How to Write a Methodology

The methodology part of a research paper is where you present the methods and sources used during your research process. Keep in mind that research papers usually follow the scientific method.  This means that the methodology section, is considered the part of scientific process where you go through the process of the experiments you conducted and their results. To write a success methodology for your paper there are some basic steps you should follow. 

Step #1

As with the body of any thesis or report, your methodology section should begin with an explanation of the sources used to answer your thesis question. 

  • This is usually only a paragraph or two introducing the steps you will be taking to address the topic.

Step #2

The following paragraphs should now provide a step by step walk through of your research process. 

  • You do not have to go into so much detail that anyone reading your paper can recreate the exact methods you used, but anyone reading it should be able to clearly understand your work so that any results produced can be considered reliable. 
  • You should also be able to justify why you used certain methods or sources for your research, and how they relate to your topic. 

Step #3

The information you must present differs depending on the type of research paper you are writing.
If you were writing a psychology paper, you would need to present the participants involved in any experiments and then explain the materials, methods, and measurement standards used for the experiment process. 

  • You would then go on to explain the design of the experiment and why that method was chosen. 
  • The rest of your methodology should take the reader through the process of the experiment, making sure to include all the important steps and variables involved. 

If you were researching a book or an author, your methodology would be a little different.

  • In this case the method section of your paper would be going through explanations or summaries of the sources used to support or deny your thesis question.
  • Instead of experiments to study, you would most likely be using sources from academic journals or books written about your article. 
  • The methods used in this type of paper take the approach of analysis through interpretation, meaning that you analyze each source in relevance to you main thesis. 

Step #4

Remember to present your information in a clear and precise manner, always in the past tense point of view. 

Step #5

Your methodology should be aim to keep the readers interested in the topic, but avoid including any unimportant details. 

Step #6

Try to include the negative aspects of your research as well as the positive. 

  • It makes your results more reliable and believable when there are limitations to the methods involved. 

Step #7

It is also important to provide the historical context of the sources used, to better explain its relevance the question or theme of your paper. 

Step #8

The end of your methodology should address the results of your experiments, or provide an explanation of how well your sources addressed theme of your paper. 

  • It should include transitional sentences that will prepare the readers for the conclusion section of your paper.

Step #9

Last, always remember that when presenting evidence or sources in a research paper, you should always try to maintain an objective point of view.  You can express your own hypothesis and opinions in certain parts of your essay, but the overall angle of the paper should without prejudice, so that it is accepted as a reliable, academic document.