Skip main navigation

Hurry, only 3 days left to get one year of Unlimited learning for £249.99 £174.99. New subscribers only. T&Cs apply

Find out more

Further reading on language use

Reading recommentations on the language use in Methods sections

Welcome back !!! In previous steps, we covered the “general to specific” pattern, flow concept, and the overall structure of research articles using the IMRD framework (Introduction, Method, Results, and Discussion). In this step, we will concentrate on the Method section. Please have your model research article from your field at hand, as we will reference it throughout the course.

The Method section is indispensable in research writing because it provides the evidence and data required to support conclusions and statements. This section is critical for convincing experts in the field that your data is valid and reliable. To achieve this, sufficient details about the materials, participants, apparatus, and experimental procedures must be provided. Typically, the Method section is more descriptive than analytical, allowing writers to begin working on it even before obtaining their data. Remember that in the IMRD structure, the Introduction and Discussion sections are more analytical, while the Method and Results sections are more descriptive.

As you examine your model article’s Method section, pay attention to its language features, such as tense and voice. You might see a mix of present and past tenses, as well as active and passive voices. Additionally, note that the Method section may be titled differently, such as “Methods and Materials,” “Methodology,” or “Experimental Set-ups.” Regardless of the name, the primary focus of this section is the data collection process.

Lastly, the Method section’s placement within a research article can vary. In most cases, it follows the Introduction section. However, in fields that frequently use standardized procedures, the Method section may appear later in the article, as an appendix or supplement. As you progress through this course, keep your model article close and use it to better understand the concepts discussed, ultimately applying them to your own reading and writing.

This article is from the free online

Deconstructing Research Articles: How to Read and Write a Research Paper

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now