I have to write a title for an article.

Which will you choose beetwen these two options:

  • "Methods to do something"
  • "Methods for doing something"


  • I'm not sure why you used "doing something" instead of giving the title of your article. I'm not sure I'd always give the same answer in every context. The phrase do something could refer to sort a large data file, graft skin, build a radio, cook a lasagne, detect a submarine, treat Parkinson's disease, make a visitor feel welcome, or a host of other things. By being vague, you make it harder to give you a precise answer.
    – J.R.
    Commented Oct 28, 2013 at 10:33

2 Answers 2


At least from the predominant usage point, they do not mean the same thing.

There may be any number of methods 'to do' something but usually just one or a few methods 'for doing' something.

"I want to find a method to solve this equation." "This is the method for solving this equation."

Note the difference in article use: a method to; the method for.

  • 1
    If @Kris was right, then the difference between them is that methods to solve X are just ones of the methods that can solve X, while the methods for solving X are all methods that can possibly solve X.
    – Ooker
    Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 9:43

I would go with "methods of doing something". COCA and BNC agree, giving more hits for "methods of doing" than for "methods for doing" and "methods to do" combined.

                      COCA    BNC

methods of doing       21      21
methods for doing      10       1
methods to do           8       0
  • 1
    I think most would use "Ways to do something" in lieu of "Methods to do something"
    – J.R.
    Commented Oct 28, 2013 at 10:29
  • Probably. Hard to tell without knowing the context. Ways is more generic and even informal.
    – RegDwigнt
    Commented Oct 28, 2013 at 10:48

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