Formatting Research Paper in APA Style

APA style of formatting is one of the most widely used styles used to format research and thesis papers. In order to format research paper in APA style, one must essentially learn and get acquainted with the basic guidelines of APA formatting and style guide. As such, the fundamental guidelines for formatting research paper in APA style have been provided in details below.

Guidelines for Formatting Research Paper in APA Style

Document Setting

  • Page Margins: 1 inch margins on all sides.
  • Fonts: Preferably, 12 point, Times New Roman or Courier for text and Arial for figures.
  • Spacing: Text to be double-spaced throughout the paper.
  • Text Alignment: Text should be left aligned, with a ragged right margin. Do not hyphenate words.
  • Paragraph Indentation: First line of every paragraph should be indented.
  • Page Numbers: Starting with the title page, each page should be numbered.

Major Sections

While formatting research paper in APA style, the sections should be arranged in proper order: Title page, Abstract, Main Body, References, Appendixes, Tables, Figure Captions, Figures.

However, the major sections include: Title Page, Abstract, Main Body, References.

Running Head

Running head is a short version of the paper’s full title, which is helpful for readers to spot the titles for published articles. Running head’s title should be in CAPITAL letters and within 50 characters (including spaces and punctuation). The running head should be present in each page, with the title “Running head” mentioned only on the title page, and not in the rest of the paper. The title should be left aligned, and page numbers right aligned.

Title Page

Title page should be the first page of manuscript, enlisting the title of the paper, author’s name and institutional affiliation, without mentioning titles (Dr.) or degrees (PhD). APA formatting suggests that the title should be centre aligned and positioned in the upper half of the page. Besides, it should be limited to 12 words in length, without any abbreviations or trivial words, and should not be bolded, underlined, or italicised.

Author note

Author’s note provides the general information about the authors involved in the research. It includes the author’s departmental and institutional affiliation, changes in affiliation (if any), acknowledgments, funding sources, special circumstances and contact information, like postal address or e-mail.

Abstract and Keywords

Abstract should present a very clear and concise summary of the whole research paper. It helps the readers to swiftly assess the main idea and purpose of the research. Abstract should be limited to 150-250 words, with all acronyms and abbreviations defined properly.

A list of selected keywords should be provided in the abstract section, helping researchers to find your work in databases. The title “Keywords” should be italicised, and the sentence should be indented like the rest of the paper.

Section Heading

  • 1st level heading: Centre aligned, bold, and upper and lower case.
  • 2nd level heading: Left aligned, bold, and upper and lower case.
  • 3rd level heading: Indented 0.5” from the left margin, bold, and lower case (first word excluded).

References

References provide the information needed to find any cited source. All in-text citations should be provided in the reference list. Reference list should be arranged in alphabetical order by the author’s last name, or the first word in citation. All names should be cited for less than six authors, while for six or more authors, the first author’s name is followed by “et al.”. In-text citations (direct quotes) should mention author(s)’s name, publication year, and page number(s).

Tables and Figures

Each table should start on a new page. The table title and caption should be left aligned, while only the table caption should be italicised.

Figures captions should be provided separately on a new page. The figure label should be italicised and not the figure caption. Each figure should start on a new page, provided at the end of the paper.

Appendices

Appendices are short contents that complement the research paper, but are not directly related to the text. Usually, appendices are mentioned in the body of the paper. In case of more than one appendix, use a capital letter, like Appendix A, Appendix B, etc., to identify them separately.

Above mentioned guidelines will help you to learn and get familiar with formatting research paper in APA style. However, it would be suggested to seek guidance from your instructor for his final word on the format and style needed to format the assigned paper.

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Scale Classification Bases

Scale Classification Bases

The Scale Classification Bases can be categorized on the following bases.

  1. Subject orientation: In this, a scale is designed to measure the characteristics of the respondent who completes it or to estimate the stimulus object that is presented to the respondent.
  2. Response form: In this, the scales can be classified as categorical or comparative. Categorical scales (rating scales) are used when a respondent scores some object without direct reference to other objects. Comparative scales (ranking scales) are used when the respondent is asked to compare two or more objects.
  3. Degree of subjectivity: In this, the scale data is based on whether we measure subjective personal preferences or just make non-preference judgements. In the former case, the respondent is asked to select which person or solution he favors to be employed, whereas in the latter case he is simply asked to judge which person or solution will be more effective without reflecting any personal preference.
  4.  Scale properties: In this, the scales can be classified as nominal, ordinal, interval and ratio scales. Nominal scales merely classify without indicating order, distance or unique origin. Ordinal scales indicate magnitude relationships of ‘more than’ or ‘less than’, but indicate no distance or unique origin. Interval scales have both order and distance values, but no unique origin. Whereas, ratio scales possess all these features.
  5. Number of dimensions: In this, the scales are classified as ‘uni-dimensional’ or ‘multi-dimensional’. In the former, only one attribute of the respondent or object is measured, whereas multi-dimensional scaling recognizes that an object might be described better by using the concept of an attribute space of ‘n’ dimensions, rather than a single-dimension continuum.
  6. Scale construction techniques: This can be developed by the following five techniques.
  • Arbitrary approach: In this, the scales are developed on ad hoc basis. It is the most widely used approach.
  • Consensus approach: In this, a panel of judges evaluates the items chosen for inclusion in the instrument regarding whether they are relevant to the topic area and unambiguous in implication.
  • Item analysis approach: In this, a number of individual items are developed into a test that is given to a group of respondents. Post administering the test, total scores are evaluated, and the individual items are analyzed to determine which items discriminate between persons or objects with high and low total scores.
  • Cumulative scales: These are chosen on the basis of their conforming to some ranking of items with ascending and descending discriminating power.
  • Factor scales: This can be constructed on the basis of inter-correlations of items indicating a common factor accounts for the relationship between items.

 

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