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Part of my undergraduate thesis experiment was recreating another experiment, just with slight tweaks. In my lit review I discussed the original work, but not in methodological detail. I am trying to write the Methodology chapter now (I have not written anything like this before), and I am not sure how in detail about the original paper I need to go.

Should I:

1) At each step, explain what they did and whether I did it the same or different

2) Describe their methods in detail at the beginning of the chapter (or in the Lit Review chapter), and then write my methodology

3) Very briefly describe what they did, then write my methodology after, only mentioning when I did something different

4) something completely different?

I understand that this is a very wide, general, and novice question, but I can't find a straight-forward answer anywhere, and my thesis mentor is not accessible at the moment.

I really appreciate your help! Thank you!

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When you replicate an experiment you would do a combination of 2 and 3.

You briefly describe the methods of the original research in the introduction (those who want to know more can read the original paper), and describe your own methodology in detail in the methods section.

Additionally, in the introduction you describe

  • in which way your own methods deviate from the original,
  • why you deviate, and
  • how you expect this to affect the results (compared to those of the original research).
  • You finish your introduction with your hypotheses.

Basically, the methods section contains only your methods, including a description of your measures. All theory, including dicussing the experiment you replicate, belong in the introduction.

If you use different measures, for example because the ones used in the original weren't available to you, or because advances have made better tools available to you; if you chose a different population to sample from; if you change the study design – an explanation for all this belongs in the theory section. A detailed description of the population, the measures, and the design, belong in the methodology section.

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