Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Introduction and Methods


The Introduction and Methods are key components of your Final Report.


This should always be brief and state clearly the reasons for and the objectives of the present study. This may include reference to conclusions reached in key works on the subject, but detailed discussion of the literature should be confined to the Discussion.
The section on Methods should be sufficiently detailed to allow someone to repeat your entire study, including the statistical analysis, without having to obtain more information from you. You should include brief details of ethics approval here if required.

To assist you in determining the exact formatting requirements of your required submissions you will be asked to select an actual scientific journal that publishes papers relevant to your field.

This journal should be identified at the time of preparing your 'Introduction and Methods' report (this is important - your proposal wasn't formatted for a journal, your Intro and Methods should be).  It may, for example, be the journal you cited most frequently in your Introduction. Your report will follow the Instructions for Authors of that journal, generally available at the journal’s website or in designated print copies of the journal. These are explicit instructions that describe fonts, abstract length, picture formatting, manuscript organisation, reference formats etc. In the end your report should resemble a report you would be submitting to a particular journal for consideration for publication in that journal.

What it should contain

The Introduction and Methods section due in June should contain the relevant background (with references) for your project, a clear statement of the research question and hypothesis and a comprehensive description of the research methods including proposed statistical analysis and questionnaire design (if applicable). Generally speaking it is a journal formatted expansion of the proposal and should would typically be approximately 9 double-spaced 12 point A4 pages. Alow two-thirds of the documents for the o Introduction and one-third for methods.   

It is understood that your research project may not have progressed to the point where your results are sufficiently complete for peer-reviewed publication, and you will not be penalised for that in your Final Report. In an instance where final conclusions cannot be drawn for lack of information you will add additional paragraphs near the end of your Final Report that briefly describes the additional work that needs to be done and the expected outcomes that may occur as a result of that additional work.

Bear in mind that your supervisor may be in a position to offer extensive advice and assistance as they will likely have experience publishing in the field, and knowledge of the requirements of different journals. And, of course, all the examples you need of reports similar to yours will be available in back issues of the journal you have chosen.