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Write Like a ChemistA Guide and Resource$
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Marin S Robinson, Fredricka L Stoller, Molly Constanza-Robinson, and James K Jones

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195367423

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780195367423.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 20 October 2021

Writing the Methods Section

Writing the Methods Section

(p.57) 3 Writing the Methods Section
Write Like a Chemist

Marin S Robinson

Fredricka L Stoller

Molly Constanza-Robinson

James K Jones

Oxford University Press

In this chapter, we focus on writing a Methods section for a journal-quality paper. We begin with the Methods section because this is the section that many chemists write first, in part because this section describes what they know best: the procedures they have repeated (many times) to conduct their work. Moreover, most research groups use similar methodologies for several years; hence, previously written Methods sections can serve as models for writing new Methods sections. Together, these factors make the Methods section one of the easier sections to write and an excellent place to begin our writing instruction. By the end of this chapter, you will be able to do the following: ◾ Know how to address the intended audience of a Methods section ◾ Recognize which details to include and exclude from a Methods section ◾ Organize a Methods section following standard moves ◾ Use capitalization, abbreviations, and parentheses appropriately ◾ Format numbers and units correctly ◾ Use verb tense and voice in conventional manners As you work through the chapter, you will write a Methods section for your own paper. The Writing on Your Own tasks throughout the chapter will guide you step by step as you do the following: 3A Read the literature 3B Describe materials 3C Describe experimental methods 3D Describe numerical methods 3E Practice peer review 3F Fine-tune your Methods section The purpose of the Methods section is to address how a particular work was conducted. Relevant information about instrumentation and experimental and/ or numerical procedures is described. The goal is to describe the information in enough detail that an expert (not a novice) could repeat the work. Usually, this section is formally called, for example, Materials and Methods or Experimental Section, but for brevity, we call it simply the Methods section. Many of you have written a Methods section previously for a college-level chemistry course. Thus, we begin with an exercise to test your current knowledge about writing a Methods section.

Keywords:   Celsius, cis, italicization and capitalization, trans, italicization and capitalization

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