Fast and Slow Materials and Methods Section: Disciplinary Variations between Biotechnology and Environmental Engineering Research Articles

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Issra Pramoolsook


The Materials and Methods is an important element in research articles, especially for those in science disciplines. It has been revealed that this section is composed in different ways in different disciplines. Due to these variations across disciplines, the section is found to vary in speed. While the style of the section in social sciences tends to be slow or extended, that in hard sciences tends to be fast or compact. Even among the science disciplines, the section also shows variations in terms of speed. This study aims to further support this claim by investigating the variations between Materials and Methods sections written by Thai scientists in two science disciplines i.e. Biotechnology and Environmental Engineering. The speed investigation was conducted on the basis of the hypotheses on both the functions and forms of the section. With respect to functions, the result derived from the frequency of evidence of fast and slow characteristics points out that the Biotechnology texts are slower than those of Environmental Engineering, as they contain greater justification, and more details and references to the research subjects. However, the investigation with respect to forms based on a statistical analysis yields a contradictory result that fails to support the previously reached claim. At the end, a comparison between Biotechnology and Environmental Engineering Materials and Methods with those in other science disciplines from a previous study was made, which also renders an inconclusive result. Thus, more studies on a wider set of corpus are encouraged.


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