Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper: 6. How to Write the Methods Section of a Research Paper. Readers need to data analysis section of research paper how the data was obtained because the method you chose affects the results and, by extension, how you interpreted their significance.
Methodology is crucial for any branch of scholarship because an unreliable method produces unreliable results and, as a consequence, undermines the value of your interpretations of the findings. In most cases, there are a variety of different methods you can choose to investigate a research problem. The methodology section of your paper should clearly articulate the reasons why you chose a particular procedure or technique. The reader wants to know that the data was collected or generated in a way that is consistent with accepted practice in the field of study. For example, if you are using a multiple choice questionnaire, readers need to know that it offered your respondents a reasonable range of answers to choose from. The method must be appropriate to fulfilling the overall aims of the study.
For example, you need to ensure that you have a large enough sample size to be able to generalize and make recommendations based upon the findings. The methodology should discuss the problems that were anticipated and the steps you took to prevent them from occurring. For any problems that do arise, you must describe the ways in which they were minimized or why these problems do not impact in any meaningful way your interpretation of the findings. In the social and behavioral sciences, it is important to always provide sufficient information to allow other researchers to adopt or replicate your methodology.