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Describing Methods
Author: ADMIN (ukstudent at gmail dot com)
Published: Wed, 12-Oct-2005
Rating 8.00
Votes: 7
Read: 4312 times
Article Size: 9.62 KB

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Describing Methods. Article by Academic Phrasebank

In the Methods section of a dissertation or research article, writers give an account of how they carried out their research.The Materials and Methods section should be clear and detailed enough for another experienced person to repeat the research and reproduce the results. Typical features with examples of this language are listed below.

Describing different methods

To date various methods have been developed and introduced to measure X:
In most recent studies, X is measured in four different ways.
Radiographic techniques are the main non-invasive method used to determine ....
Different authors have measured X in a variety of ways.
Previous studies have based their criteria for selection on ......
A variety of methods are used to assess X. Each has its advantages and drawbacks.

Giving reasons why a particular method was adopted

The semi-structured approach was chosen because ......
Smith et al (1994) identify several advantages of the case study, .......
It was decided that the best method to adopt for this investigation was to ......
A case study approach was chosen to allow a ......
The design of the questionnaires was based on ......
The X method is one of the more practical ways of ......

Indicating a specific method

X was prepared according to the procedure used by Patel et al. (1957).
The synthesis of X was done according to the procedure of Smith (1973).
X was synthesised using the same method that was detailed for Y, using ......
This compound was prepared by adapting the procedure used by Zhao et al. (1990).
For this study the X was used to explore the subsurface

Indicating sample size and characteristics

The initial sample consisted of 200 students of whom 13 did not complete all of the interviews
All studies described as using some sort of X procedure were included in the analysis.
All of the participants were aged between 18 and 19 at the beginning of the study.....
Two groups of subjects were interviewed, namely X and Y. The first group, were all interviewed .....
A random sample of patients with ...... was recruited from .......
Forty-seven students studying X were recruited for this study.
The students were divided into two groups based on their performance on ......
The project used a convenience sample of 32 first year modern languages students.

Indicating reasons for sample characteristics

A small sample was chosen because of the expected difficulty of obtaining ......
The subjects were selected on the basis of a degree of homogeneity of their .......
Criteria for selecting the subjects were as follows:

Describing the process: infinitive of purpose

In order to identify the T10 and T11 spinous processes, the subjects were asked to ......
In order to understand how X regulates Y, a series of transfections was performed..

To enable the subjects to see the computer screen clearly, the laptop was configured with ......
To see if the two methods gave the same measurement, the data was plotted and ......
To control for bias, measurements were carried out by another person.
To measure X, a question asking ...... was used.
To determine whether ......, KG-1 cells were incubated for ......
To establish whether ......,
To increase the reliability of measures, each X was tested twice with a 4-min break between the trials.

The vials were capped with ..... to prevent volatisation.
In an attempt to make each interviewee feel as comfortable as possible, the interviewer ......

Describing the process: other phrases expressing purpose

For the purpose of height measurement, subjects were asked to stand .....
For the purpose of analysis, 2 segments were extracted from each ......
For the estimation of protein concentration, 100 L of protein sample was mixed with ......

Describing the process: typical verbs (note use of passive form)

Data management and analysis was performed using SPSS 8.0 (1999).
The experiments were carried out over the course of the growing period from .......
Injection solutions were coded by a colleague to reduce experimenter bias.
Drugs were administered by icv injection under brief CO2 narcosis;
The mean score for the two trials was subjected to multivariate analysis of variance to determine ......
The subjects were asked to pay close attention to the characters whenever ......
Prompts were used as an aid to question two so that ......
The pilot interviews were conducted informally by the trained interviewer ......
Blood samples were obtained with consent, from 256 caucasian male patients ......
Independent tests were carried out on the x and y scores for the four years from ......
This experiment was repeated under conditions in which the poor signal/noise ratio was improved.
Significance levels were set at the 1% level using the student t-test.
A total of 256 samples were taken from 52 boreholes (Figure 11).

Describing the process: sequence words/phrases

Prior to commencing the study, ethical clearance was sought from ......
In the end, the EGO was selected as the measurement tool for the current study.

After "training", the subjects were told that the characters stood for X and that their task was to .......
After collection, the samples were shipped back to X in ......
After conformational analysis of X, it was necessary to ......

Once the Xs were located and marked, a thin clear plastic ruler ......
Once the positions had been decided upon, the Xs were removed from each Y and replaced by .....
Once the exposures were completed, the X was removed from the Y and placed in ......
On completion of X, the process of model specification and parameter estimation was carried out.

Following this, the samples were recovered and stored overnight at ......
These ratings were then made for the ten stimuli to which the subject had been exposed ......
The analysis was checked when initially performed and then checked again at the end of ......
The subjects were then shown a film individually and were asked to ......
The soil was then weighed again, and this weight was recorded as ......
The results were corrected for the background readings and then averaged before being converted to......

Finally, questions were asked as to the role of ......

Describing the process: adverbs of manner

The soil was then placed in a furnace and gradually heated up to .....
The vials were shaken manually to allow the soil to mix well with the water.
The medium was then aseptically transferred to a conical flask.
The resulting solution was gently mixed at room temperature for ten minutes and ......
A sample of the concentrate was then carefully injected into ......
The tubes were accurately reweighed to six decimal places using ......

Describing the process: passive verb + using .... for instruments

15 subjects were recruited using email advertisements requesting healthy students from ......
All the work on the computer was carried out using Quattro Pro for Windows and ......l.
Data were collected using two high spectral resolution spectroradiometers.
The data was recorded on a digital audio recorder and transcribed using a .......
Semi-automated genotyping was carried out using X software and ....
Statistical significance was analysed using analysis of variance and t-tests as appropriate.

Using the X-ray and looking at the actual X, it was possible to identify ......
Using an Anthos Microplate Reader were able to separate single cells into different ......

Describing the process: giving detailed information

Compounds 3 and 5 were dissolved in X at apparent pH 2.5 to give concentrations of 4mM .....
...... and the solutions were degraded at 55C or 37C for a total time of 42 hours.
At intervals of 0.5 min, 50 Lof the X was aliquoted into 0.5mL of cooled boric acid buffer (pH 7.5) to ......

Indicating problems or limitations

In this investigation there are several sources for error. The main error is ......
Another major source of uncertainty is in the method used to calculate X..
It was not possible to investigate the significant relationships of X and Y further because the sample size was too small.
Further data collection is required to determine exactly how X affects Y.


Copyright for this article belongs to Academic Phrasebank

This document was re-printed with the kind permission of John Morley. Original Source of the article is located here: http://www.phrasebank.man.ac.uk/methods.htm



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