How To Write A Research Methods Paper

Acknowledging limitations doesn't necessarily affect the validity of the paper.

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How To Write the Methods Section of a Research Paper Whether you are writing a research article for publication in a scholarly journal or a research paper for credit in a university course, you will need to describe and explain the methods you used in your research.

Summarize the strategies used to analyze empirical data or make meaning out of subjective reports gathered during the course of the study.

For example, if you investigated whether students who work under 20 hours per week have higher GPAs than students who work 20 hours or more, you might write about using a chi-squared test to compare the GPAs of the two groups.

If you are conducting quantitative or empirical-analytical research, you will probably need to tell your readers about your subjects or participants (and any necessary ethical approval or consent), the criteria you used to select them, sample and group sizes, variables (independent as well as dependent and confounding), procedures for collecting and generating evidence, means of measuring and analysing data, controls and problems (as well as how you minimised or overcame them), and perhaps limitations, though the last sometimes has its own section.

Providing explanations for why you used the subjects, instruments and techniques you did is also necessary, especially when you move beyond conventional or established practices in your field.

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