 2001 from Expanded Academic ASAP/InfoTrac database. Schaal, D., Shahan, T., Kovera, C., & Reilley, M. (1998). Mechanisms underlying the effects of unsignaled delayed reinforcement on key pecking of pigeons under variable-interval schedules. [Electronic Version] Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior 69, Wallace, M. & Singer, G. (1976). Schedule-induced behavior: A review of its generality, determinants, and pharmacological data. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior 5, Everything in this section must be cited in the paper; Everything cited in the paper must be in this section; No additional items are to be included. Online journal article retrieved through Library subscription database with rolling URL. Online journal article that is identical to the available print version.. Remember, all the authors are listed in citations in the reference section. Last names precede the initials. Article titles are written in sentence format. The first word of the title, proper nouns, and the first letter after a colon are capitalized. (See above for example).
Schedule-Induced Attack 14 Author Note This research was supported in part by grants from the Mouse Trap Research Institute and from the Richard E. Rodent Foundation. I would like to thank Melissa A. Mousse and Patrick S. Perfect for their assistance in conducting this study. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Michael Maus, Department of Psychology, Lunchburg College, 1501 Velveeta Drive, Lunchburg, West Virginia, The author note identifies each author’s departmental affiliation, provides acknowledgements, disclaimers, & possible conflicts of interest, and provides contact information for interested readers. Identify any funding sources for your research. Next, identify colleagues who provided significant assistance. If there are any special circumstances or conflicts of interest, note them here. Provide correspondence information in this paragraph. Give the complete mailing address (writing out state names). You may include an address at the end. This section should be double-spaced. Center the words “author note” and indent the first line of each paragraph.
Schedule-Induced Attack 14 Table 1 Attacks by Subject Per Each 6 Hour Time Period
Schedule-Induced Attack 15 Figure Caption Figure 1. Average number of attacks across subjects during periods of food presentation and no food presentation. Figure captions describe the figures you include with your paper. If you have more than one figure, all captions are on one page.
No Cheese Cheese Note that there is no header, page number, or title on the page with the figure.