Writing Tips #25

METHODS

 

  • —  How did you answer the question you asked in this paper? There should be enough information here to allow another scientist to repeat your experiment. Look at other papers that have been published in your field to get some idea of what is included in this section.
  • —  If you had a complicated protocol, it may helpful to include a diagram, table or flowchart to explain the methods you used.
  • —  Explain the related algorithm or technique used.
  • —  Do not put results in this section. You may, however, include preliminary results that were used to design the main experiment that you are reporting on. (“In a preliminary study, I observed the owls for one week, and found that 73 % of their locomotor activity occurred during the night, and so I conducted all subsequent experiments between 11 pm and 6 am.”)
  • —  Mention relevant ethical considerations. If you used human subjects, did they consent to participate. If you used animals, what measures did you take to minimize pain?

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