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Methods vs. Techniques: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Published on January 10, 2024
Methods refer to systematic ways of doing things, often involving a series of steps or a plan. Techniques are specific ways or skills used to accomplish tasks within a method.

Key Differences

Methods are overarching strategies or processes employed to achieve an objective. They are often theoretical and provide a framework for understanding a concept or solving a problem. Techniques, on the other hand, are practical applications within these methods, focused more on the execution aspect.
In most fields, methods serve as the foundation or approach to a problem, encompassing a broader scope. They provide structure and direction. Techniques are the specific, skilled ways or maneuvers used within these methods to effectively execute tasks or solve specific parts of the problem.
The relationship between methods and techniques is hierarchical. A method can encompass several techniques. Methods are about the ‘what’ and ‘why’ in a process, while techniques deal with the ‘how’.
When learning a new skill, the method might involve understanding principles and theories, whereas techniques would be the actual practices or specific actions taken to apply those principles.
In research, for example, a method could be a qualitative approach, and within this method, various techniques like interviews, case studies, or participant observation are used to gather data.

Comparison Chart


Systematic procedures or strategies used in research, learning, or other activities.
Specific ways or skills used to carry out a particular task within a method.


Broader and more theoretical.
Narrower and more practical.


On the overall plan or approach.
On the execution or application.


In planning and strategizing.
In actual implementation or practice.


The scientific method in research.
Laboratory techniques like titration in chemistry.

Methods and Techniques Definitions


Structured approaches to achieve goals.
The scientific method is used to conduct experiments.


Specific skills or procedures within a method.
His painting technique enhances the artwork's realism.


Systematic procedures in research or problem-solving.
His method for solving math problems is very effective.


Practical applications in various fields.
Surgical techniques have advanced significantly in recent years.


Organized plans of action in various fields.
Teaching methods vary greatly between educators.


Specialized ways of performing tasks.
She uses a unique technique to solve complex equations.


Established ways of performing tasks.
The company's method of data analysis is highly regarded.


Executable steps within broader methods.
Meditation techniques can vary from mindfulness to focused attention.


Theoretical frameworks guiding practice.
Her method of learning languages quickly involves immersive experiences.


Artistic or skilled maneuvers in tasks.
The chef's technique in preparing sushi is admired by many.


A means or manner of procedure, especially a regular and systematic way of accomplishing something
A simple method for making a pie crust.
Mediation as a method of solving disputes. See Usage Note at methodology.


The basic method for making or doing something, such as an artistic work or scientific procedure
Learned the techniques involved in painting murals.


Orderly arrangement of parts or steps to accomplish an end
Random efforts that lack method.


Skill or command in a particular activity
A pianist with superb technique.


The procedures and techniques characteristic of a particular discipline or field of knowledge
This field course gives an overview of archaeological method.


Plural of technique


Method A technique of acting in which the actor recalls emotions and reactions from past experience and uses them in identifying with and individualizing the character being portrayed.


Plural of method


Are techniques dependent on methods?

Techniques are usually applied within the framework of methods.

What is a method?

A structured, systematic approach or strategy for achieving an objective.

How do methods and techniques differ in research?

Methods are overall strategies, while techniques are the specific procedures within those strategies.

Can a method include multiple techniques?

Yes, methods often encompass various techniques.

What is a technique?

A specific way or skill used to perform a part of a method.

Can the same technique be used in different methods?

Yes, some techniques can be versatile across different methods.

Are techniques always practical in nature?

Mostly, as they involve the actual execution or application of a method.

Can a technique become a method?

Over time, a technique may evolve into a method if it develops a broader application and framework.

How important are methods in strategic planning?

Methods are crucial as they provide the overall direction and structure in planning.

Do techniques require specialized skills?

Often, as they involve executing specific parts of a method.

Are methods static or dynamic?

Methods can evolve and adapt, so they are dynamic.

Is a method more theoretical than a technique?

Generally, methods are more theoretical, providing the framework, whereas techniques are more practical.

Is learning techniques sufficient without understanding the method?

Understanding both is important for effective application.

Do techniques evolve over time?

Yes, as new skills and knowledge are developed.

How do methods and techniques contribute to problem-solving?

Methods guide the problem-solving process, while techniques are the tools used within this process.

Can methods and techniques be interchanged?

Not usually, as they serve different purposes in a process.

Can someone invent a new method or technique?

Absolutely, innovation often leads to new methods and techniques.

Are methods specific to disciplines?

Some methods are, but others can be interdisciplinary.

How do techniques enhance the effectiveness of a method?

By providing the specific actions needed to implement the method.

How do methods and techniques relate to efficiency?

Proper methods and techniques can greatly enhance the efficiency of a process.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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