Scientific research papers are designed to ensure that researchers clearly and concisely communicate their findings with the possibilities of replicating their study. Their sections are often dictated by either journal and/or specific style guides that govern their overall structure. For instance, the APA style assumes a comprehensive framework for presenting your work with the least distraction possible to your readers.
These guidelines include the desired structure for every section of your research paper including the methods sections. Other doctrines, schools of thought, and/or disciplines refer to it as Materials and Methods or the Methodology section. No matter the case, its purpose is to communicate your research design in detail to enable your readers to judge your research’s validity, accuracy, and reproducibility.
In its basic structure, the methods section is meant to allow researchers to discuss the cause-effect relationship between different variables of interest in their study. In simple terms, it provides the avenue of showing your roadmap for achieving your objectives. This section commonly asks you to describe the samples, equipment, and procedures that will be used for your experiments.
In case you will be using any living samples be it an animal species or human being, you are required to include a specific statement that should concur with the standard research ethics and protocols. There are internationally stipulated frameworks that ensure these samples are treated as humane as possible throughout the research. If this isn’t the case, you might get into real trouble. But what is the point of being cruel to another living creature in the name of research?
Given that most research endeavors aim at building on previously done works, you will be required to do lots of literature reviews. To increase your efficiency and work through this bit with much ease, you might need to have a set of keywords that would help narrow down your search to be within your focus.
Since this enhances the validity of your work, you might also want to use the correct databases and filter search the process. For advanced searches, you can narrow it down to a specific period by a year to ensure a timely approach. The reason that we emphasize on using the advanced filter function is that it maintains your search within your focus and avoids derailing off and using unverified sources such as social media content and non-authoritative blog articles as part of your references.
There are several databases that you can quickly use and get your results at the speed of your finger clicks. These might include renowned search engines for scholarly work such as MEDLINE and PubMed for the medical field, Google Scholar for all fields and doctrines, and PsycINFO for psychological works of literature.
In conclusion, this section is often meant to be very precise. This means that you shouldn’t fall into the temptation of filling it with unnecessary information. Ensure to concisely explain how you aim at achieving your objectives and that’s it. Good Luck!