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The Methodology Section

The purpose of this section is to describe your research design and the method of data collection. You should tell the reader how you are doing your research and why you adopted these particular methods.
The methodology section should include: 1) A general description of your participants who, where, and when did the study take place - change names of cities and participants to protect privacy Example: The study took place in a suburban area near a large southeastern city Try to describe things that you think are important about the study. 2) A description of the research design (quantitative or qualitative) procedures used and why you used them. You should discuss whether your study addresses descriptive, relational, or causal questions and you should identify it as being longitudinal or cross-sectional (see back hand-out). 3) A description of the instruments used and their reliability/validity (if possible). The instruments include things like tests, surveys, and interviews (including a list of interview questions). Copies of the instruments themselves must be included as appendices. These are needed to obtain approval from the Institutional Review Board. 4) A concept map that outlines your methodology and/or the data collection process is often very helpful to include for the reader. 5) A brief description of how the results will be organized and presented. The methodology section is often one of the shortest sections of a research paper. Try to be thorough but succinct. In this case, it may be completed two or three pages of writing.