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Do not confuse the terms "methods" and "methodology." As Schneider notes, a method refers to the technical steps taken to do research.Descriptions of methods usually include defining them and stating why you have chosen specific techniques to investigate a research problem, followed by an outline of the procedures you used to systematically select, gather, and process the data [remember to always save the interpretation of data for the discussion section of your paper].
The methods section describes actions to be taken to investigate a research problem and the rationale for the application of specific procedures or techniques used to identify, select, process, and analyze information applied to understanding the problem, thereby, allowing the reader to critically evaluate a study’s overall validity and reliability.
The methodology section of a research paper answers two main questions: How was the data collected or generated? The writing should be direct and precise and always written in the past tense.
If the method you choose lies outside of the tradition of your field [i.e., your review of the literature demonstrates that the method is not commonly used], provide a justification for how your choice of methods specifically addresses the research problem in ways that have not been utilized in prior studies.: Once you have written all of the elements of the methods section, subsequent revisions should focus on how to present those elements as clearly and as logically as possibly.
The description of how you prepared to study the research problem, how you gathered the data, and the protocol for analyzing the data should be organized chronologically.
Methodology refers to a discussion of the underlying reasoning why particular methods were used.
This discussion includes describing the theoretical concepts that inform the choice of methods to be applied, placing the choice of methods within the more general nature of academic work, and reviewing its relevance to examining the research problem.
Such a list of sources is useful in and of itself, especially if it is accompanied by an explanation about the selection and use of the sources. Framed in this way, all empirical social sciences research involves theories and methods, whether they are stated explicitly or not.
The description of the project's methodology complements a list of sources in that it sets forth the organization and interpretation of information emanating from those sources.. However, while theories and methods are often related, it is important that, as a researcher, you deliberately separate them in order to avoid your theories playing a disproportionate role in shaping what outcomes your chosen methods produce.
This statement informs the reader that your study was conducted in an ethical and responsible manner.
In some cases, the IRB approval notice is included as an appendix to your paper.