Prompts for APA Paper
What is the purpose of this study?
Why is it important and/or interesting?
What previous research led up to your research?† (You should describe previous research relating to each of your variables.)
What is the theoretical framework for your research?
What is the relationship between your research and previous research?
Which general methodological approach will you use?† (For example, is this a reaction time study, recall study?† Donít include the details of the method section here!† They will be described in the method section.)
What hypothesis/es will you test?
How many participants were in your experiment?† (if age, gender, or other demographic characteristics are important to the interpretation of your results, describe the groups specifically)
What population are they from?† (e.g., college students)
Why did they participate?† (e.g., for course credit, for money, as a favor to the experimenter)
If you have a between-subjects or mixed design, how were your participants assigned to groups?
What is the research design of your study? (e.g., a 2 X 2 within-subjects design)
For each independent variable:
††††††††††††††††††††††† What is the name of the independent variable?
††††††††††††††††††††††† What are the levels of the independent variable?
††††††††††††††††††††††† If you have a mixed design, is it a between-subjects or a within-subjects variable?
What is/are your dependent variable(s)?
Did you use apparatus in this experiment? (e.g., a computer, software program, or something you built)† If not, you do not need an apparatus section.
If you used a standard equipment that can be purchased, name it and give the model number(s).
If you built some equipment, describe it in sufficient detail that someone else could build the same equipment. †If it is complex, include a diagram or picture in a figure.
What stimuli did you give your participants?
How did the stimuli differ for each experimental condition?† (Be sure to give examples and provide enough detail so that the reader could generate the same or equivalent stimuli.)
Describe in exact order, what happened to the participants from the beginning to the end of the experiment.
Paraphrase any instructions to subjects, unless they were extremely complicated, in which case you should present them verbatim in an appendix.
If there were several steps in the procedure, signal the reader by telling him/her how many steps and then describe each one in turn.† (If you counterbalanced the order of steps, briefly describe how you accomplished this.† You donít need to describe the order for each group separately.)
For each of your hypotheses:
††††††††††††††††††††††† 1.† Briefly remind the reader of the hypothesis.
††††††††††††††††††††††† 2.† State what statistical test you used to test it.
††††††††††††††††††††††† 3.† Provide descriptive statistics (mean and either standard deviation or standard error).† These can be presented either in the text or in a table or figure.† If you predicted a main effect, provide the marginal means.† If you predicted an interaction, provide all the cell means.
††††††††††††††††††††††† 4.† Provide the inferential statistic in the text (e.g., F or t).† Include the degrees of freedom, test statistic, and p value.† For the F statistic, also include the mean squared error.
††††††††††††††††††††††† 5.† Briefly conclude whether or not your data were consistent with the hypothesis.
Repeat these steps for each hypothesis.
What were the main results of this experiment?
How well did your data fit the original hypotheses?
If your data did not fit the hypotheses, what plausible reasons (e.g., methodological) might explain this outcome?
How do your results compare to previous research (i.e., the research cited in your introduction)?
How do your results relate to the theory on which you based your experiment?
What are the practical applications of your results?
What are the limitations of your findings?
What future experiments might you do to further explore your research question?