How to Write the Methods Section of a Scientific Paper
In every scientific paper, the method section is the most crucial part. This section gives substantial information which allows the credibility of the results to be verified. So, you need to provide a detailed description of how scientific research was conducted and the reason behind an experimental procedure.
The methods section is where the essential details about an experiment are provided. Other scientists trying to replicate the trials of a study usually refer to this section for a clearer understanding of the experiment.
Structure of the Methods Section
Your method section needs to include the following subsections to be perfect.
1) Describe the participants
This part of the method section describes the participants and specimens in your experiment. The description should provide information about who they were and how they were selected.
You should also include necessary information such as gender, age, location, and the population from which your participants were selected. It is highly essential to state the reason your participants participated in your research.
Was there a piece of circulated information about your research? The importance of including this information is to allow other researchers to understand the manner your study was conducted. It explains how useful the result might be to the public. It gives chances for the research to be replicated to see if the same results will be achieved.
2) Describe the materials
You provide adequate information on the materials used, equipment, or measures used during the experiment. If any form of specialized equipment or cognitive assessment is used, then it should be included in this part.
For any standard equipment used, like television, computer, or any other visual apparatus, you can omit the details and only state the name. You also need to provide adequate information on any specialized equipment. You might have created it specifically for your experiment, and you need to give an illustration of the item in your appendix.
3) Describe the design
In this part, you will be talking about the type of design and variables used. Identify the different types of variables that might affect your results. Such variables include dependent variables, control variables, independent variables, or any extraneous variables.
You also need to state whether you used a between-groups or within groups design.
4) Describe the procedure
The final part of your method section should talk about the procedures adopted in your experiment. A vivid description should be given regarding the preparations made before you started the research.
You must explain how you sourced for your participants, what the participants had to do, and how the study was carried out.
The purpose of the methods section of a scientific paper is to provide and share knowledge of the study. The methods section allows for the establishment and transparency of the paper.
So, providing a concise description of how you carried out your experiment and the rationale for a specific experimental process is essential in any scientific paper.