Learning Objectives

  1. The American Psychological Association (APA) format provides us with a blueprint for research writing.
  2. APA style emphasizes written language that is sensitive to racial and ethnic identity, gender, age, sexual orientation, and disabilities.
  3. Proper documentation and citation are critical so as to reduce the risk of plagiarism—a serious ethical as well as legal problem that can result in expulsion, grade failure, job loss, and litigation for violating copyright laws.
  4. Two common types of research reports are empirical studies and literature reviews.
  5. APA format for organization of a written report of an empirical study is rather straightforward: title page, Abstract, Introduction, Method, Results, Discussion, References, author notes, footnotes, tables, and figures with captions.
  6. Literature reviews are critical examinations of empirical studies that have already been published.
  7. Four steps that might be helpful to keep in mind when writing a literature review are (1) introduce and define the research question or problem;  (2) narrow the research question to the studies reviewed; (3) describe studies in detail and identify relationships, gaps, and inconsistencies in the literature; and (4) discuss how the research problem may be ameliorated or rectified.
  8. A poster is a very effective and economical way to communicate results of your research. In fact, many research studies that will be eventually published in peer-reviewed scientific journals are first presented in what are referred to as poster sessions at national or regional conferences.