Cathy Aranda
Cathy Aranda

Easy Steps for Writing an APA Results Section

10 min read

Published on: Apr 27, 2024

Last updated on: Apr 29, 2024

APA Results Section

Welcome to our simple guide for creating an excellent APA results section for your academic paper! We'll explain each step clearly with practical examples to help you present your study's findings effectively.

Discover how to share participant data, describe results with descriptive statistics, interpret inferential statistics, and convey the significance of your findings. 

Get tips for a clear and visually appealing APA results section.

Let's dive in!

What Should You Include in an APA Results Section? 

The results section of your APA style research paper or thesis should include the following: 

  • Participant Data:

Briefly describe the characteristics of the individuals involved in the study, including demographic information and essential details about the sample.

  • Descriptive Statistics:

Provide a concise summary of the main features of the data, encompassing measures like averages and variability, to offer an overview of the dataset.

  • Inferential Statistics and Hypothesis Testing:

Present the outcomes of statistical tests conducted to make inferences about the population based on the sample data, including whether hypotheses were supported or rejected.

  • Confidence Interval and Effect Size:

Include measures that convey the practical significance of findings (effect sizes) and the range within which true population parameters are likely to fall (confidence intervals).

  • Missing Data and Adverse Events (if any):

Address any issues related to missing data and provide information on how they were managed. Additionally, briefly mention any adverse events encountered during the study.

  • Subgroup Results and Exploratory Analyses:

Highlight specific findings related to subgroup analyses or additional exploratory investigations conducted within the study, offering insights beyond the main hypotheses.

Now, we’ll break down how to write the above parts of the APA results section in detail.

Introduce Participants Data 

In the Participant Data section of the APA Results, you should provide an overview of the flow of participants throughout the various stages of your study. 

Participant Flow and Recruitment Period

Begin by detailing the recruitment period, specifying the dates when participants were enrolled in the study or underwent follow-up sessions. This establishes a temporal context for your research.

Attrition Reporting 

Report any attrition, which refers to the decline in participants at each sequential stage of your study. Highlight the number of participants lost and provide a clear understanding of the reasons for attrition. 

This is important as uneven participant numbers can impact internal validity and hinder meaningful group comparisons.

Flow Chart Utilization 

If your study involves multiple stages (e.g., pre-test, intervention, post-test) and various groups (e.g., experimental and control groups), consider employing a flow chart. A visual representation helps convey the number of participants in each group at each stage clearly.

Reasons for Attrition 

Clearly state all reasons for participant attrition. Whether it's due to dropout rates, adverse events, or other factors, transparent reporting ensures a thorough understanding of potential biases in the study.

Here is an example of reporting participant flow in APA results section:

The recruitment period for this study spanned from January 2023 to March 2023. During this time, participants were enrolled through campus advertisements, yielding a sample size of 150 students.

Out of the initial 150 participants, 10 individuals withdrew from the study due to scheduling conflicts, and 5 participants were excluded due to incomplete data. This resulted in a final sample size of 135 participants for analysis. A visual flow chart (see Figure 1) illustrates the participant flow through the study's stages—baseline assessment, mindfulness intervention, and post-intervention assessment. This chart allows for a quick understanding of participant distribution across groups and stages.

Reasons for attrition were documented and included in the analysis. Scheduling conflicts and incomplete data were the primary reasons cited by participants who withdrew. These reasons were reported to ensure transparency in data reporting.

Descriptive Statistics 

In the Descriptive Statistics section, the focus is on providing a succinct summary of the essential characteristics of the dataset. This involves presenting key measures that convey the central tendencies and variability within the data, offering readers a comprehensive overview.

Measures of Central Tendency 

Begin by reporting the central tendencies of the data, including the mean, median, and mode. The mean represents the average value, the median is the middle point when data is ordered, and the mode is the most frequently occurring value.


The mean stress level of the participants was found to be 3.2 on a scale of 1 to 5, indicating a moderate level of stress. The median and mode were consistent with this, providing a robust understanding of the central tendency in perceived stress.

Measures of Variability 

Provide insights into the spread or variability of the data. Common measures include the range, standard deviation, and variance. These metrics help to understand how individual data points deviate from the central tendency.


The standard deviation of stress scores was 0.8, suggesting a moderate degree of variability around the mean. This information provides context about the dispersion of stress levels within the participant sample.

Data Visualization 

Enhance the reader's understanding by incorporating visual representations such as histograms or box plots. Graphical elements can offer a quick and intuitive grasp of the distribution and shape of the data.


Figure 2 illustrates the distribution of stress scores using a histogram. The bell-shaped curve indicates a roughly normal distribution, with the majority of participants clustered around the mean stress level.

Inferential Statistics and Hypothesis Testing 

In the Inferential Statistics and Hypothesis Testing section, the focus is on interpreting the results of statistical analyses conducted to draw broader conclusions about the population based on the data collected from the study sample. 

This involves testing hypotheses and determining the significance of the observed effects.

Introduction to Statistical Tests 

Begin by introducing the specific statistical tests employed in your study. Whether it's t-tests, ANOVA, regression, or other methods, briefly explain their relevance to your research question.


An independent samples t-test was used to compare post-intervention stress scores between the experimental and control groups.

Null and Alternative Hypotheses 

Clearly state the null hypothesis (H0) and the alternative hypothesis (H1). The null hypothesis posits no effect, while the alternative hypothesis suggests the presence of an effect.


H0: No significant difference in post-intervention stress scores between groups.
H1: Significant difference in post-intervention stress scores between groups.

Significance Levels (Alpha) and P-values 

Report the significance level (alpha) chosen for your study, typically set at 0.05. Present the p-values associated with your statistical tests and use them to determine the statistical significance of your findings.


Significance level: 0.05. The calculated p-value was 0.023, signifying a significant difference in post-intervention stress scores.

Interpretation and Decision 

Based on the p-values and significance levels, interpret whether you reject or fail to reject the null hypothesis. Discuss the implications of your findings in the context of your research question.


With a p-value of 0.023, we reject the null hypothesis, indicating a significant reduction in stress levels due to the mindfulness intervention.

Effect Sizes and Confidence Intervals 

In this section, you should present the significance of our findings by zooming in on effect sizes and include confidence intervals.

Effect Sizes 

Effect sizes serve as indicators of the magnitude and practical significance of observed effects.


The mindfulness intervention demonstrated a substantial effect on participants' well-being, with Cohen's d = 0.85, indicating a large and practically meaningful impact.

Confidence Intervals 

Confidence intervals serve the purpose of illustrating the range of potential values around a point estimate. You should include them whenever you intend to report estimates for population parameters.


The 95% confidence interval for the reduction in anxiety levels following the intervention was [0.32, 0.71], providing a precise range and enhancing the reliability of our observed effect.

Missing Data and Adverse Events if Any 

Keep the below rules in mind to include the missing data in your APA results section. 

  • Report the extent and reasons for missing or excluded data
  • Potential causes include equipment malfunctions, storage issues, participant ineligibility, and unforeseen events
  • Acknowledge and document any adverse events during the study, explaining their nature and resolution
  • Provide a robust justification for excluding any data points, particularly outliers
  • Clarify criteria used for outlier identification to ensure transparency in the data analysis process

Subgroup Results and Exploratory Analyses 

You should also include subgroup results and exploratory analysis in an APA results section. Here are the guidelines that you should follow:

  • Identify subgroups analyzed in the study based on demographics, characteristics, or other relevant factors.
  • Present clear and concise summaries of findings specific to each subgroup, highlighting any notable patterns or variations.
  • Explore unexpected trends or relationships that emerged during the study, providing insights beyond the initially hypothesized outcomes.
  • Identify and emphasize additional patterns or correlations observed during exploratory analyses.
  • Connect exploratory insights to the broader implications of the research, elucidating their potential impact on the study's overarching goals.

Tips For Polishing Your APA Results Section 

Follow these instructions and incorporate them into your paper to polish your APA results section:

  • Follow the guideline: use a sentence for three or fewer numbers, tables for 4-20, and figures for more than 20. Number, title, and reference them appropriately
  • Adhere to APA guidelines for capitalization, italicization, and abbreviations when reporting statistics. Maintain consistent formatting for clarity
  • Employ tables and figures judiciously. Number, title, and reference each appropriately in the text to enhance clarity
  • Prevent data repetition throughout the paper to maintain focus and prevent confusion among readers
  • Stick to the general rules for presenting data and numbers, and ensure consistency. Refer to APA guidelines or similar papers for symbol presentations
  • Seek feedback from peers or mentors to refine your data presentation, ensuring clarity and effective communication in the Results section

What Should You Avoid in The APA Results Section 

Aside from understanding what to incorporate in the results section of your psychology paper, it is important to be mindful of elements that should be excluded from this section.

  • Exclude irrelevant details, background information, or extensive literature review
  • Save detailed discussions about research design, data collection methods, or sampling procedures for the Method section
  • Refrain from offering personal opinions, interpretations, or implications
  • Avoid including raw data tables or extensive datasets; use summarized and relevant statistics
  • Reserve discussions about future research directions or limitations for the Discussion Section or Limitations section
  • Do not include citations or references to external sources
  • Refrain from drawing broad conclusions or implications in the Results section
  • Ensure graphical representations are accompanied by corresponding explanations in the text

Generate Accurate Citations with's APA Citation Tool 

Struggling with precise APA style citations? Try our APA Citation machine today and elevate your academic writing.

Generate citations seamlessly and insert them into your document or save for later use. Our Citation Machine streamlines the process. It's user-friendly and designed to help you create consistent citations for your paper. 

To conclude, now equipped with comprehensive insights on crafting the APA results section, you can seamlessly integrate the steps outlined in this guide into your paper. Just follow our guide for an exhaustive and transparent depiction of your study's outcomes.

Cathy Aranda


Cathy Aranda (Mass communication)

Cathy is a highly dedicated author who has been writing for the platform for over five years. With a Master's degree in Mass Communication, she is well-versed in various forms of writing such as articles, press releases, blog posts, and whitepapers. As an essay writing guide author at, she has been helping students and professionals improve their writing skills by offering practical tips on research, citation, sentence structure, and style.

Cathy is a highly dedicated author who has been writing for the platform for over five years. With a Master's degree in Mass Communication, she is well-versed in various forms of writing such as articles, press releases, blog posts, and whitepapers. As an essay writing guide author at, she has been helping students and professionals improve their writing skills by offering practical tips on research, citation, sentence structure, and style.

On This Page On This Page

Keep Reading