Relationship.” The running head is an abbreviation of the title and should not exceed 50
typewritten characters counting letters, punctuation, and spaces.
Abstract: The abstract should contain the purpose of your paper, organizing criteria, and
conclusions based on your analysis. It is a one-page summary of your entire paper—a very
concise summary of the paper. Because this is all of the report that most people are likely to read,
it must be accurate, self-contained, and concise. It should be about 100-200 words in length.
Someone reading an abstract should be able to see at a glance what was studied, what was done,
and the outcome. The abstract should contain the purpose of your paper, organizing criteria, and
conclusions based on your analysis.
Introduction/Literature Review: The introduction tells the reader about the topic—what the
issue is, what is known about it, and your specific focus. The introduction contains a statement of
the problem, its theoretical and practical significance, and its place within a larger body of
knowledge. Begin the introduction with a paragraph clearly indicating the topic under study.
Following the opening paragraph, present what is known on the topic. This is your review of the
literature. In this section you are telling the reader what other researchers have found regarding
your specific topic (e.g., relationship). Stick to the essentials, that is, previous findings that are
directly pertinent to your study. This is where you will cite prior literature. In the last paragraph
of the introduction, define the key variables and describe the purpose or rationale of what you
did in your study. This segment often includes specific research questions or hypotheses. Explain
the purpose of the paper and significance of the topic. Provide a brief background to orient the
reader. This section sets the tone of the paper. This section should: (1) argue for the importance
of studying this relationship, (2) briefly review previous findings in the area, (3) describe the
purpose of the study and rationale for performing it, (4) present an argument for your specific
expectations for the study, and (4) close by presenting those expectations in the form of a
specific research question or hypothesis. Remember that this should be the argument and
justification for why you are doing the study, not simply a list of descriptions of other studies
followed by a hypothesis.
Method section: The method section describes what you did and how you did it. Other
researchers should be able to repeat the study from the account provided. The details are
described in subsections under appropriate headings. Most methods sections have several sub-
sections, depending upon your type of study. This section should discuss your procedures. Make
this as clear, systematic, accurate, and comprehensive as you can.
Results and Discussion:
Results. This section typically outlines each step of data collection from exactly how the data
was gathered, to analysis and reporting of the results. Extensive interpretations should be
reserved for the Discussion section, but a quick statement of what you found and what it
represents (i.e., support or not for hypotheses) is appropriate. Represent your results in any way
that makes them easier for others to process (e.g., graphs, tables).
Discussion. This section should elaborate on the results, discussing how they relate to the
Introduction and to your hypotheses, as well as their theoretical significance. You should
summarize in an engaging way the significance of your work—what do we know now that we