Special Tips for Writing a Great Methods Section

how to write a methods section

The methods section is perhaps the most important in the development and providing details on the validity of a research paper. Therefore, it requires you to be as clear as possible in describing what you did to answer your research questions. However, writing methods in research paper is considered by most students to be one of the most difficult items to work on. So how do you go about writing it?

In this article, we will reveal to you the best way of writing a methods section when working on a research paper. We will further highlight useful tips that you can use to make the methods section sparkle. Let us get down to it!

A Closer Look at the Methods Section of a Research Paper

Before we dive deeper into the mechanics of how to write methods section of a research paper, it is crucial to start by understanding what it is. The methods section of a research paper is like a roadmap guiding the writer to the core of a study and showing readers the journey that was taken to reach a specific destination. As a journey, it implies that the process you used in a study can be replicated to get similar results.

Notably, when writing the methods section of a research paper, you will have already covered other parts, such as the research questions and thesis statement. Besides, you will also have reviewed various pieces of literature on the topic under consideration. This implies that your methods section should help you to further interrogate your research questions in line with the thesis statement.

How to Write a Methods Section

When writing the methods section, it is prudent to be as logical as possible. This helps the reader to retrace the development and nuances of the research easily. One of the best ways of achieving it is describing those who participated in your study and then demonstrating what was used to carry the experiment. Finally, explain how you went about it. So let us look at each of these components closely:

  1. Participants
  2. In this part of your methods section, you describe those involved. A good method of describing participants might include race, age, gender, education, location, and income status. Then, go ahead and describe how the participants were required to participate in the study. Check the example below:

    Eighty middle school students were enrolled in the study. Their age ranged from 12 (45 students) to 13 (35 students) years old. There were 50 boys and 30 girls. During the study, the participants were divided into four groups of 20 students each. The study was conducted in the Emily Middle School of Manhattan, New York.”

  3. Materials
  4. In this part of the methodology, you list the apparatus and equipment that were used during the study. Note that this should include even the technical advice that you used when doing the study. If you are writing a scientific research paper, materials might include things such as retorts, microscopes, and flasks, among others. Make sure also to mention the following:

    • How your participants responded.
    • The reliability of your research materials.
    • If you used your own measure/s, make sure to describe the process too.
  5. Procedure

In this part, you demonstrate how the data for the study was collected. The aim is to ensure that if another person repeated the same study, the results would be similar. Include details such as rations, conditions for the experiment, and instructions that you provided to participants.

NOTE: It is prudent to ensure that the methodology section is as precise as possible. For example, the number of participants, weights, questions, and responses should be captured well. If some materials such as questionnaires were used, ensure to capture the details articulately.

Tips on How to Write the Method Section of a Research Paper

Now that you know what to include in the methods section of a research paper, we will now tell you some useful tips to make it sparkle:

  • Look at the methodology from the viewpoint of the entire paper. This means that even before you set off writing the methods section, it should be clear in mind. For example, carefully frame the objective of the study and research questions in line with the research methods. This will help to make your study to flow from the start to the end easily.
  • Because you are reporting how you did the study, make sure that the methodology section is written down in the past tense.
  • Ensure that the details you provide are enough such that the reader or another researcher can replicate the study easily. However, brevity is crucial. This means that you should try to trim irrelevant details as much as possible.
  • Make sure to follow the guidelines provided by your department strictly. Notably, academic institutions have succinct instructions that students should follow when writing the methods section. For example, you might be required to follow the APA or Harvard formatting style.
  • Make sure to read other research paper methods sections. This can help to hone your skills in writing different research paper sections, including the methodology.

Writing The Methods Section The Easy Way

One notable thing about writing methods section of research papers is that it can be tricky even for top students. Well, we will tell you the truth here; it requires you to develop impeccable writing, analysis, and reporting skills. Because these skills take time to develop, you cannot give up. Go ahead and seek writing help from experts.

Writing assistance is offered by professionals who understand what is research paper methodology, how to write it, and guarantee you the best grades. And you know what? The writing experts are also cheap. With experts on your side, you can never go wrong!

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