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APA Research Paper Guidelines & Rubric

American Psychological Association (APA) style is an academic format used largely but not exclusively in the
social and behavioral sciences for improved clarity of communication. The Online Writing Lab (OWL) of
Purdue University ( is a good source of information on APA style. And
NoodleTools Express ( is a useful bibliographic citation generator that
includes APA style for preparing literature cited lists and parenthetical citations.

APA Research Paper Template

(available from your instructor's blog)
This template contains the basic elements and formatting of an APA research paper and may be used to prepare
your own research paper. Instructions are included in the template.

APA Research Paper Example

(available from your instructor's blog or online)
This example APA research paper ("Apes and Language" by Karen Shaw) contains all the elements and
formatting typical of APA research papers as well as marginal notes to explain various elements.

APA Research Paper Rubric (included in this document)

This rubric (see the following page) is a guide for how to successfully complete an APA research paper at the
highest level of completion and success.

APA-Research-Paper-Guidelines-Rubric-F13 (1)APA Research Paper Guidelines & Rubric F13.doc

Part 2. Rubric for an APA Research Paper
Presentation: Length, Level of Proficiency
Content, Organization, etc.
Criteria Exemplary Accomplished Developing Beginning
APA Format ___ Entire paper is double- ___ Adheres to APA format but ___ Adheres to a smaller number ___ Does not adhere APA
spaced with 1" margins lacks 1-2 elements APA elements elements
___ 12 pt font, New Times
___ Correct running head
(header) with pagination
___ Title, name, school name
centered and double-spaced
(please also include course
number and title, date and
instructor's name)
___ Length sufficient to properly
develop written communication
with respect to the main idea,
subtopics, etc. (ca. 8-10 or
perhaps a few more pages)
Assignment Submission ___ Paper is submitted in ___ Paper is submitted in ___ Paper is submitted in ___ Paper is neither submitted in
electronic format (MS Word) electronic format (MS Word) incorrect electronic format only correct electronic format or with
___ Electronic file has correct only correct file name
file name protocol
Abstract ___ Provides complete overview ___ Provides incomplete ___ Abstract present but ___ No abstract
of paper (75-100, or up to 150- overview of paper (and incomplete, unclear or otherwise
200 words) significantly less or more than minimally acceptable
___ Block style with no 150-200 words)
paragraphs, text flush left ___ Incorrect style
Introduction ___ Approximately one ___ Of variable length, ___ Introduction present but ___ No introduction
paragraph, addressing the topic identifying a topic incomplete, unclear or otherwise
and a main idea ___ Includes thesis statement that minimally acceptable
___ Includes thesis statement may not comprise a topic and an
Body ___ Generally of three elements ___ Less than three elements (of ___Body present but ___ No body
(of from one to several from one to several paragraphs significantly incomplete, unclear
paragraphs each) each) or otherwise minimally
___ Each element supports and ___ Not all elements support and acceptable
develops the main idea develop the main idea
(subpoints) ___ Not all paragraphs contain a
___ Each paragraph contains a clear topic sentence (and also
clear topic sentence (and also logically leads to the next
logically leads to the next paragraph)

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Conclusion ___ Typically one paragraph (or ___ Less than one paragraph ___Conclusion present but ___ No conclusion
may be more) ___ Summarizes the body significantly incomplete, unclear
___ Summarizes the body and incompletely with weak or otherwise minimally
concludes the paper conclusion acceptable
___ Contains restatement of the ___ Contains less than the
main idea (or thesis statement), following: restatement of the
summarize subpoints and leaves main idea (or thesis statement),
the reader with an interesting summarize subpoints and leaves
final impression the reader with an interesting
final impression
Other Considerations ___ Contains factual support for ___ Relatively complete but does ___ Incomplete, unclear or ___ Fully lacking in all aspects
the purpose not address all points indicated in otherwise minimally acceptable
___ Avoids ambiguity in the presentation guidelines
discussion of methods, results or
___ Is clear and concise
___ Is developed logically
___ Main points are emphasized
and auxiliary or background
information is kept in proper
Attribution ___ All sources properly ___ Sources properly attributed, ___ Attribution present but ___ No attribution
attributed, no plagiarism, no plagiarism significantly incomplete, papers
paraphrasing and direct quotes contains plagiarism
where appropriate
References & Citations ___ References on separate titled ___ References on separate titled ___References present but ___ No references
page (centered) page (centered) significantly incomplete, unclear
___ In correct APA format (all ___ Not all in correct APA or otherwise minimally
information included and format (all information included acceptable
appropriate for type of source) and appropriate for type of
___ Listed alphabetically source)
___ Hanging indent ___ Less than the following
___ Minimum of four credible, (listed alphabetically; hanging
accurate and appropriate sources indent; minimum of four
___ Each source is cited at least credible, accurate and
once and all cited sources are appropriate sources; each source
included in references is cited at least once and all cited
___ All citations complete and sources are included in
correctly applied references, citations complete
and correct)
Style ___ Academically appropriate ___ Generally academically ___ Minimally academically ___ Not academically
(formal without being "wordy" or appropriate as described appropriate as described appropriate
involving affectation (unnatural
or artificial expression meant
simply to impress)

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___ Free of slang, contractions,
personal pronouns, "you"
___ Variety of sentence
___ Fluency of expression in
Writing Mechanics ___ Assignment is at least ___ Assignment is at least ___ Assignment shows evidence ___ Multiple issues with writing
(standard grammar, checked using word processing checked using word processing of minimal review for spelling mechanics and no evidence of
spelling, punctuation, and spelling and grammar tools spelling and grammar tools and grammar errors review
usage) ___ Assignment is also checked ___ Few to several issues with ___ Multiple issues with writing
visually for errors not detected writing mechanics mechanics
___ Syntax, grammar, spelling,
punctuation, usage, mechanics,
organization, and clarity are at
the highest level
Editorial Review Level of Proficiency
Preparation & Revision ___ Paper submitted for editorial ___ Most elements of editorial ___ Few elements of editorial ___ No editorial review
review with all necessary review addressed review addressed
revisions completed prior to
Subject: Problem, Research Level of Proficiency
Design & Conduct, Student
Involvement in Planning &
Criteria Exemplary Accomplished Developing Beginning
Problem or Question ___ Value of information to ___ Value of information to ___ Value of information to ___ No value of information to
scientific and Native American many members of the scientific limited members of the scientific the scientific or Native American
communities in broadest sense and Native American and Native American communities
___ Objectives present and communities communities ___ No clear objectives
relatively complete ___ Objectives present and ___ Objectives present but
relatively complete incomplete, unclear or otherwise
minimally acceptable
Research Design & Conduct ___ All answers presented ___ Some answers presented ___ Answers presented not ___ No answers to questions
clearly relate to objectives and clearly relate to objectives and clearly related to objectives or raised by the objectives as
the research the research obtained by the research research was conducted
___ Research techniques ___ Research techniques not
minimally adequate adequate
Student Involvement ___ Student involvement in all ___ Student involvement in some ___ Student involvement ___ No student involvement in
aspects where reasonable or aspects minimal planning and execution of the
possible research project

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