Thesis Writing Help: Methods Section Hints
Writing thesis help: the methods section is very important
The methods section of your thesis paper provides the justification and explanation for your approach to your research. In many ways, it answers questions specifically for other scientists and researchers who may want to replicate the process and conduct their own version of the project. It expands on the information provided in the abstract – and gives the reader information as to why you did what you did.
Typical sub-sections include:
Depending on your specific department’s requirements, you may need to submit additional information or change which sections you use. Follow the requirements set by your department and move forward from there.
Your methods section needs to explain a few key elements:
- How you collected your data: Using enough detail so that other researchers and students can repeat the process, you must explain the process you took to collect your data. There is no need to include definitions or in-depth explanations – assume researchers that may replicate your study have the understanding you do. Simply focus on the process.
- How you analyzed your data: Include details on how you analyzed the data that you relied on. If you deviated from the normal procedures used for analyzing a certain data set, explain why.
- Why you collected that data: There are many different types of data that can be used to conduct research studies. Explain why you used the data that you did.
- Why you felt your plan was the best option: Explain why, out of all of the data collection and research options available, you felt this was the best option. Include what you thought it might yield that other forms of research might not.
As you explain your reasoning for your research, also consider addressing common pitfalls. Methods sections that do not provide sufficient justification for an approach fall flat. You must indicate, strongly, why your methods were the best option. Include limitations that certain data sets impose and how you worked to overcome those challenges. The reader needs to understand why you chose your particular methods – and why you chose not to include certain statistical data. Limitations must be clearly explained so that you don’t leave the impression that there is a gap in your research.
The methods section is an important part of your overall thesis – plan ahead using the questions that you know will come up in the reader’s analysis of you work so that you can adequately address them.