What’s the Method Section for? The main goal of the method section is to describe the study so that readers can identify what exactly you did.
What’s the Method Section for? A good method section will: Help readers understand the “nuts and bolts” of your study (including its reliability, validity, population, sample, etc.) Help readers understand what procedures you will follow and what materials you will use in your study Help researchers replicate your study in the future
What goes in the Method Section? Participants # of Participants, demographics, where they will come from Design This is an optional section. If you have a complex design it is sometimes helpful to tell the reader what your design is so they can follow your procedures more easily. Materials Description of what you will use in your study to obtain the data from the participants
What goes in the Method Section? Apparatus This is an optional section for if you have equipment in your study Procedure Describe in detail how the study will be carried out
Participant Characteristics The goal is to describe the characteristics of your participants fully Items to include: Demographics (age, sex, race, education, socio- economic status, etc.) Only if these demographics are important to your study. For example, if you are not studying gender then you do not report gender.
Participant Characteristics Numbers of participants in different groups in your study (experimental vs control group) Helps support or explain the generalizability of your results and also helps to compare samples in subsequent replications of the study
Participant Continued… Sampling Method Inducements to participate
Example - Participants Participants will include 900 undergraduates students from a large southwestern university. Participation will be a requirement for their research methods laboratory.
Materials &/or Measures &/or Apparatus Provide definitions of what you will measure Example: stress, class attendance, alcohol consumption You may explain how you defined the variables you chose to study. Methods used to collect data (Example: Questionnaire, online survey, interviews, etc.)
Materials &/or Measures &/or Apparatus Instruments and/or any other materials used relevant to the study. This could include published scales used to assess different variables, a published survey that was used, computer programs, etc. Parts of scales/ measurement items or full examples can be included in appendices and referred to in the Methods Section.
Example - Materials The program that will be used in this experiment is a DOS-based program called PsycLab. This program was written to administer multiple trials of the lexical decision task to the participant and record the data.
Procedure/ Research Design What method will you use? Example: Naturalistic observation, experiment, survey? Provide a detailed summary of the procedures you will use and what the participants will do in the study.
Procedure/ Research Design Procedure should include: Any instructions given to participants How different groups will be formed (if applicable) Any manipulations performed on variables What participants actually will do
Example – Procedure (excerpt…) The participants will be told to read the instructions carefully prior to starting the study. These instructions will tell the participants exactly how the study is to be performed, what types of prompts would appear on the screen, and which computer keys to use. The participants will randomly assigned to condition one or two, which will be different only in the word lists they used. The participants will be presented with a plus sign to focus them in the right place for 1000 ms, followed by a prime for 700ms, and finally a target 50 ms later…
Method: APA Format The first line of the Method Section starts immediately after the last line of the Introduction. Type and center the word “Method,” (without the quotes) and begin the Method section below. Each subdivision begins by typing the name of the subdivision flush left, bold. Start the text of each section on the line below.
Sample Method Page…this is the end of the Introduction. MethodParticipants One hundred undergraduate students at…Materials Two passages with approximately the same…Procedure Participants will be asked to…