Style - write a research methods section

Malc Prentice




3.1 Research Framework

Example (OK for both formal speech and writing)

"This is a piece of qualitative research, aiming to explore what recommendations students make to other students, using a semi-controlled interview")

3.2 Participants and Context

Example (OK for both speech and writing)

"Researchers each interviewed one classmate, for a total of X GCP students, of whom X were male and X were female. Participants were all first year students, aged X to X with an average age of X. X were Law majors, X were Economics majors, and there were also X Education and X Literature majors. Participants were selected using a convenience sample, with each member of the research group selecting one friend.")

Include any ethical problems:

3.3 Methods: Materials (for Survey research only)

What tool did you choose for data collection?

Why? (e.g. why questionnaire not interview. Why iPhone not Android?)

Did you pilot it? (try it out before) What changes did you make?

Long materials (e.g. a 6 page questionnaire) goes in an appendix.

Example for survey research (OK for both speech and writing)

"A semi-structured interview was chosen as the data collection tool. When writing the questions, first X was. The main questions were as follows.Planned follow-up questions to prompt if interviewees included The questions were piloted, and some changes were made...The questions for the semi-structured interview process were finally decided as follows")

3.4 Procedure

USeful language

"First, an appointment was made...

"At the beginning of the interview,"

"Next, "+ ethics, purpose, etc.


"After that."

"After the interview"


Example for survey research (OK for both speech and writing)

First an appointment was made for each interview pair to meet in a quiet place before the interview. At the beginning of the interview some small talk was done for a short time to relax them. Next they were informed about the length of the interview, the purpose of research, how anonymous they would be, how they would receive the data, and who would see the data. Then they were asked for permission to start and recording bigan using two recorders. Then, the interview schedule above was followed. After the interview was over, they were told ‘‘OK, before we finish is there anything else? Thanks. Do you have any questions? OK, I will send you a copy of the transcript by . Thank you."."

3.5 Analysis

Example for survey research

A"Cut and Sort" qualitative analysis was performed. The first step was that make sure each line had the speaker and line number, and then the transcript was printed. The students read it once and highlighted the important sections. Next, a code was written next to each highlight, and the transcript were cut into strips. If one strip had more than one code, it was copied. After that, the strips were shuffled. Then the researchers started making piles and asked "Is this the same or different" for each pile. Then, they kept adding new strips and splitting or combining the piles until it made sense. If it was necessary, each pile was split into sub-piles. Finally, the piles and sub-piles were named, and these were the themes.

Results - if any themes are longer than one paragraph, use sectional pattern