6. Methods Section Individual Projects Page 1 of 2
Project Part Six: Writing the Methods Section of your Project Report
Write the Methods Section of your Research Report. Describe your setting, participant(s) (without real names), and procedure(s) as concretely as possible. Use the past tense since the study will have been completed by the time anyone reads about it. Avoid general words in favor of what is unique about your situation. For example, instead of saying “the class was given feedback” say what you did, for example, “I had the class graph their data as soon as the minute timing was up,” or “The students checked their answers with answers on the screen.” Two tests you can use to check your description of your procedures follow: A) Could any other student in the class write the same sentences? If so, you are probably being too general. If you are specific, your sentences will apply to your project and to no others. B) Ask whether or not another person could replicate your study from reading what you wrote. If so, you have clearly written what you did. Points 2 2 3 Evaluation Checklist for the Methods Section Participants are described (without real names) and how they were selected is mentioned. Needed permissions were obtained and are mentioned. If none were required, that fact is stated. The setting where the study was conducted is described so that the reader can visualize it — i.e. general size of the school and room, etc. Place names are introduced so that an out-of-town reader would understand what you are talking about (i.e. “the student union” not its local name). Method of calculation of reliability is described, and the value is given. If none is needed, that is stated. The method of collecting data in the baseline or first phase would permit replication. Difficulties in taking data are described, along with how they were resolved. Treatment: The design you are using is named. What was done and how it was done would permit replication including details such as the timing of various procedures, and the time of day data were collected. Procedures are concretely described rather than in general terms. If particular materials were used, such as a sign, include details such as overall size, size of lettering, etc.
6. Methods Section Individual Projects Page 2 of 2
Evaluation Checklist for the Methods Section Overall Organization and Clarity: Subsections of the Method Section (i.e. Participants, Procedures), have all the information that belongs in that subsection together rather than scattered among sections. Descriptions are clear and procedures could be replicated by a reader. Any Tables or Charts are labeled correctly.