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Structuring a Quantitative Paper

Standard outline for quantitative model building/testing paper

Title (something catchy and accurate)

Abstract (concise 150-250 words to explain paper): roughly one sentence each:
What is the problem?
Why does it matter?
How do you address the problem?
What did you find?
How does this change practice (what people in business do), and how does it change
research (existing or future)?
Keywords (4-10 keywords that capture the contents of the study)
Introduction (2-4 pages)
What is the problem and why does it matter? And what have others done to try to
address this problem, and why have their efforts been insufficient (i.e., what is the gap in
the literature)? (1-2 paragraphs)
What is your DV(s) and what is the context you are studying it in? Also briefly define the
DV(s). (1-2 paragraphs)
One sentence about sample (e.g., "377 undergraduate university students using Excel").
How does studying this DV(s) in this context adequately address the problem? (1-2
What existing theory/theories do you leverage, if any, to pursue this study, and why are
these appropriate? (1-2 paragraphs)
Briefly discuss the primary contributions of this study in general terms without discussing
exact findings (i.e., no p-values here).
How is the rest of the paper organized? (1 paragraph)
Lit review (1-3 pages)
Fully define your dependent variable(s) and summarize how it has been studied in
existing literature within your broader context (like Information systems, or,
Organizations, etc.).
If you are basing your model on an existing theory/model, use this next space to explain
that theory (1 page) and then explain how you have adapted that theory to your study.
If you are not basing your model on an existing theory/model, then use this next space to
explain how existing literature in your field has tried to predict your DV(s) or tried to
understand related research questions.
(Optionally) Explain what other constructs you suspect will help predict your DV(s) and
why. Inclusion of a construct should have good logical/theoretical and/or literature
support. For example, we are including construct xyz because the theory we are basing
our model on includes xyz. Or, we are including construct xyz because the following
logic (abc) constrains us to include this variable lest we be careless. Try to do this
without repeating everything you are just going to say in the theory section anyway.
(Optionally) Briefly discuss control variables and why they are being included.
Theory section (take what space you need, but try to be parsimonious)
Briefly summarize your conceptual model and show it with the Hypotheses labeled (if
Begin supporting H1 then state H1 formally. Support should include strong causal logic
and literature.
H2, H3, etc. If you have sub-hypotheses, list them as H1a, H1b, H2a, H2b, etc.
Method (keep it as brief as possible)
Explanation of study design (e.g., pretest, pilot, and online survey about software usage)
Explanation of sample (some descriptive statistics, like demographics, sample size,
computer experience, etc.), don`t forget to discuss response rate (number of responses
as a percentage of number of people invited to do the study).
Mention that IRB exempt status was granted and protocols were followed if applicable.
Method for testing hypotheses (e.g., structural equation modeling in AMOS). If you
conducted multi-group comparisons, mediation, and/or interaction, explain how you kept
them all straight and how you went about analyzing them. For example, if you did
mediation, what approach did you take (hopefully bootstrapping)? Were there multiple
models tested, or did you keep all the variables in for all analyses? If you did interaction,
did you add that in afterward, or was it in from the beginning?
Analysis (1-3 pages)
Data Screening
EFA (report pattern matrix and Cronbach`s alphas in appendix) mention if items were
CFA (just mention that you did it and bring up any issues you found) mention any items
dropped during CFA. Report model fit for the final measurement model. Supporting
material can be placed in the Appendices if necessary.
Mention CMB approach and results and actions taken if any (e.g., if you found CMB and
had to keep the CLF).
Report the correlation matrix, CR and AVE (you can include MSV and ASV if you want),
and briefly discuss any issues with validity and reliability if any.
Report whether you used the full latent SEM, or if you imputed factor scores for a path
Report the final structural model(s) (include R-squares and betas) and the model fit for
the model(s).
Findings (1-2 pages)
Report the results for each hypothesis (supported or not, with evidence).
Point out any unsupported or counter-evidence (significant in opposite direction)
Provide a table that concisely summarizes your findings.
Discussion (2-5 pages)
Summarize briefly the study and its intent and findings, focusing mainly on the research
question(s) (one paragraph).
What insights did we gain from the study that we could not have gained without doing
the study?
How do these insights change the way practitioners do their work?
How do these insights shed light on existing literature and shape future research in this
What limitations is our study subject to (e.g., surveying students, just survey rather than
experiment, statistical limitations like CMB etc.)?
What are some opportunities for future research based on the insights of this study?
Conclusion (1-2 paragraphs)
Summarize the insights gained from this study and how they address existing gaps or
Explain the primary contribution of the study.
Express your vision for moving forward or how you hope this work will affect the world.
References (Please use a reference manager like EndNote)
Appendices (Any additional information, like the instrument and measurement model stuff
that is necessary for validating or understanding or clarifying content in the main body text.)