Action Research Paper



AR Paper Main Sections




Title Page, General Formatting










Area of Focus

Review of Literature

Research Questions

Definition of Variables







Setting and Participants


Data Collection Techniques













Significance/Impact on Student Learning

Factors Influencing Implementation














* Late submissions will lose 1 point per day up to 5 points.


Guidelines for Writing

General Characteristics of Good Writing

Writing mechanics

Manuscript requirements

Common confusions


Title Page

Refer to APA manual 1.06 (pages 10-12) and sample title page provided.



Your abstract will be included in the conference program.

Although it appears first in the paper, the abstract is the last thing you write.

Refer to APA manual 1.07 (pages 12-15).

An abstract is a brief, comprehensive summary of the contents of the article.

A good abstract is accurate, self-contained, concise and specific, nonevaluative, coherent, and readable.

Accurate: reflects purpose and content of the Action Research Project.

Self-Contained:  Define all abbreviations, acronyms, and unique terms.  Also, paraphrase, no quotes.

Concise and specific:  Do not exceed 120 words, begin with the most important information.  Abstract should include:



The Introduction contains four sections from your action research proposal: area of focus, review of literature, research questions, and definition of variables. These sections should be essentially lifted from your proposal with the exception of additional references you may need to add to your review of literature.

Refer to APA manual 1.08 (pages 15-17).

The word “Introduction” should be centered under the title and not italicized. Subheadings should be titles in left-justified italics.

Refer to Scoring Plan.



Methods contains three sections: setting and participants, intervention, and data collection.

Refer to APA manual 1.09 (pages 17-20) and to scoring rubric.

Center the word “Methods” without italics. Section headings (e.g. Setting and Participants) should be titled in left-justified italics.

The methods section should provide concise, clear, and specific descriptions of your intervention and assessments. Any discussion and rationale belongs in the Introduction, along with any goals and objectives.



In this section, you will present your findings for each instrument used for data collection, and you will interpret those results. For example, you may be gathering data on pre and post tests. In this section, you would give results of the pre and post tests (perhaps in the form of a table and/or graph), analyze those data in some way (perhaps with percents, averages, etc.), and tell the meaning of your findings. More information on this section will be presented at a class session.

Refer to APA manual 1.10 (pages 20-26).

Tables – Refer to APA manual 3.62-74 (pages 147-176)

Figures – Refer to APA manual 3.75-86 (pages 176-201)

Refer to the appendices in your text for examples relevant to action research.



Refer to APA manual 1.11 (pages 26-27).


Significance/Impact on Student Learning

Factors Influencing Implementation

In action research, the realities of the teaching environment are likely to have influenced what you could or could not do in your instruction and your implementation. Do not ignore these factors, but rather acknowledge them and discuss how they affected the study. These factors may have facilitated the process (e.g. literacy coach provided additional ideas, you got extra technology support) or hindered the process (e.g. not enough time, technology problems, following mandated pacing guide interfered with implementation).

Implications & Limitations



Use APA format as you did for your ARP

Alphabetize authors as described by APA manual.



Appendix A: approval forms

            A-1 Principal’s permission to conduct research

            A-2 Informed consent/assent forms (parent or student over 18 years old)

Appendix B: Data collection instruments

Include the following instruments, identified as B-1, B-2, etc.:

·        Surveys and questionnaires

·        Protocols for interviews

·        Checklists for classroom observations

·        Scoring plans for performance assessment (e.g. rubrics)

You may also include prompts for assignments, handouts, etc.

Appendix C: Action Research Chart (as created last semester).



Scoring Rubric

Title Page/General Formatting (3 points)

Required elements:

0        Errors on all of the above

1        Errors on two of the above

2        Errors on one of the above

3        All three of the above correct


Abstract (4 points)

Required components:

0   Abstract not provided.

1   Fewer than three components of study are described and abstract lacks accuracy and/or being


2   Fewer than three components of study are described; abstract is accurate and self-contained.

3   Fewer than five components of study are described; abstract is accurate and self-contained.

4   All components of study are described with abstract being accurate and self-contained.


Introduction (10 points)

Area of Focus (4 points – 1 point for each item)

Review of Literature (4 points – 1 point for each item)

Research Questions (1 point – 0.5 point for each item)

Definition of Variables (1 point – 0.5 point for each item)


Methods (15 points)

Setting and participants (5 points – 1 point for each item)


Intervention (5 points – 1 point for each item)


Data Collection Techniques (5 points)




Results (20 points)

_____  0 to 8 points - Identifies results for each instrument. Provides narrative information and tables. Links each instrument to research questions.

_____  0 to 6 points – Interprets results.  Links each set of data to the research questions.

_____  0 to 6 points – Uses appropriate language skills and APA format.  Links ideas so that information flows freely. Includes presentation of tables and figures.


Discussion (20 points)

Conclusions (address each question) (10 points)

_____  1,2,3 – Each research question answered in a narrative

_____  4,5,6 – Questions answered and analysis cites data from all sources to support conclusion

_____  7,8,9 – Questions answered, analysis cites data from all sources, and results discussed in terms of

agreement or disagreement with the literature (or compared with findings from literature?)

_____      10 – All of the above and appropriate APA format and language skills used throughout.

Significance/Impact on Student Learning (4 points)

_____  1,2 – Significance/impact not supported by data and conclusions

_____  3,4 – Significance/impact clearly stated, supported by data and conclusions

Factors that Influenced Implementation (2 points)

1     Factors not clearly addressed; impact on study not clear

2     Factors clearly addressed; impact on study clear

Implications & Limitations (4 points)

      1    Implications for researcher addressed

2    Implications for researcher and school system addressed

3    Implications for researcher, school system, and education in general addressed.

4    Limitations are noted, including addressing researcher bias


References (4 points)

Required elements:

·        References cited correctly in the body of the paper.

·        References cited correctly in the reference list.

·        References related to the development of the plan and used to support the need for your research.

·        A variety of resources/references is used

0    No references included.

1    One of the required elements is included

2    Two of the required elements are included

3    Three of the required elements are included

4    All of the above are included in the list.


Appendices (4 points)

            Appendix A – forms including permission, other consent/assent forms

            Appendix B – copies of data collection instruments

0                    Missing or inappropriate

1                    Several appropriate appendices included; documents provide limited information and data pertinent to the study.

2                    All of the appropriate appendices are included; documents provide clear, consistent, and convincing information and data pertinent to the study.

Appendix C – Action Chart

0                    No Action Chart is provided

1                    Two or more components are not present and action steps are not sufficient for the plan

2                    All components of the chart are completed with multiple action steps presented with each research question, realistic timeline clearly presented, and resources stated.  Responsibilities are identified for completing each action step.