Skip main navigation

Hurry, only 9 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 the 7 moves in Methods section

Reading recommentations on the 7 moves.

In this step, we will explore the methodology section of research articles and delve into the various moves that can be found in this section. We will analyze examples from two different fields – education and chemical engineering – to illustrate the commonalities and differences in their methodology sections.

The methodology section is an essential part of any research article as it provides readers with information about the participants, data collection, and analysis methods used in the study. It usually includes subsections such as “Participants,” “Data Collection,” “Materials,” “Preparation,” “Characterization,” and “Analysis.” The purpose of these subsections is to give a clear and detailed description of the research methods employed, the instruments used, and the procedures followed in the study.

In the first move of a methodology section, researchers typically provide an overview of the methods used, including a brief mention of the research question. This is followed by a description of the subjects and participants, materials, and the location where the research took place. The next move involves discussing the procedures employed in data collection, which may vary depending on the field of study. For example, in education, researchers might describe how questionnaires and surveys were administered, while in chemical engineering, the focus might be on the synthesis and preparation of materials. Limitations of the chosen methodology may also be discussed to provide readers with a clearer understanding of the data interpretation.

In terms of language use in methodology sections, the dominant tense is often the past tense, as experiments are usually completed by the time the paper is written. However, authors may switch between past and present tense depending on the context. For instance, when discussing data analysis methods, present tense may be used as it refers to how the data will be presented in the paper. Moreover, the choice between active and passive voice depends on the field and the emphasis placed on the researcher’s role in the study.

In conclusion, understanding the common moves and language features in methodology sections is essential for researchers when writing their own papers. By analyzing examples from their specific field, they can ensure that they include all the necessary information for readers to comprehend and evaluate their research.

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