Is there a standard way to set up a methodology chapter, other than just listing equipment and explaining the execution of method and analysis?

I find this type of set up to look childish and too simple, in a way. Maybe I only need a good example of a preferable layout.

  • 5
    A simple methodology section is a good thing, because it helps other researchers to reproduce your work. This is not the part in the thesis where you show that you're an imaginative writer. Commented Jan 17, 2017 at 14:59
  • Unless you're doing completely novel research, I'd expect most methodologies to be simple and "relatively unoriginal." There are only so many ways to do PCR or chemical synthesis or derivatives, and you should not be reinventing the wheel for a procedure that has likely just been adapted to your project.
    – Compass
    Commented Jan 17, 2017 at 15:35
  • The point of the methodology section is to describe what you did so that if your study was replicated, the same results would be obtained. It also allows others to determine if something in your methods resulted in an unexpected finding, or suggest something that could be changed that might lead to a novel finding. At the very least, it demonstrates you understand and follow the scientific method.
    – Inde
    Commented Jan 17, 2017 at 20:30

1 Answer 1


How you have described the methodology section is in general, precisely what you should do. One source for assistance with writing this section is from the University itself - they will often have a suggested outline.

For example, Monash University has a webpage Discuss your methodology page, have a general outline for a scientific-based thesis methodology, such as:

  • rationale for choosing materials, methods and procedures
  • details of materials, equipment and procedures that will allow others to
    • replicate experiments
    • understand and implement technical solutions

They also have examples for other disciplines, but a strong suggestion is to read and learn from other dissertations from your field - also, ask your advisor if they have examples.

A good methodology should be clear and concise and written in a way that someone else could replicate your experiments and get about the same results (or at least, similar results) and have an understanding of why the equipment and method was chosen.

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