Methods

Your methods section describes the steps you took when you conducted your research.

In an ideal world, other researchers would be able to replicate your work based on the details in this section. That’s a nice idea, but pretty impractical, given typical character limits for published articles.

So what does a methods section actually accomplish? It proves your credibility. In other words, it shows that you conducted the research carefully and you knew what you were doing.

This is another area where details really matter. If you are sloppy in the description of your research methods, readers will wonder if you made similar mistakes when you conducted the actual research. Be sure to carefully organize your information so it’s easy for your reader to follow along with the steps you took.