General APA Guidelines for writing style and format1FINAL

General APA Guidelines for writing style and format1FINAL -...

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General APA Guidelines for Writing Style & Format Although your research report may eventually be published in a professionally formatted two or three column journal, everyone must start with a typed or word- processed manuscript. The publication manual of APA provides detailed information on the proper method of preparing a manuscript to be submitted for publication. The methods it presents are generally accepted and appropriate for most scientific writing. Some Elements of Writing Style A research report is not the same as creative writing. You are not trying to amuse, entertain, challenge, confuse or surprise your reader. Instead the goal is to provide a simple, straightforward description and explanation of your research study. The publication manual contains hundreds of guidelines and suggestions to help create a clear and precise manuscript, and we will not attempt to repeat all of them here. In addition you can access some of the manual’s information at www.apastyle.org . In the meantime, this discussion of four general elements will help you get a good start. Attached to this document is the mini version of the publication manual. Impersonal Style A research report is not a personal story and should be written in an objective and impersonal style. A simple rule is to minimize using first person pronouns such as “I”, “me”, “my” or “we”. Do not include phrases like “I think …. .” “I believe….”, “this is important to me”. Instead of saying “I tested the children,” use the passive form, “the 1
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children were tested,” or let the participants become the subject of your sentence, “The children completed the questionnaire”. Although the latest editions of the publication manual does allow increased use of first person pronouns and active sentences (as opposed to passive), keep in mind that you are writing a research report not a personal journal. Verb, Tense When describing or discussing past events, when you present background material to introduce your study and when you describe the procedures you used to conduct the study, use the past tense (for example, “they demonstrated….”) or the present perfect tense (“it has been demonstrated….”). When you present your results always use the past tense (“the scores increased……”) after you have described the study and presented the results, switch to the present tense to discuss the results and present you conclusions (“the data suggest…….”). Biased Language Scientific writing should be free of implied or irrelevant evaluation of groups therefore, when describing or discussing characteristics of participants; avoid implying bias against people on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, racial or ethnic group, disability or age.
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General APA Guidelines for writing style and format1FINAL -...

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