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Error control is of significant importance for wireless sensor networks (WSNs) because of their severe energy constraints and the low power communication requirements. In this paper, a cross-layer methodology for the analysis of error control schemes in WSNs is presented such that the effects of multi-hop routing and the broadcast nature of the wireless channel are investigated. More specifically, the cross-layer effects of routing, medium access, and physical layers are considered. This analysis enables a comprehensive comparison of forward error correction (FEC) codes, automatic repeat request (ARQ), and hybrid ARQ schemes in WSNs. The validation results show that the developed framework closely follows simulation results.