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Thesis Writing: What Belongs in the Methods Section?

When completing your thesis writing you may be required to complete what is called the “methods” section of you research paper. This section helps basically tell how you completed your research and materials used to help provide evidence or proof for your thesis. There is certain information that is expected to be displayed in this section with a passive or active voice. You present what you did in past tense while giving information that others can easily follow if they were to complete the process themselves.

Purpose of Methods Section

This section of your thesis is the how-to area that details what you did in order to present your findings. When this section is written well another party should be able to replicate your study. The information you give should be precise in what you did throughout research. The information should have an even flow in connection with ideas and materials used. Be sure all content mentioned in this section is relevant to research completed. What you include makes a difference in how results come out for another person who could attempt to complete your methods. You include materials and actions you did to get your findings.

Information to Include

The amount of information to include may vary depending on what you completed and what was needed. The main idea is to include enough information that will help another person who is able to complete them do so in the best way possible. This section can include various types of information but it may be grouped together based on the subject matter and actual methods completed. One scenario includes mentioning substances, subjects and participates, while another type may detail procedures. You may even consider mentioning any instruments, apparatus and materials used.

Other Helpful Tips for Writing Methods

Some students get confused on how to write their methods section based on what they did to arrive at their findings. There are sample research articles you can review that present a methods section for you to get thorough understanding of how to structure, organize and write your content. Note any citation guidelines as this may affect how your methods section comes together. This section may have a connection to the results section of your thesis. Consider writing a rough draft and revise your content as necessary. Read over your written content to ensure it provides clarity on how you completed your findings.