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For student papers that are not being submitted for publication—including theses—author notes are generally not necessary. It is the second page of the manuscript and is headed with the word Abstract. The abstract presents the research question, a summary of the method, the basic results, and the most important conclusions.Because the abstract is usually limited to about 200 words, it can be a challenge to write a good one.The introduction includes three distinct subsections, although these are typically not identified by separate headings.
Here we consider each of these sections in detail, including what information it contains, how that information is formatted and organized, and tips for writing each section.
At the end of this section is a sample APA-style research report that illustrates many of these principles.
Instead, it constitutes a kind of argument for why the research question is worth addressing.
By the end of the literature review, readers should be convinced that the research question makes sense and that the present study is a logical next step in the ongoing research process.
The opening, which is usually a paragraph or two in length, introduces the research question and explains why it is interesting.
To capture the reader’s attention, researcher Daryl Bem recommends starting with general observations about the topic under study, expressed in ordinary language (not technical jargon)—observations that are about people and their behaviour (not about researchers or their research; Bem, 2003). According to Bem, this would be a poor way to begin a research report: Festinger’s theory of cognitive dissonance received a great deal of attention during the latter part of the 20th century (p.
Individual researchers differ quite a bit in their preference for such titles.
Some use them regularly, while others never use them.
191) The following would be much better: The individual who holds two beliefs that are inconsistent with one another may feel uncomfortable. Giving readers a clear sense of what the research is about and why they should care about it will motivate them to continue reading the literature review—and will help them make sense of it.
For example, the person who knows that he or she enjoys smoking but believes it to be unhealthy may experience discomfort arising from the inconsistency or disharmony between these two thoughts or cognitions. Breaking the Rules Researcher Larry Jacoby reported several studies showing that a word that people see or hear repeatedly can seem more familiar even when they do not recall the repetitions—and that this tendency is especially pronounced among older adults.