Writing A Methodology Section For A Research Paper: Basic Tips

The main objective of your research paper is, naturally, to conduct a research. When the research itself is extremely important, you also have to prove to your audience that you used proper methods and techniques and that, therefore, the results of it can be considered credible. You will need to show the work you have done step-by-step and make sure the whole process can be tracked. This is basically what is the methodology section in your paper for.

Think ahead!

You shall be aware of the fact that you will need to create the methodology even when you just start working on your research and collecting the data. You shall always keep in mind that all the sources of your data will have to be published as well. To save yourself the trouble later, start recording everything from the very beginning. Every piece of information that gets into your heads shall have a source tied to it. This way when you come to the methodology part, you won't even have to spend a lot of time on it – you will only need to put the information out in words.

4 obligatory constituents of your methodology.

There are certain sections, without which this chapter will never be full and acceptable:

  1. Participants. This section will describe people, who took part in your experiment or were subjects to your research. This part can be variable, depending on what type of data you use in the paper. Especially common for interviews and quizzes.
  2. Materials. This section is more widely used than the previous one. No matter what kind of research you conduct, you will always make an experiment, using some tools. This is the write paper to describe them.
  3. Procedure. Describe the whole process of the experiment. Show your readers in the details, which steps you have taken and where it led you to.
  4. Analysis techniques. This will be the only theoretical aspect you will cover in the methodology. You need to describe what techniques you used to interpret the data and how you got to certain conclusions.

Additional tips for writing your methodology.

  • Always use past tenses.
  • The methodology shall be specific enough for your readers to be able to repeat your experiment.
  • Make sure all the information fits together and your conclusions can be logically followed.
  • Double-check your calculations and formulas. They contain your most common mistakes.