Reflections on the Process of Writing an APA

Reflections on the Process of
Writing an APA-Style Research
Rebecca M. Wood, Alexandra Hebert,
Kristina Schultz, and Kristina Soultatos
The Class
• Psychology 361: The Psychology of Early
• Students: 90% education majors
The Observation
Use the Early Childhood Environment Rating
Scale (Revised*) to evaluate the quality of a
local pre-K program.
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
Reference section
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
The Process
• Student confusion about the assignments, especially
Draft 1.
▫ Sample paper distributed
▫ Instructor’s questions: More samples? Format of
• 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

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