The Methods delineates the experimental or mathematical procedures and steps performed in the research study. Preceded by Introduction and Literature Review and followed by Preliminary Findings and Significance and Implications, the Methods is crucial in a confirmation report. The section heading can be either a generic name or a specific name in the form of a noun phrase that describes the experiment or the algorithm. Students who have not developed the methods in full during the preliminary stage of the study may opt to use a generic name as the section heading. The title for the Methods may vary and alternative headings include:
- Experimental Design;
- Materials and Methods;
- Methodology; and
- System Model and Problem Formulation.
The length and organisation of the Methods vary across studies. Even within the same discipline, confirmation reports can be heterogeneous, depending on the design and purpose of the study. In general, this chapter should describe the experiment and/or calculation in a step-by-step manner with adequate details. This is to enable the replication of the experiment and/or the re-performing of calculation steps.
The heading “Methodology” speaks for itself, marking the beginning of the section about methods.
This paragraph, entitled “Chemicals”, describes the materials used in the experiments, constituting the Materials Source and Collection move.
Details about the procurement and specifications of the materials are provided. The purity, concentration, and pH value of the Dimethyl phthalate (DMP) solution are specified. The name of the supplier of the DMP and hydrogen peroxide, the grades of the chemicals and solvents used in the experiments, and the use of the chemicals, and the source of the specially-treated water are clearly stated.
The sub-heading refers to a special type of chemical changes, indicating that the move is related to experimental procedures.
The first sentence states the features and the supplier of the main tool, which is a special type of reactor, in the experimental setup. The second sentence specifies the frequency (in kHz), the output power (in W), and the emitter of the ultrasound.
The sub-heading refers to the second special type of chemical changes, signalling the beginning of another Experimental Procedures move.
The first and second sentences describe the configuration of the major tool, which is an aluminium photoreaction chamber, used in the experiment. The purpose of the ventilation fan attached is explained.
The sub-heading concerns a chemical reaction and the third Experimental Procedures move commences.
The paragraph describes the experimental steps to conduct three types of tests with ultrasound (US) and/or ultraviolet (UV) light. The sequences of steps, which are “simultaneously” and “followed by”, are clearly indicated.
The sub-heading “Analysis” speaks for itself, marking the beginning of the Data Analysis Procedures move.
The first sentence introduces the output from the sonophotolytic reaction, the aliquots, which would be further analysed.
The paragraph develops by explicating the data analysis procedures for examining the aliquots. The procedure involves measuring the DMP concentration with four tools and measuring the absorbance of the titanium peroxide complex so as to determine the concentration of H2O2. The last sentence specifies the room temperature, which is an experimental condition, and concludes by highlighting the minimal error rate.
The heading explicitly indicates that the section concerns methods used in the study.
To help readers better understand the section, the introductory paragraph begins by highlighting a key assumption in the study, followed by a statement outlining the whole section.
Preceded by the introductory paragraph for the section 3.1, the paragraph marks the beginning of the sub-section about the ordering for sentences in a particular type of document, where the Preliminaries move starts. The research goals and the proposed methods are introduced.
The Preliminaries move develops by spelling out the three steps in the method. Three explicit linking phrases are used so as to present the information in an organised manner.
Preceded by the sub-section about the ordering for single-document summarization, the sub-section concerns the ordering for multi-document one with a clear heading.
The paragraph presents prerequisite knowledge and its last sentence serves the transitional purpose, paving way to the Algorithm move as hinted by the phrase “system framework”.
The three steps of deriving the algorithm are elaborated with the help of three sequential linking devices (i.e. First, Second, Third). A mathematical equation is presented, constituting the Algorithm move.
The action verb “show” is often used for describing tables and figures. Other alternatives include “depict” and “illustrate”.
The action verb “illustrate” is often used for describing tables and figures. Other alternatives include “depict” and “show”.
The word “principle” is often used for explaining the rationale behind or the basis of a method. It should be noted that “principal” means the first.
The words “place”, “take”, and “record” are common action verbs used for describing experimental steps. These verbs are in the passive voice when the object instead of the doer is emphasised.
The action verbs “analyse” and “conduct” are often used for describing research plans.
The extract is from an experimental study involving materials. The passive voice prevails as the foci are the objects, which refer to “The inherent shunt junction capacitance of the BJT transistors” and “All ATLs” in the example.
The extract is from an algorithm-based study. The active voice can be used to emphasise the ownership of procedural decisions, which refer to the application of the “Latent Semantic Analysis” approach and “LSA-style dimensionality reduction” in the example.
The words “first”, “second”, and “third”, modifying the noun “step”, indicate the sequence of the experimental steps. Apart from modifying nouns, these words (i.e. “First,”, “Second”, and “Third”) can be used to begin sentences.
The beginning sentence, which introduces the three steps, acts as the topic sentence of the paragraph and contributes to the cohesiveness of the paragraph.
The adverb “initially” is used to describe the first step or process while “then” is often used in the descriptions of subsequent steps or processes.
The main verb in the second sentence is “takes”. The clause headed by the past participle “given” is non-finite.
The adverb “simultaneously” indicates that the steps or processes happen at the same time.
The action verb “shift” is often used for describing a phenomenon or an observation, which helps justify a procedural choice or the adoption of a method.
The phrase “so as to” is used in the middle of a sentence for stating a purpose and is followed by a verb.
The action verbs “place”, “adjust”, and “maintain” are often used for describing experimental steps.
The phrase “in order to” can be used at the beginning or in the middle of a sentence for indicating a purpose and is followed by a verb.
The action verbs “implement” and “retrieve” are often used for describing experimental steps.
The conjunctions “although”, “though”, and “but” are often used for contrasting ideas. It should be noted that only one of these conjunctions can be used in a sentence. For example, either “although” or “but” should be used. It would be ungrammatical if both “although” and “but” appear in the same sentence.
The action verbs “apply” and “obtain” are often used for describing experimental steps.
The phrase “instead of” introduces a different idea and is followed by a noun.
The action verb “extract” is often used for describing experimental steps.
The phrase “according to” can be used to indicate the source of an idea, a method, or an opinion.
The action verb “apply” is often used for describing experimental steps.
The phrase “be based on” indicates the source of ideas or facts which are used for developing a research design or method.
The word “measures”, which refer to the methods “OMCC and WAMCC”, is in the plural noun form instead of the verb form. The nouns measure and measurement are different in the sense that the former refers to a method while the latter concerns the process of measuring.
The action verbs “ensure” and “conduct” are often used for describing experimental steps. The prepositional phrase “before conducting each experiment” specifies the time for the experimental procedure.
The action verbs “verify” and “construct” are often used for describing experimental steps. The non-finite clause “constructed by two power modules” modifies the power source.
The action verb “design” is often used for describing experimental steps. The other to-clause “to surround the burner” explains the way in which the net screen was attached to the burner.
The action verb “adjust” is often used for describing experimental steps. The prepositional phrase “during capillary drawing” specifies the time period in which the act of introducing pressure takes place.
The action verb “form” is often used for describing experimental steps.
The action verb “obtain” is often used for describing experimental steps.
The action verbs “place” and “adjust” are often used for describing experimental steps.
The action verbs “reduce” and “show” are often used for describing experimental steps.