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RES 6600: Research in Education: Methods Section

Developing a Methods section for Research in Education

Using Library Resources for Research: Methods Section

Start by familiarizing yourself with the "Method" sections found in other pieces of research similar to your topic of choice.  Two Library Databases are worth reviewing, both found on the Library Homepage.
1. The "Find Articles" box directs you to EBSCOhost databases*
2. The "Find Dissertations" box directs you to ProQuest databases
  • You will then want to search using your "TOPIC" AND "THE TYPE OF RESEARCH METHOD"  you are proposing i.e. Qualitative, Quantitative, Mixed Methods, Action Research. e.g. Teacher Burnout AND Qualitative

*Scroll to the bottom of this guide for a demonstration on using the features of EBSCOhost or reach out to the library for help.

Video Tutorial Demonstrating How to Find Method Section examples  

Alternate Link if above one doesn't work

or Scroll below to see Video

Method Section Writing: "What, How, Which, & Why"

APA Professional Sample Papers

APA Sample Professional Paper and Microsoft Word templates by research paper type

Dr. Craig Mertler Books & Action Research Interview

Databases & Navigation

CUC Research Databases

In the Collegial Cloud, doctoral students, candidates will find all the information and resources needed to complete their dissertation requirements. 


How to access CUC databases and find articles
  1. Go to the library's website
  2. Click Find Articles; use your Concordia Connect login to access (the website has been updated!)
  3. Select your databases, depending on your topic
  4. Put in your key terms 
  5. Select the "Scholarly (peer reviewed) Journals" and "Full Text" boxes, then click the big, green search box on top

Tip: Experiment with your keywords and don't type out a sentence (it's not Google)

Remember: You can request articles that are not full text!

Locating Peer Reviewed Content in EBSCO

What is peer-review?

The peer-review process subjects an author's scholarly work, research, or ideas to the scrutiny of others who are experts in the same field (peers) and is considered necessary to ensure academic scientific quality. Articles, journals, reports, books, and other content can be considered peer review. Prior to publication, a material is submitted and must be reviewed by at least one expert in the field. The reviewer evaluates the research presented in the material. The scholarly work that passes the peer-review process is then published; the scholarly work that does not pass the peer review process will not be published as peer-reviewed.

How do you I know if a journal is peer-reviewed ?

1. If you have a paper version of the journal you can look on the inside front cover to see if there is information regarding peer-review.

2. Many times an editorial board will be listed on the inside front cover

3. If you are using a database and only have an electronic version of an article-you can still verify if the journal is peer-reviewed. 

  • Do a search for the journal and go to the homepage. Go to the about us section (or something similar) and you should find information about whether or not the journal is peer-reviewed.
  • You can also view this tutorial where a Concordia librarian shows you how to narrow down your database search for only peer-reviewed content.

4. Many of the CUC resources held in EBSCO are peer-reviewed and accessible to all CUC members.

Databases are not Google!

Keywords only!

Boolean searching is built on a method of symbolic logic developed by George Boole, a 19th century English mathematician. Boolean searches allow you to combine words and phrases using the words AND, OR, NOT (known as Boolean operators) to limit, broaden, or define your search.

For example, if you type in “Hampton Road Peace Conference”, you receive few results. But if you type in "Hampton Roads" AND "conference" This allows your search results to only those documents containing the two keywords, instead of a whole phrase.

Look at the video below:

In EBSCO, a word in a search bar can be truncated (shortened) by using the asterisk (shift + 8 = *)

giving you far more search results!

For example:

If you open EBSCO and look only for articles using the word "Mexican", you will receive 151,859 results.


If you open EBSCO and look for only articles using the word "Mexic*", you will receive 504,353 results.


Look at the video below:

Requesting articles from the library is free!

Navigate CUC databases at anytime! If there are articles you would like but are not available in EBSCO, click on "Request this Item". Fill out the form and the library team will send the request to you via email as soon as possible. Please allow 4 days of processing time.

If you cannot locate the article record in EBSCO and still want to request the article, fill out the Interlibrary Loan Request form.

Look at the video below:

Requesting an Article in EBSCO

EBSCO & ProQuest provide citations too!

Did you know that you can locate the citation needed for the reference page in EBSCO and ProQuest?

Click here for more APA assistance.

View the videos below to find where:

Citation Location in EBSCO
Citation Location in ProQuest (Find Dissertations button)

Library Materials

Check List for Methods Section

1. Read your assignment rubric: 

  • Understand what you are being asked to provide to fulfill your assignment and respond to each section that will make up your grade.
  • Include your research question & hypothesis on a separate page

2. Research Design Type:

  • Describe the overall research design
  • Justify why this design was chosen and how it aligns with the research objectives

3. Sampling Plan & Sample Description (Participants):

  • Provide details about the participants or subjects involved in the study
  • Mention relevant demographic information and discuss any inclusion/exclusion criteria used

4. Data Collection Tools/Instruments:

  • Include materials or instruments used (e.g. surveys, questionnaires, equipment)

5. Procedures:

  • Detail the steps to collect data or conduct research
  • Provide chronological description of the research process

6. Reliability and validity: 

  • Explain the reliability and validity of measurement instruments used
  • Describe the procedures employed to ensure consistency and stability in measurements
  • Describe how the research design and methodology support the validity of the study

6. Ethical Considerations

  • Discuss any ethical issues related to the research and how they were addressed
  • Include information about informed consent, confidentiality, and participant anonymity
  • Provide details about institutional review board (IRB) if appropriate

7. APA Format:

  • The APA citation style requires including the participants, materials, and procedures as an obligatory part. Remember to state demographic characteristics when working on the participants’ aspect. The main heading of the methods section should be written in bold and capitalized. Centering must be used. As for the methodology in research paper subheadings, they should be aligned to the left and done in bold.

Reference Librarian

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Ann Berens
@ Klinck Memorial Library Reference Desk

Recorded Video Instruction