What Should I Know about Methodology in a Research Paper?

Methodology is one of the essential parts of your research paper. It should describe the philosophy behind your study methods, along with the procedures and techniques used. Your readers will judge the validity of your work through this section, so make sure you keep the following vital nuances in mind.

Things to Remember When Composing a Research Paper Methodology

  • Answer the main questions.
  • This section of your paper should address two issues. First, how you generate or collect data. Second, how you will analyze the data to obtain the meaningful results. Besides, it’s important to consider the limitations and restrictions that may apply.

  • Set the right tone.
  • No matter whether you’re writing a quantitative or a qualitative assignment, you should be precise, direct, and focused. It’s recommended to select the key information and present it in the past tense.

  • Include enough explanation.
  • You should avoid providing too many details, as well as omitting crucial nuances. In other words, describe the methods used in such a way that others could repeat your research and judge the validity of your outcomes.

  • Discuss the problems you faced.
  • Students often have to solve numerous issues in the process of data collection and analysis. Remember to describe what steps you took to prevent the problems and how this influenced your study.

  • Structure methodology section properly.
  • Your instructor may provide you with some advice on how to organize this section. Usually, you are required to describe the samples and materials you used, explain how you prepared them for analysis, write about your research design, mention what calculations you performed, and state what statistical tests you used if any.

Problems to Avoid While Writing a Methodology Section

  • Providing irrelevant details.
  • Make sure that you write to the point. You should give information that helps the reader understand why you chose a particular method, how you obtained data, and how you analyzed it.

  • Writing a how-to guide.
  • You need to keep in mind that your readers possess a basic understanding of how to investigate problems and use a scientific method. Therefore, don’t go into detail about the mechanics of doing a method; rather, describe how you applied it.

  • Not citing the sources.
  • As any other section of your assignment, the methodology should cite any sources that you consulted to make decisions related to methods and approaches and their application. For instance, you can refer to works you used to construct your questionnaire.

  • Ignoring problems when working with data.
  • This is a common mistake when students pretend that data collection and generalization issues didn’t occur. Academic advisors often call this situation a problem blindness.