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Research Methods

4) The organisation of research

Research reports that are submitted to scientific journals tend to contain these 8 sections:

Title – Outlines what you have investigated

Abstract – This is a brief summary of the whole study, giving a short overview of what all the other sections will later cover. Similar to an APFC. This will be written at the end but appears at the front of the research file.

Introduction/aim – This states what the researcher intends to investigate. This could include: reviewing previous research pieces in the same field, explaining why the researcher wants to look into that certain field and the researcher may also state their predications for the results of the research.

Method – This is a description of what the researcher did; how they set up their experiment, participant selection, the testing environment and special considerations. This should be detailed enough that the reader should be able to replicate the study. This includes details such as the experimental design used, the independent and dependant variable, sample method, materials used etc..

Results – This is what the researcher found, should include graphs, tables averages etc. and inferential tests (tests used to see if the test achieved a suitable level of significance)

Discussion – In this section the researcher should consider various explanations for why they found the results they did. They might also discuss the implications of the results and suggest how this research could be continued.

Split into four paragraphs:
F1 – The findings
F2 – How these link to the introduction
F3 – Limitations and modifications
F4 – Future research, and how it links to everyday life

Appendix – This is where everything that doesn’t fit elsewhere in the report will go. For example, raw data, comprehensive list of materials, any briefing and debriefing instructions etc..

References – An alphabetical account of all the sources they used, citing the author, date of publication, name of research etc.


About Sam Cook

A blog set up to help A Level students revise Sociology


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