The Methods or Methodology section follows the Introduction and Literature Review and precedes the Results section. In this section, if your article engages in primary research, the authors lay out the specifications of and steps taken during their study. Note that whereas “methods” refer to the specific ways in which you collect and analyze your data, “methodology” refers to a system or framework of methods within a field or discipline. For example, observation is a method of data collection, and it is a critical form of data collection for the methodology of ethnography. The Methods or Methodology section of an article provides information such as what types of people participated (sample group), the number of people (subjects) who participated in the study, what those subjects were asked to do, how long the study lasted, and any equipment used. The section also provides key concepts for and steps taken during the collection of data.

Not all fields or articles use the same evidence. Accountancy studies tend to mine data, offer analyses of regulations, or examine previous or current financial crises. Communication sciences and disorders studies regularly conduct case studies, testing of new therapeutic methods, or surveys. Dietetics and nutrition studies often design and collect surveys from people about their nutrition knowledge or intake.

You will become familiar with your discourse community’s particular conventions regarding what counts as evidence. Across all disciplines, however, the methodology section says what the authors did and how they did it; it does not say anything about the results they found.