There are some aspects to an academic research paper that are there for appearance’s sake, such as the introduction. It’s an important part of the paper in that it attracts the reader’s attention, but the information included in the intro isn’t integral to the overall content. The methodology section, on the other hand, is a crucial component that can make or break the legitimacy of an article.
In the methods section, the researcher includes the information that their work would be judged on for its validity and repeatability. In this section, the scholar must show clearly how their data was collected or generated and how it was then analyzed. The answers must be transparent to show the reader that the work compiled is trustworthy and unbiased.
Why the Methods Section is Important
The most important part of a research paper is the conclusion, of course, but if the methodology section isn’t clearly delineated, the conclusion could end up being invalid based on the lack of detail in the methods collected.
How the researcher chooses the methods used can affect how the results were interpreted. A method that is considered to be unreliable or biased has a direct result on the findings. Since there are so many different methods that can be used when a research problem is being investigated, it’s important that the researcher explains why a particular method was chosen over another, comparable one. There also must be a clear explanation of how the data was collected and generated and how those methods were related to the target and objective of the research in question.
Solid methodology takes into account problems that may arise. These challenges are predefined in the methods section, along with the steps the researcher took to ensure those problems were avoided.
Finally, the methods you used must be able to be replicated by other researchers to ensure the work was valid. Another scholar might wish to build upon your study or adapt it, in which case they’ll need to have the exact steps that you took, detailed data and equipment that you used to complete the steps, and any other pertinent information that would be necessary in order to replicate the entire study.
Organizing Your Methods Section
An academic paper does have a specific structure to follow, including how you set up your methods section. The content is unique to your study, but ensure you have the following elements clearly written out:
● An explanation of your methodological approach, how you chose the research problem that you investigated, and what your objective was. From there, be sure to explain what kind of data you need and how that data was collected. You might want to include why you chose the methods you used.
● A complete description of how you collected the data that was used. This should include the size of your sample pool, how you picked your samples, the tools and materials you used, and the procedures that you took to gather the information you used. Keep in mind that this section needs to be detailed enough that it could be replicated by another researcher. To ensure this is possible, include all quantitative and qualitative methods you used to collect data, the experiments you conducted, and any existing data you used in your experiment along with the proper citations.
● A full description of the methods of analysis that you used to generate your conclusion. This can include the strengths and weaknesses that you found through your method of choice, justifying why even with the weaknesses, the method you chose was still the best option.
● Include any obstacles that you encountered during your research in the methodology section. This gives anyone looking to replicate your study a better idea on how to approach it and makes your work more legitimate. Most studies don’t go off from start to finish without a hitch.
With all of this included in your methodology section, you can instill reliability in your work for your reader.
Using Reliable Programs Like Impactio to Publish Your Work
No matter how strong your writing is, you need to publish it with professional formatting to make a good first impression. Impactio is an all-in-one platform used by scholars all over the world to turn their research into impressive professional profiles.
When you use Impactio, you can easily turn your publication and citation data into content with headers and subsections and create charts, tables, and graphs. Once you publish your work, you’ll be able to track its impact through Impactio’s citation indicators and connect with a global network of other experts in your field, too!
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