References and Appendices
The Method Section
The Aim and Structure of this SectionThe aim of the method section is simple enough; it is to give an outline of the way in which the experiment was run. It needs to be both clear and comprehensive. The one maxim that everyone cites is "the method section should provide enough information so that someone can replicate the your experiment exactly". The method therefore should outline exactly what happened in the experiment and to whom.
One way to improve clarity that has developed is to split the method section in to different subdivisions: Design, Participants, Materials/Stimuli and Procedure. This is not always done, for example you can find journal articles that collapse the design and procedure section together. However when you are first writing reports, it is important that you use these subdivisions. The next few pages outline the detail needed in each subsection.
Reading ReportsAnother issue about the method section is that it allows the reader to judge how "well formed" an experiment is. Do the design, participants, etc allow the hypothesis to be fully tested. This is perhaps not so important when you are writing reports in Level 1 and Level 2 (where the experiments are generally designed for you). But it is important when you are reading other's reports of their experiments, i.e. journal articles.