How to Write the Methodology Section of a Research Paper

A Research paper is never complete without a methodology section. As a good researcher, you always need to show how the work was done. You must disclose your methodology in detail so that others can repeat it and analyze the reasoning and materials you used.

The purpose of writing a research paper is to either analyze a perspective or argue a point and this cannot be properly done without a methodology section.

You are probably wondering what a methodology section is and how to write one. We are right here to guide you on that and provide an example of methodology section in a research paper.

What is the Methodology of a Research Paper?

The methodology is simply a section where you discuss the steps you took to examine and research a topic. It also contains your reasoning behind the exact methods and approaches used in your research to find, collect, and evaluate data. The information used to assess the validity of a study is found in the methodology section of research paper.

There are two questions to bear in mind when writing the methodology section, and they are: How was the information gathered? And what method was used to analyze them? When you accurately answer these questions, you can provide a good and accurate methodology section.

Methods Section of a Research Paper

The methods section is often descriptive since it provides the essential details of how you reached your results or destination. However, it is technical, so you need to take your time to avoid making mistakes or providing the wrong information. The method section of a research paper may not contain every detail in your experiment, but it must contain the critical steps used.

This makes it easy for others to replicate your experiment and also helps your readers understand it better. Furthermore, the methodology is critical for determining the validity and trustworthiness of your research.

Now, you know you can’t write a research paper without a methods section; so, how do you write the methodology of a research paper?

How to Write a Research Paper Methodology

The methods section may seem like the easiest part, but it is the most technical and trickiest aspect of the research paper. Nevertheless, to achieve its purpose, your methodology must be well-written, descriptive, and explain why you chose the methods and how you used them. It is essential to list out the methods in a research paper. Here’s how to write a methodology of a research paper:

  • Restate the problem

Here you need to restate the problems you intend to investigate in your research paper. It should include a hypothesis, the variables you’ll be testing, and other conditions.

  • Explain the methodology approach you chose

You can either choose to use a qualitative or quantitative approach or mix both. Afterward, you need to explain the reasoning behind choosing any of them for your research. If there’s an uncommon methodology used in your research, it is important to explain it too.

  • Define how your data was generated or collected

Your readers need to know what methods you used in generating your data. In this section, you tell your readers the parameters for gathering data and when and where it was gathered. Here, you also need to let your readers know whether you used quantitative or qualitative data research.

  • Explain how you analyzed the data collected

You should also explain the evaluation and analysis of the data you gathered. If your research was purely quantitative, you need to state the steps you took in data analysis. You need to also provide statistical testing and other important information. If it is a qualitative approach, you will need to explain this in a discourse.

  • List any potential weaknesses and obstacles in your methodology and solutions

Your readers need to know the weaknesses or obstacles you encountered in your research and how you solved them. The methods section of a research paper must contain all the essential details of this. You can learn how this is done by reading an example of a methodology in a research paper:

The current study utilizes an empirical phenomenological method, rooted in the worldview of social constructivism. The study is comprised of assessing qualitative data from interviews with 20 successful and transitional foster youths, ages 18-21. This method allows for analysis of the lived experience of the participants, from their perspective, in order to understand the essence of their experiences at the personal level of detail (Creswell, 2009). This approach allows for data collection of robust descriptions, and examines actual experiences in an attempt to foster understanding and promote change, as is the aim of this study. This qualitative methodology will be chosen because the researcher believes that the issues faced by youth between the ages of 18 and 21, who had previously been placed in the foster care system, are at a greater risk for problems later in life. Understanding their experiences, and what constitutes their resiliency, would be best understood through in-depth questioning and analysis of individual experiences.

  • Cite the sources that contributed to your choice of methodology

Provide the references for your choice of methodology to make your research valid and complete. Discuss the works you used and how they contributed to your research.


The methods section gives you the chance to persuade your readers that your research is worthwhile and will add value to your field of study. Thus, it needs to be descriptive, detailed, and properly structured. The steps above should help you figure out how to write a methods section in your research.

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