Materials/Methods AND Results Section 2-3- Pages
Write the materials and methods section AND the results section of your paper. These sections work hand in hand. IN materials and methods, you explain what you used to conduct your study ( materials) and how you conducted your study (methods). In results, you present the data that you collected by conducting your study. Usually, this takes the form of graphs and/or tables.
First lay out the materials you used in your study. Depending on your study, these may include equipment, animals, surveys, humans, etc. Be detailed. If you used rats, what kind of rats? If you used people, what age range? How many were men? Do they need a similar socio-economic status? If so, why? etc etc etc….
Next provide a step-by-step account of your techniques used to collect data. Again, be detailed. If you’re trying to determine whether one group had more likelihood of tumor development than another, how are you testing for tumors? Are you counting numbers of tumors or measuring size of tumors or both? What unit of measurement are you using? Are you including both benign and malignant tumors or only malignant? Don’t leave any gaps in explaining your process.
Materials and methods should be written in past tense because you’re PRETENDING you already conducted the study. Here is the only time the first person is allowed.
Results. You will actually want to decide what you intend to show in your results before you work through your materials and methods. you have to first ask yourself “What am I trying to prove?” before you can work out, “Heres how i’m going to go about proving it.” You will need at least two graphs for your results, which means that you need at least two dependent variables. For each graph, write a detailed description of what the graph shows. Do not interpret the data yet, thats what your conclusion is for. Simply explain in black and white what the graph shows.