In a quantitative experimental study, you might aim to produce generalizable knowledge about the causes of a phenomenon. Valid research requires a carefully designed study with controlled variables that can be replicated by other researchers.
As this methodology is less controlled and more interpretive, you will need to reflect on your position as researcher, taking into account how your participation and perception might have influenced the results. Step 2: Describe your methods of data collection Once you have introduced your overall methodological approach, you should give full details of the methods you used to conduct the research.
Outline the tools, procedures and materials you used to gather data, and the criteria you used to select participants or sources. Quantitative methods Surveys Describe where, when and how the survey was conducted.
How did you design the questions and what form did they take e. How did you find and select participants? Did you conduct surveys by phone, mail, online or in person, and how long did participants have to respond? What was the sample size and response rate? You might want to include the full questionnaire as an appendix so that your reader can see exactly what data was collected.
Experiments Give full details of the tools, techniques and procedures you used to conduct the experiment. How did you design the experiment e. What tools or technologies did you use in the experiment? In experimental research, it is especially important to give enough detail for another researcher to reproduce your results. Existing data Explain how you gathered and selected material such as publications or archival data for inclusion in your analysis. Where did you source the material?
Writing the Empirical Journal Article. Psychology Writing Center. University of Washington; Lunenburg, Frederick C. Structure and Writing Style I. Groups of Research Methods There are two main groups of research methods in the social sciences: The empirical-analytical group approaches the study of social sciences in a similar manner that researchers study the natural sciences.
This type of research focuses on objective knowledge, research questions that can be answered yes or no, and operational definitions of variables to be measured.
The empirical-analytical group employs deductive reasoning that uses existing theory as a foundation for hypotheses that need to be tested. This approach is focused on explanation. The interpretative group is focused on understanding phenomenon in a comprehensive, holistic way. This research method allows you to recognize your connection to the subject under study.
Because the interpretative group focuses more on subjective knowledge, it requires careful interpretation of variables. Content An effectively written methodology section should: Introduce the overall methodological approach for investigating your research problem. Is your study qualitative or quantitative or a combination of both mixed method?
Are you going to take a special approach, such as action research, or a more neutral stance? Indicate how the approach fits the overall research design.
Your methods should have a clear connection with your research problem. In other words, make sure that your methods will actually address the problem. One of the most common deficiencies found in research papers is that the proposed methodology is unsuited to achieving the stated objective of your paper.
Describe the specific methods of data collection you are going to use, such as, surveys, interviews, questionnaires, observation, archival research. If you are analyzing existing data, such as a data set or archival documents, describe how it was originally created or gathered and by whom.
Explain how you intend to analyze your results. Will you use statistical analysis? This may include testing instruments, technical equipment, books, images, or other materials used in the course of research.
If you used some type of psychological assessment or special equipment during the course of your experiment, it should be noted in this part of your method section. For example: "Two stories from Sullivan et al. So if you used a computer to administer a psychological assessment, you would need to name the specific assessment you used, but you could simply state that you used a computer to administer the test rather than listing the brand and technical specifications of the device.
Specialized equipment, especially if it is something that is complex or created for a niche purpose, should be given greater detail. In some instances, such as if you created a special material or apparatus for your study, you may need to provide and illustration of the item that can be included in your appendix and then referred to in your method section.
Design Describe the type of design used in the experiment. Specify the variables as well as the levels of these variables. Clearly identify your independent variables, dependent variables , control variables, and any extraneous variables that might influence your results. For example: "The experiment used a 3x2 between-subjects design. Explain what you had participants do, how you collected data, and the order in which steps occurred. For example: "An examiner interviewed children individually at their school in one session that lasted 20 minutes on average.
The examiner explained to each child that he or she would be told two short stories and that some questions would be asked after each story.
A molecular biologist and a published author currently dealing with content-related details of manuscripts from varied subject areas within the biomedical and life sciences. Sep 18, 6. In the manuscript, this section contains the essential details for other scientists to replicate the experiments of the study and help the common readers to understand the study better.
The descriptive nature of this section may make it seem one of the easiest parts of a manuscript to write. In this article, we will share some tips to make the Methods section of your manuscript interesting and informative. While the article uses examples mostly from the biomedical and clinical research studies, authors from other fields too would find the tips useful for preparing their next manuscript.
It may be the names of the reagents and instruments, separated by some numbers in terms of some concentrations or the technical terminologies that make the reading a heavy-duty task. Listed below are some useful ways of breaking the ice between the Methods section and the readers: 1. Explanation: Usually, each paragraph or subsection of the Methods section talks about a specific experiment. Early in each paragraph, explain the rationale behind your choices of that particular experiment.
For clinical research, providing a detailed rationale for selecting the exclusion or inclusion criteria can be a good idea to present early in the Methods section.
In this subsection, it is also important to explain why your participants took part in your research. Problems to Avoid Irrelevant Detail The methodology section of your paper should be thorough but to the point. Use subheadings: Dividing the Methods section in terms of the experiments helps the reader to follow the section better. The method must be appropriate to fulfilling the overall aims of the study. Quantitative methods Surveys Describe where, when and how the survey was conducted. The discussion also includes a thorough review of the literature about methods other scholars have used to study the topic.
One of the most common deficiencies found in research papers is that the proposed methodology is not suitable to achieving the stated objective of your paper. Information on participants helps other researchers understand how your study was performed, how generalizable the result might be, and allows others researchers to replicate your results with other populations to see if they might obtain the same results.
Clearly identify your independent variables, dependent variables , control variables, and any extraneous variables that might influence your results. Alternative Microeconomics.
Respir Care. Do Not Fear Them! For any problems that do arise, you must describe the ways in which they were minimized or why these problems do not impact in any meaningful way your interpretation of the findings. Explain what you had participants do, how you collected data, and the order in which steps occurred. If your methodology may lead to problems you can anticipate, state this openly and show why pursuing this methodology outweighs the risk of these problems cropping up. Therefore, qualitative research requires a more detailed description of the methods used.
Reynolds, R. Literature Review Just as the literature review section of your paper provides an overview of sources you have examined while researching a particular topic, the methodology section should cite any sources that informed your choice and application of a particular method [i.
So if you used a computer to administer a psychological assessment, you would need to name the specific assessment you used, but you could simply state that you used a computer to administer the test rather than listing the brand and technical specifications of the device. The interpretative group of methods is focused on understanding phenomenon in a comprehensive, holistic way. Did you conduct surveys by phone, mail, online or in person, and how long did participants have to respond? Participants In this part of the method section, you should describe the participants in your experiment including who they were, how many there were, and how they were selected.