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1.  The Title Page.  The title page of your paper has three parts:

·         The running head, which is an abbreviated version of your paper’s title (for example, if your paper is entitled “Alien Abduction as an Emerging Human Resources Issue” your running head could be “Alien Abduction”).  The running head should be placed in the upper left-hand corner of your title page.  Note: the running head should also appear in the upper left-hand corner of every page of your paper, opposite the page number (see below);

·         The full title of the paper, which should be centered on the page; and

·         Your name, and either the institution’s name or (if requested by your instructor) the course number.

2.  The Abstract.  The abstract is a short (no more than 120 words) summary of your paper.  The abstract should be by itself on page 2 of your paper (remember to include the running head in the upper left-hand corner before the page number).     

3.  The Body of the paper.  In a practitioner paper this section should include an Introduction that describes the question or problem being studied; a description of the research that you reviewed, and a Discussion of how the research informs a resolution of the question or problem. On the first page of the body (usually page 3 of your paper) put the full title at the top of the page (centered and two lines below the running head/page number).  The title should be double-spaced from the first line of your first paragraph.  On every page of the body include the running head in the upper left-hand corner and the page number in the upper right-hand corner.

            4.  The References Page(s).  Here you will list all the various books, articles, web pages, and other sources that you cited in your paper.  This page (or these pages) should also have the running head in the upper-left and page number in the upper right-hand corner.

The sources you use in your paper generally must be cited in two ways:

1.  Parenthetical Citation.  This is citation of the source in the text of your paper where the idea, passage, or direct quote is introduced.   APA parenthetical citation normally consists of three items:

·         The author’s last name;

·         The year of publication of the source document; and

·         The page number (if you are citing a specific passage in the source document) or paragraph number when a work is not paginated.

Let’s say that, in the body of your paper, you wish to paraphrase a statement made on page 117 of Bernadette Macey’s 1999 book The Role of Abnormal Psychology in Organizational Theory.  The parenthetical citation, which would appear right after your paraphrase, would probably look like this:  (Macey, 1999, p. 117). 

2.  Reference Citation. Reference citations are those that appear on the References page(s) of your paper.  These citations require a bit more information; the general elements are:

·         The author’s last name and initial of first name;

·         The date of publication;

·         The title of the author’s specific work;

·         The journal, book, or other source document (if the work you are citing is part of a larger document); and

·         The publication information.

In our example from above, Macey’s book would appear on the References page as follows:

Macey, B. (1999).  The Role of Abnormal Psychology in Organizational Theory.                Baltimore, MD: Maryland University Press.

Please note that these items can vary considerably depending upon the type of source document.  This is especially true of documents obtained electronically.  You can view some examples of the APA citation for different types of sources on UMUC’s Library website at

Conclusion:  Research papers in practitioner disciplines are very similar to those in more purely academic areas.  When preparing such a paper it is worth paying special attention to the audience for the paper, the sources you will use in your research, and the need to have a suitable, well-focused topic for the paper.

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