Overview of report format

Although presentation is not assessed, it is an important component of all academic work.  After so much hard work in setting up, carrying out and analyzing your experiment, it is important that you present your work in a way that reflects the effort that you put into it. 

A lack of citation or the presence of inappropriate citation – such as a simple listing of URLs – may result in your work being flagged for academic dishonesty.

Formatting requirements

  • Use size 12 font and double space your report.
  • The title page should include all essential information: Title of your investigation, session (May or November and the year), date of submission and word count.
  • The title should reflect your hypothesis. For example, An experiment to investigate the effect of category headings on the recall of a list of words. Do not use a title like “A study of memory.”
  • Your name and candidate number should not appear in the body of the report.
  • Use all the appropriate headings: Introduction, Exploration, Analysis, Evaluation, References, Appendices.
  • Include a table of contents. The title of each appendix should be listed.
  • Use page numbers.

You need to include a complete set of references to all the works cited in the report. Do not include works that are not cited. An approved reference format should be used, such as that of the American Psychological Association or the British Psychological Society. These formats are freely available on the Internet.

In the appendices, include blank copies of any supplementary information, as well as the materials used, such as standardized instructions, debriefing notes, informed consent letters, and calculations of the inferential statistics. This section provides all the materials necessary to allow the experiment to be replicated. Tables of raw data must also be included here. However, do not include all participant responses - one blank copy is sufficient. Make sure that each appendix is numbered and has an appropriate title –for example, Appendix iv: Calculation of the Mann Whitney U.

Summary of report format

Report sectionRequirements
  1. An explanation of the theory upon which your investigation is based.
  2. Definitions of any terminology relevant to your study.
  3. A description of the original study that you are replicating.
  4. A statement of the aim of your investigation and why it is worth studying.
  5. An operationalized null and research hypothesis.
  1. Identify and explain the design of your study.
  2. Identify and explain the sampling technique.
  3. Describe the characteristics of your sample.
  4. Explain the choice of participants.
  5. Explain controls that were used.
  6. Explain how materials were developed and why you made the choices that you did.
  7. Describe your procedure, including how ethical standards were met.
  1.  Apply descriptive statistics.
  2. Apply inferential statistics.
  3. Include one graph which clearly reflects your results in light of your hypothesis.
  4. State the significance of your data with regard to your hypothesis.
  5. Explain your statistical findings with regard to the data.
  1. Discuss the findings compared to the original study.
  2. Link the findings to the theory in your introduction.
  3. Discuss the strengths and limitations of your design, sample, procedure and materials.
  4. Suggest modifications for future replications to address the limitations in your investigation.
  5. End with a final statement of conclusion with regard to your hypothesis.
Works citedAn alphabetized list of the sources cited in your introduction.
  1. A blank copy of your letter of consent.
  2. Briefing notes/standardized directions
  3. Materials
  4. Debriefing notes
  5. Raw data
  6. Calculations of inferential statistics
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Comments 19

Sara Dean 9 March 2018 - 13:59

Hi John,
Just to clarify, they only need the theory and the replicated study in the Introduction now. No literature review anymore?
Thanks, Sara

John Crane 10 March 2018 - 07:24

Dear Sara - yes, that is correct. But this is as of next May's cohort.

Sara Dean 11 March 2018 - 19:23

Thanks John. Also, in the Evaluation, will they be interpreting their data anymore?

John Crane 13 March 2018 - 05:25

Dear Sara,

No, they should do that in the results section.

Jamie Ferrario 18 March 2018 - 02:57

Hi John,
In the official guide I have seen the 2,000 word count in one section and 1800-2200 words in another section. Forgive me, but MYIB account isn't working and I haven't received tech support yet. Is there a correction to this officially?
Thank you!

John Crane 20 March 2018 - 04:52

Dear Jamie,

2000 was the original word count. Now it is between 1800 and 2200.

Jamie Ferrario 29 March 2018 - 18:35

Thanks John,
One more quick question. If I have students that are using your online textbook for definitions, how should they cite? Does your textbook have a title?
Thank you!

John Crane 30 March 2018 - 16:28

Only like this:

Crane, J. P. (2017). IB Psychology. Retrieved March 30, 2018, from thinkib.net

Dabalina Chatterjee 9 April 2018 - 10:17

Dear John,
My students chose Craik and Tulving for their IA. if the sample size is 24, what would be the suitable inferential stats for this IA

John Crane 9 April 2018 - 13:47

Dear Dabalina - yes, 24 is fine. The test is always the same. If it is an independent samples design - Mann Whitney. If it is repeated measures, then it is the Wilcoxon signed ranks test.

Dabalina Chatterjee 11 April 2018 - 05:56

Thank you

Bhawna Egbert 24 June 2018 - 08:27

Does the 2200 includes 200 words abstract or excluded 200 words?? Do they have to write an abstract?

John Crane 25 June 2018 - 06:10

Dear Bhawna

There is no longer an abstract. My understanding is that if they choose to add one anyway, it then becomes part of the 2200 words.

Bhawna Egbert 25 June 2018 - 06:39

Thanks John for your prompt reply..if they don't need one they might as well use up the whole word count towards the body of the IA.

John Crane 25 June 2018 - 20:48

I agree, Bhawna. I don't see a point in including one.

Maria Socorro Laplana 22 August 2018 - 11:58

if nominal data, can my students use the chi-square instead of the Mann Whitney?

John Crane 23 August 2018 - 05:14

Dear Maria, if it is nominal data, they have to use the chi squared and not the Mann Whitney.

SREEJITH A.P 11 September 2018 - 05:23

Dear Sir,
I would like to know whether the in-text citation is included or excluded from the word count.

John Crane 11 September 2018 - 18:33

Dear Sreejith,

It is excluded.