How to Write the Methods Section of Your Research Paper

How to Write the Methods Section of Your Research Paper
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The methods section of a research paper should describe your study. To understand how to write this section, you need to know the APA formatting requirements for an experiment. This section is intended to prove that the results of your experiment are valid. Therefore, you should write this section when your experiment has already been conducted, using only the past tense.

This section helps other scientists replicate your study. If writing the methods section seems too difficult, you can always buy custom research papers formatted according to the APA requirements on

Below, we are going to consider the key elements of APA and provide some useful tips so that you can write your methods section easily.

The Structure of the Methods Section

The overall structure of this section is simple and logical. First, you have to explain who have participated in the experiment, what you have used to conduct it, and what you’ve done.


In this section describes people who were involved in the experiment. Make sure to specify the following details:

  • Age
  • Education
  • Gender
  • Race

Provide quantitative information on each group. When formatting your methods section according to APA, you should also explain what method you have used to recruit the participants and whether they have been compensated. We also recommend that you use the word “participant” instead of “subject.”


This section must describe the tools that you’ve used during the experiment. List all the technical devices that you used for the analysis and gathering of the data. If you’ve conducted a psychological test and it has an inventor you should also mention that inventors’ name in your methods section.

Your list of tools may include such instruments as retorts, microscopes, flasks, etc. Make sure to name your equipment properly and to count all of your tools. When applying a survey, make sure that it meets the APA requirements. Mention the following details:

  • The number of questions;
  • The participants’ answers;
  • All-sufficient measures of your experiment;
  • The interpretation of high and low results;
  • The reliability of your materials;
  • How you’ve created your own measure.


APA guidelines also require you to explain how you collected the data. Make sure that everyone will be able to repeat your experiment following your notes. APA requires you to provide as many details as you can so make sure to specify ratios, variables, etc. Explain under what conditions you have conducted the experiment and provide the instructions that you gave to the participants.

Tips on Writing

The APA citation style has particular requirements for a methods section:

  • Write in the active voice and avoid too complex sentences.
  • The main title “Method” must be centered, while the subsections (“Participants,” “Materials,” “Procedure“) must be on the left side of a sheet and italicized.
  • You may add more subsections if needed.
  • Use proper APA citations.
  • Use only relevant information that you will include in your conclusion. Check out examples of successful research papers on the internet to understand what good conclusions should look like.

Now you know how to write the methodology section of a research paper according to the APA requirements. We hope that this guide will help you write an outstanding research paper that people will use for their studies in the future.

Check out our other materials about research papers and citation styles to avoid any problems that students often have to deal with. In addition, don’t hesitate to contact anytime you need academic assistance of any kind.

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