Q: How do you write a research paper's methods section if it is quantitative research?

1 Answer to this question

Hello Anita – Welcome to the forum!

So, your question implies that the methods section of a paper describing qualitative research is written differently from that of a paper describing quantitative research. This is not necessarily true. Let’s look at the purpose of the methods section. Usually, it is twofold: one, to enable fellow researchers to repeat the experiment being described should they wish to do so (a detailed description serving as a guarantee of authenticity, as it were); two, to enable reviewers to judge whether the results can be considered valid, and providing the logic is correct, inferences based on those results will be valid as well. (Results from a defective method cannot be relied upon.)

However, the contents of the methods section will usually be different, depending on whether the approach to research is qualitative or quantitative. Quantitative research, for example, may involve a model or models: in that case, the methods will include the description of the model(s) and the assumptions, if any, on which the models were based. Quantitative research may involve actual measurements, in which case the methods section will include the make and model of each instrument used for the measurements, its level of precision, the conditions under which each was used, the method used for calibration, and so on. The methods section will also include details of the sampling method and the number of samples. Similarly, if a questionnaire survey was involved, the questionnaire will form part of the methods section. Qualitative research may not need such rigorous description of methods.

Hope that answers your query. For more information on quantitative and qualitative research and writing the methods section, you may turn to the following resources:

All the best for your paper!