Unit 3 | Module 2

Writing a Methods Section

In this part of the curriculum you will explore how you might best write your methods section and articulate your hypotheses.

How to write a methods

Here's a paper that takes you through a great explanation of how most health sciences papers methods section is constructed. Much of this can be generalized over to health professions education

Kallet RH. How to write the methods section of a research paper. Respiratory care. 2004 Oct 1;49(10):1229-32.

Lost in Translation

This is a MERIT rounds previously recorded in 2018 featuring Dr. Tanya Horsley speaking about reporting guidelines in Health Professions Education research.

Explore the Equator Network

The equator network (https://www.equator-network.org/) is a great resource when you a first starting to write up your methods section. It is a repository of reporting guidelines for nearly every type of research or scholarship.

These reporting guidelines can be very useful for new writers as they can help to prompt you as to the parts of a methods section that need to be reported.

Dr. Tanya Horsley PhD, MBA (@thorsley_handle) is the Associate Director, Research, at the Royal College. She is also the Principal Scientist with over 100 peer-reviewed abstracts and publications. She proudly serves as a faculty member within the School of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Ottawa, where she teaches approaches to evidence syntheses including systematic and scoping review methods. Tanya leads a program of research looking at the formalization of integrated knowledge translation for the co-creation, use and influence of research and complex systems of care with an interest on patient & caregiver engagement. She is frequently sought after for her expertise in evidence synthesis approaches and reporting guideline development.

Suggested Readings:

  1. Horsley T, Regehr G. When are two interventions the same? Implications for reporting guidelines in education. Medical education. 2018 Feb;52(2):141-3. Get it Mac | See on Medical Education

  2. Horsley T, Galipeau J, Petkovic J, Zeiter J, Hamstra SJ, Cook DA. Reporting quality and risk of bias in randomised trials in health professions education. Medical Education. 2017 Jan;51(1):61-71. Get it Mac | See on Medical Education

  3. Horsley T. Tips for improving the writing and reporting quality of systematic, scoping, and narrative reviews. Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions. 2019 Jan 1;39(1):54-7. Get it Mac | Read at JCHEP

  4. Cook DA, Beckman TJ, Bordage G. Quality of reporting of experimental studies in medical education: a systematic review. Medical education. 2007 Aug;41(8):737-45. Get it Mac | Read on Medical Education