For any research or study, particular methods and materials are required so that the acceptable and precise results can be obtained.
Methods’ section can be considered as the heart of any research. Questions as What have you Done, What instruments have been used through your study, etc. will be raised in this section. This part needs to be started in a logical order with regard to the info that how a research was conducted, and how the data was analyzed. It has to be written in a way that in case, another researcher intends to make use of the info, it can be easily retrieved.
This section includes some subcategories:
- nature and type of the study: the research type should be made clear (experimental, non-experimental, survey, correlational, etc.).
- Participants: here the samples participated in the study (either animal, human beings, etc.), age and further information and the way of being participated in the study, are included. The sampling method should also be mentioned. moreover, the including and excluding criteria should be pointed out as the necessary points.
- Materials: in case particular materials used, they have to be meticulously mentioned along with the trademarks, the supplier’s address, and the other necessary info which will help the future researchers in a field similar to yours.
- Data collection procedure: it is through this section that the used instruments, questionnaires, tests, etc. are pointed out. In case they are well-known, no further info is required; but, in case of recent tools and tests, a detailed explanation is needed.
- Research conducting procedure: all the stages of conducting the research are briefly presented. The sampling method, the application of the independent variable(s) on the dependent variable(s), research design, and variables’ definitions are among the categories which are focused through this stage.
- Ethical consideration: obtaining the participants’ consent and confirmation of the design of the research by the ethical committee are required.
- Data analysis procedure: the method used for analyzing the data should be mentioned in this section.
The key points in methods' writing:
- Do not include any results in the parts specified for the study’s participants and design.
- All the control, as well as the moderator variables, are ought to be mentioned.
- In case the nature of the research is experimental, the inclusion of the modification of the independent variable(s) (treatment) and controlling of the extraneous and intervening factors is necessary.
- If possible, the demographic characteristics of the participant such as the number of males/ females, the mean or range of ages, economic-social class, and education and occupational background can be indicated.
- Mentioning the volunteerism or compulsory nature of the participants’ selection is also required.
- All the participants should get informed with regard to all the stages of the research.
To put it in a nutshell, according to Rajasekar et al. (2013), “research methods are the various procedures, schemes and algorithms used in research. All the methods used by a researcher during a research study are termed as research methods. They are essentially planned, scientific and value-neutral. They include theoretical procedures, experimental studies, numerical schemes, statistical approaches, etc. Research methods help us collect samples, data and find a solution to a problem. Particularly, scientific research methods call for explanations based on collected facts, measurements and observations and not on reasoning alone. They accept only those explanations which can be verified by experiments”.