Recommendations On Research Paper Methodology For College Students

When you begin post-secondary school, it is very important that you have a strong writing foundation. You will compose papers in all classes, not just English or writing class. It will be expected that you know what MLA and APA are and how to use them in a composition.

The word Methodology means how you are proving your point (your methods) and what you might be using to prove your thesis or hypothesis in your project (such as interviews, case studies, or research). In a dissertation there is often a separate section for this explanation. In a shorter piece, your in-text citations and your works cited or bibliography page will prove what you did and who your sources were. Use our recommendations on research paper methodology for your college piece.

Five Important Recommendations:

  • Credible Counts-make sure that if you use a person as a source, that he or she is credible. A five year old who enjoys playing with wooden blocks would not be a credible source for a composition on construction. Make sure the person is credible.

  • Current-the source needs to be fairly current, especially if the subject is fluid. A paper on ISIS citing sources from five years ago, when they first became active, would be great background detail but not a very good source for their current activities.

  • Experts-one of the strongest sources to go to would be experts in the field. For example, if you were writing about careers in nursing, talk to a professor in the nursing field or talk to a Human Relations employee at a hospital.

  • It is all in the Approach-your methods are important, but even important when you are using case studies or surveys. Make sure to be very specific about your demographics, facts of the people, you used. If you used people from ages 18-65 in a survey, you should mention that as well as other details about your participants.

  • Do what the Professor Wants-make sure that you know exactly what the professor wants in the piece. He or she may want a certain amount of primary and/or secondary sources. He or she may require a case study or a survey. If the instructions do not say what the professor wants, then ask what he or she wants. Then make sure to include what they ask for or even in excess of the requirements to cover your bases.

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