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The methods section of a research paper provides the information by which a study’s validity is judged.The method section answers two main questions: 1) How was the data collected or generated? The writing should be direct and precise and written in the past tense.: Once you have written all of the elements of the methods section, subsequent revisions should focus on how to present those elements as clearly and as logically as possibly.It is almost a given that you will encounter problems when collecting or generating your data.
Any scientific paper needs to be verifiable by other researchers, so that they can review the results by replicating the experiment themselves and testing the validity.
To encourage this, you need to give a completely accurate description of the equipment and the techniques used for gathering the data.
Often, documenting how you overcame obstacles can form an interesting part of the methodology. The Structure, Format, Content, and Style of a Journal-Style Scientific Paper. A qualitative approach, such as conducting interviews or content analysis of archival texts, can yield exciting new insights about a research problem, but it should not be undertaken simply because you have a disdain for running a simple regression.
It demonstrates to the reader that you can provide a cogent rationale for the decisions you made to minimize the impact of any problems that arose. University of Wisconsin, Madison; Writing the Experimental Report: Methods, Results, and Discussion. A well designed quantitative research study can often be accomplished in very clear and direct ways, whereas, a similar study of a qualitative nature usually requires considerable time to analyze large volumes of data and a tremendous burden to create new paths for analysis where previously no path associated with your research problem had existed.
The value of your work rests squarely on how well it conforms to the principles of the scientific method.
Other scientists are not going to take your word for it; they need to be able to evaluate firsthand whether your methodology is sound.For example, in a psychology paper, there is no need to describe a Skinner box, as it’s design is well known to psychologists.However, you would need to explain exactly how the box was used, to allow exact replication.Finally, you must provide an explanation of how the raw data was compiled and analyzed.In science, you are (hopefully) never presenting a personal opinion or arguing for preconceived biases.You would also note any area where you deviated from what your readers will expect.If you used a Skinner box but one broke midway through your experiment, you’ll need to explain this clearly.The focus should be on how you applied a method, not on the mechanics of doing a method.An exception to this rule is if you select an unconventional approach to doing the method; if this is the case, be sure to explain why this approach was chosen and how it enhances the overall research process.Remember that you are not writing a how-to guide about a particular method.You should make the assumption that readers possess a basic understanding of how to investigate the research problem on their own and, therefore, you do not have to go into great detail about specific methodological procedures.