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Writing an Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion (APA format)

Due: April 30, 2010
This is the research paper rubic that the professor will grade on.
Research Paper Rubic
Title Page
Title is informative and succinct. Title includes variables and some articulation of relations (e.g., "difference between...", "effects of x on y"). RH shortened but complete within character limit. All relevant parts of the title page are included. APA style is completely completely.

Abstract includes research question, variables, number and type of participants, major results, and implications/limitations of those results stated clearly and concisely within word limit.

Introduction: Topic & Context
Paper (i.e., first paragraph or two) begins in a broad manner and clearly explains the problem to be investigated. Statement of problem, significance and purpose are clearly stated.

Introduction: Research questions, Definitions, Assumptions, Limitations
Articulates clear, reasonable, and succinct research questions, and definitions of constructs or variables.

Introduction: Literature Review Organization
Structure is intuitive and sufficiently grounded in each of the key constructs and variables of current study. There is a logical flow to the lit review.

Introduction: Literature Review
Studies are described in enough detail so that their relation to other studies and to the relevant theoretical and methodological issues can be understood by the reader. It is clear whether each general statement is a hypothesis, a result of a specific study, or a general conclusion. The review is in the author's own words, and the focus is on the research, rather than the researchers. Limitations of prior research and contrasting views/positions are presented.

Introduction: Literature Advancement
A brief summary of the literature is provided, and there is a specific, clear description of what is missing from this literature or what researchers do not yet know. A clear explanation of how the current study answers this question or fills this research gap is included. Specific issues, variables, populations, or methods are mentioned.

Introduction: Hypothesis
Hypotheses are all clearly stated, and directional predictions are made based on the previous literature. They are testable. It is clear what the experimental group is and what is being measured.

Introduction: Design
The design of the study is clear and complete and appropriate to test the hypothesis. Variables are appropriate and operationally defined.

Methods: Participants
Sample is appropriate given hypotheses and large enough for power. Participant information includes number and all necessary characteristics. Exclusions based on behavior (e.g., failure to complete) are noted, as are any recruitment criteria or special arrangements (e.g., compensation).

Methods: Materials
Descriptions of the materials and observation protocols included purpose statements, type and number of items, and type of scores. Materials are described in enough detail that a reader could replicate the study and appended if self-created, cited if not. Reasonable evidence of validity and reliability was presented.

Methods: Procedures
Procedure is appropriate and ethical. It is described, in order, with enough detail that a reader could replicate the study; instructions and protocol are included. Condition assignments are clear; randomization and counterbalancing are explained as necessary.

Data Reduction
Measurement of the dependent variable (i.e., scoring, quantification) is clear, and any procedures for data treatment are explained (e.g., reverse scoring is discussed if necessary; procedures for data cleaning or handling outliers are presented). If necessary, a coding scheme is clear and appropriate and inter-rater reliability is computed.

Results: Descriptive Statistics
Statistics are appropriate (e.g., means and SD; frequency, etc.) and computed accurately. Tables and figures are correct, organized by relevant variables, and discussed in paper.

Results: Inferential Statistics
Inferential analysis is appropriate for addressing hypothesis. Each finding is stated in "plain English" and supported with statistics in APA format.

Discussion: Interpretation
Discussion includes a restatement of the findings. Patterns in the data and relations among the variables are explained and conclusions do not go beyond the data. The explanation/interpretation is well connected to the hypothesis and to the broader psychological problem as represented in the introduction. Any discrepancies between the expected results and the actual data are explained. The take-home message is clearly summarized at the end.

Discussion: Evaluation
Author has considered to what extent the results are conclusive and can be generalized. Potential confounds or methodological limitations are discussed as appropriate, and future research is suggested.

Reference page includes all and only cited articles. The articles are appropriately scholarly and appropriate to the topic. Sufficient recent sources make the review current, and classic studies are included if applicable and available. Original articles were clearly read by the student.

Scientific Writing
There is a clear organization to the paper, and transitions are smooth and effective. Tone is appropriately formal. Topic sentences are appropriate for paragraphs, and key ideas are explained and/or described as needed. Punctuation and grammar are almost completely correct, including proper tenses and voice. Sentences are concise and word choice is precise, with non-biased language. Proper paraphrases are usually used, but quotation marks are used appropriately.

APA Style
Information is included in the appropriately titled sections. Title page, in-text citations, paper format, and Reference page are in APA style with no mistakes. All headers, tables, and figures, margins, captions, etc., are in APA style.

I am not finish with it yet. I just start working on it. I am having a tough time on Methods: Participants part. I am just working on whatever seems easy before working on the harder part. I know that my grammer and sentence structure sucks. Here is the title of the paper and Methods: Participants part.

Title: The Effects of Lighting on Cognitive Performance

There were 30 participants (5 men, 25 females) who receive class credit for their participation. There were 18 freshmens, 7 sophmores, 2 juniors, and 3 seniors. The time preference for the participants is that 14 prefer the morning, 15 prefer the evening, and 1 didn't respond to the question. The average sleep hours for all participants is about six hours.

Now that you have the organization and structure down as well as a topic to focus on, it's time to do a little research to back up your hypothesis. This is often the most time-consuming but important part of the process. Here's something that might make it a little easier: this article gives you a list of places where you can find credible sources for your research paper. The same site can help you with APA formatting.
Apr 28, 2010   #3
I have finally finish up the methods section.

A total of 30 participants (25 females, five males) who are enrolled in Introductory Psychology and Physiological Psychology receive class credit for their participation at California State University, Northridge. There were 18 freshmen, seven sophomores, two juniors, and three seniors. The time preference for the participants is that 14 prefer the morning, 15 prefer the evening, and one didn't respond to the question. The average sleep hours for all participants is about six hours.

Materials and Procedures
A total of 15 random words were typed and printed on paper. The researchers show all of the participants the 15 words by holding the paper and moving it from left to right and right to left. The 15 words were randomly pick from a dictionary. The participants were given 15 seconds to memorize all 15 words. The 15 random words were were shown one by one. After all 15 random words were shown, the participants were given five minutes to write down as many words they can remember. A total of two sheets containing five random letters and one sheet containing four random letters where all the participants are given three minutes to find the random letters. The four and five random letters were written on top left counter of the paper. Below of the four and five random letters are a bunch of random letters to see how many times the participants could find the letters that are written on the top left counter of the paper. The design of the experiment is a between group. The between group is were two groups have different participants who does the same assign tasks. The independent variable is the brightness of the lights. The dependent variable is the cognitive performance. The experiment was done in a seminar classroom. In group one, the participants are expose to the lighting. In group two, the participants are expose to dim lighting in which half of the room was dark and the other half was light. Both groups were run on the same day. Group one was at 10:00am and group two was at 10:15am. Upon entering the seminar classroom, the researchers told the participants to seat themselves at the tables. The researchers inform the participants that the first task was to try to remember 15 random words and will be ask to write them down. Immediately after the last random word was shown, the participants were told to write down as many words they could remember. The papers were collected. The researchers inform the participants that the second task was to find the four and five random letters that were located on the top left counter of the page to see how many of those random letters they could find.
Apr 28, 2010   #4
I have finally finish up the results section.

The results of the experiment does not support the hypothesis that the students in the dim lighting setting could still pay attention. The experiment was conducted in a seminar classroom using a between group design where the two groups have different participants. The independent variable focuses on the brightness of the lights in the seminar classroom. The dependent variable focuses on the participants cognitive performances on short term recall and attention. The majority of the participants were females. The class range from freshman to senior. The two independent t-test was conducted to test the difference between two groups. The homegeneity of variance was not met for the short term recall, F=8.320, P=.008 and the attention scores were met, F=.682, P=.416.

The results for the short term recall in lighting (M=8.77, SD=3.468) and dim lighting (M=9.81, SD=2.040) did not have a significantly lower scare. The attention score in the lighting (M=46.77, SD=5.150) and dim lighting (M=49.44, SD=3.444).
The results of the experiment do not support the hypothesis that the students in the a setting with dim lighting could still pay attention.

A total of 15 random words were typed and printed on paper.---- When I read this, it makes me think you need to do a better job of introducing the whole project.. but... I am sure you will do that in another section...

For participants, tell how they were chosen and what sampling method was used -- I think what you used is called "convenience sampling."

You might want to ask participants if they have experience with memory training, such as the technique called "chunking." you might want to omit the data frm students who are familiar with memorization strategies, because their data will not reflect the influence of the independent variabe (lighting).

For methods and procedures, separate it into paragraphs. Use separate paragraphs to help the reader understand one thing at a time.

This seems like a cool experiment!
Apr 29, 2010   #6
i have start writing my introduction but i don't think it's very good.

Lighting is important in any environment, even in the learning environment. There is a possibility that different lighting in a classroom can affect the students attention span during lectures. Different lighting in a classroom will test how long the students can pay attention to the lectures. Depending on the lighting, the students may or may not want to pay attention to the lectures. If the students can't pay attention to the lectures, they would miss out on important information. Depending on the lighting, the students may or may not be able to see what they are writing when they are taking notes. If the lighting is too dark, the students might end up falling asleep and miss out on the lecture. This study attempts to demonstrate that different light setting have an effect on attention and memory. Different light setting affect on how people can achieve on a given tasks. For example, how long it would take for someone to complete a math problem. Different light settings changes a person's mood. A person's age could be affected in different light setting.

Different lighting affects the individual's performance on tasks. In Effects of noise, heat and lighting on cognitive performance, Hygge, S. and Knes, I (2001) were interested in how noise, heat and lighting would affect cognitive performance. It was hypothized that the noise, heat and lighting on could combine and interact in effecting the participants performances on tasks. The study has three indepentent variables, heat, light, and noise with attention and short term recall as the dependt variables. The study concluded that the noise and light had a affect on the cognitive performance. In Effects of indoor lighting, gender, and age on mood and cognitive performance, Knez, I and Kers, C. (2000) were interested if indoor lighting would have any affect on mood and cognitive performance. The study has one independent variable, level of lights, with cognitive tasks as teh depend variable. The study concluded that different lighting may be perceive differently for younger and older particpants.

Previous research shosws that the levels of lights would have an affect on the cognivitive performance. I predicted that in the semi-light setting, students would still be able to focus on the task and the light setting would be the same. The study focused on two groups, full lighting and semi-lighting. The study used different groups of people to compare the effect the amount of lighting would have on the cognitive performance. The purpose of the study was to show that different light setting have an effect on the cognitive performance.
Well, I would change the first sentence:
Lighting is important in any environment, even in the learning environment. There is a It is possible that different lighting in a classroom can affect the students attention span during lectures. Different kinds of lighting in a classroom will ...

Different kinds of lighting ca n change a person's mood (cite a source).

A person's age could be affected in different light setting.(what does this mean?)

I recommend using the term "kinds of lighting"
Different kinds of lighting affect the individual's ...


This kind of writing is hard to learn, but you are doing well!! It gets easier.
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