B Anatomy of a Research Article
There is no unique format that is used by all journals in disseminating research information. Each discipline has some peculiarity that is common to that discipline. In addition, research formats may differ by the type of research reported. The format for qualitative research studies such as ethnographies or case studies is different from that for experimental, quasi-experimental, or survey research. The organization of this appendix is primarily styled after the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association ( APA, 1994) and Wilkinson and the Task Force on Statistical Inference ( 1999). For the most part, APA format is acceptable for research journals and required for many publications in the social sciences and education. The research format presented here has seven parts: title, abstract, introduction, method, results, discussion, and references.
The title should be brief ( APA, 1994, recommends a title length between 12 and 15 words), yet describe what you have studied. The title is also a selling point for the article. Few researchers have the time or energy to read every article in journals to which they subscribe. Therefore, if they are like us, on receiving the journal they skim the table of contents to see if there are any articles they wish to read. At this point, the title is the only selling feature of your article. There have been some memorable titles, like "Remember That Old Theory of Memory, Well Forget It" and "Beagles and Locks." Even statisticians have had a go at it with such titles as "On the Significance of Effects and the Effects of Significance" ( Cooper, 1981); "The Religion of Statistics as Practiced in Medical Journals"