Reflections on the Process of Writing an APA-Style Research Paper Rebecca M. Wood, Alexandra Hebert, Kristina Schultz, and Kristina Soultatos The Class • Psychology 361: The Psychology of Early Childhood • Students: 90% education majors The Observation Use the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (Revised*) to evaluate the quality of a local pre-K program. Goals: Research skill: naturalistic observation Evaluate the quality of pre-K Apply research about the importance of pre-K to a real-life situation *Harms, T., Clifford, R. M., & Cryer, D. (2005). Early childhood environment rating scale (Revised Ed.). New York: Teachers College Press. The APA-Style Paper • • • • • • • Abstract Introduction Method Results Discussion Reference section Table The Pieces • 1. Find two peer-reviewed articles regarding the importance of pre-K and summarize them. Include an APA-style reference section and intext citations (article assignment; 5/250 points) • 2. Fix mistakes in the article assignment, include corrections in a memo to the instructor, and use the article summaries to help build a complete introduction section. Also, make a skeleton of the headings for the rest of the paper and include a corrected reference section (Draft 1; 22.5/250 points) • 3. Summarize ratings given by the student and his or her partner on the ECERS-R in an APA-style table (Draft 2; 22.5/250 points). • 4. Correct mistakes in the introduction section, headings, and references, and complete the paper (Final ECERS-R Paper; 50/250 points). The Process • Student confusion about the assignments, especially Draft 1. ▫ Sample paper distributed ▫ Instructor’s questions: More samples? Format of samples? • Students’ inexperience with APA style ▫ Resources were given at the beginning of the semester, with numerous examples ▫ Instructor’s questions: How to effectively teach APAstyle? Anxiety management? Discussion of student feedback • Themes ▫ The feedback on writing did help some students think about their writing and apply what they learned to other courses. The memo seemed to facilitate this. ▫ Confusion over Draft 1 ▫ APA-style is confusing ▫ General anxiety ▫ Article assignment is low-stakes. Is it too low stakes?