Recommendations On Creating A Research Paper Methodology

The methodology section of a research paper requires you to clearly describe the method you chose for conducting your study, the justification you have for choosing it, an explanation of how you gathered your information, and an explanation of the precise information gathered. Different disciplines will have different formats but the basic idea and purpose remains the same. Here are recommendations for creating a good research paper methodology that works for a number of disciplines:

Select the best method for your study

There are two major types of methodologies for you to choose from when working in the social sciences – the empirical or analytical method and the interpretive method. The former focuses on gathering objective knowledge or information, usually conducted in lab work and data collection processes, including surveys, questionnaires, and sample testing. The latter focuses on trying to understand phenomenon in a comprehensive manner by reading existing material and providing a critical analysis of what the information conveys according to observation and predictions.

Include all the relevant information

The content in either approach is generally the same. First you must introduce the method you’ve selected and provide a reason why that method fits your specific research. Next, give a detailed explanation of how you plan on conducting your study and how plan on analyzing the results. You are essentially providing a road map for anyone who might want to conduct similar research on their own. Lastly, you should indicate any limitations your method might have. For instance, if you are limited to sampling a small group of people, then you need to account for the possibilities that a larger group would yield different results.

Edit and proofread the entire section

One of the key components to any type of academic writing is that the content is well-written and completely free of errors. A methodology section should be clear and direct. Use simple English to express your ideas and stay away from confusing complex sentence structures that will make the information hard to understand. Also be sure you proofread all grammar, punctuation and spelling. You can come sounding quite unintelligent if your work is filled with errors.

Some things you should always avoid

Finally, you should be aware of things to avoid in all instances. Don’t get off track or provide the reader with unnecessary background information. Don’t overdo your explanation of the testing process, since a lot of it could be basic within your field and will seem insultingly redundant. Lastly, don’t include content that should appear in other sections of the research paper (e.g., literature review, results, etc.). Stick with what you need to meet the requirements.

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