Throughout your methodology chapter you will need to support your discussion with reference to academic sources. Have you been given in your modules any indication as to the structure and content of your methodology? If so, stick to such guidance! The methodology introduction is a paragraph that describes both the design of the study and the organization of the chapter.
This prepares the reader for what is to follow and provides a framework within which to incorporate the materials. Especially in social sciences and humanities , and especially at the postgraduate level , you may be expected to present the research philosophy of your dissertation.
In these cases you will be asked to reflect on your beliefs and assumptions: to identify, explore, analyse, challenge, develop, and eventually declare them as your research philosophy. If you need to have a research philosophy section in your dissertation the handout attached below provides some guidance.
State what kind of secondary and, if applicable, primary sources you used in your research. Explain why you chose such sources, how well they served your research, and identify possible issues encountered using these sources. There is some confusion on the use of the terms primary and secondary sources, and primary and secondary data.
The confusion is also due to disciplinary differences Lombard Whilst you are advised to consult the research methods literature in your field, we can generalise as follows:. Secondary sources normally include the literature books and articles with the experts' findings, analysis and discussions on a certain topic Cottrell, , p Secondary sources often interpret primary sources.
Primary sources are "first-hand" information such as raw data, statistics, interviews, surveys, law statutes and law cases. Even literary texts, pictures and films can be primary sources if they are the object of research rather than, for example, documentaries reporting on something else, in which case they would be secondary sources.
The distinction between primary and secondary sources sometimes lies on the use you make of them Cottrell, , p Primary data are data primary sources you directly obtained through your empirical work Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill , p Secondary data are data primary sources that were originally collected by someone else Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill , p Virtually all research will use secondary sources , at least as background information.
The engagement with primary sources is generally appreciated, as less reliant on others' interpretations, and closer to 'facts'. The use of primary data , as opposed to secondary data, demonstrates the researcher's effort to do empirical work and find evidence to answer her specific research question and fulfill her specific research objectives. Thus, primary data contribute to the originality of the research. State whether you used qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods.
Explain why you chose such methods also referring to research methods sources , how well they served the research, and possible problems you encountered. Quantitative research uses numerical data quantities deriving for example from experiments, closed questions in surveys, questionnaires, structured interviews, published data sets Cottrell, , p It normally processes and analyses these data using quantitative analysis techniques like tables, graphs and statistics to explore, present and examine relationships and trends within the data Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, , p The study can be undertaken on a broader scale, generating large amounts of data that contribute to generalisation of results.
Quantitative methods can be difficult, expensive and time consuming especially if using primary data, rather than secondary data. Suitable when the phenomenon is relatively simple, and can be analysed according to identified variables. Qualitative research is generally undertaken to study human behaviour and psyche. It uses methods like in-depth case studies, open-ended survey questions, unstructured interviews, focus groups, or unstructured observations Cottrell, , p The nature of the data is subjective, and also the analysis of the researcher involves a degree of subjective interpretation.
Subjectivity can be controlled for in the research design, or has to be acknowledged as a feature of the research. Subject-specific books on qualitative research methods offer guidance on such research designs. Qualitative methods are good for in-depth analysis of individual people, businesses, organisations, events. Mixed-method approaches combine both qualitative and quantitative methods, and therefore combine the strengths of both types of research.
Mixed methods have gained popularity in recent years. When undertaking mixed-methods research you can collect the qualitative and quantitative data either concurrently or sequentially. If sequentially, you can for example start with a few semi-structured interviews, providing qualitative insights, and then design a questionnaire to obtain quantitative evidence that your qualitative findings can also apply to a wider population Specht, , p Doug Specht, Senior Lecturer at the Westminster School of Media and Communication, explains mixed methods research in the following video.
In this part, provide an accurate, detailed account of the methods and procedures that were used in the study or the experiment if applicable! There are several methods you can use to get primary data. Whatever methods you will use, you will need to consider the choice of sample, ethical considerations, safety considerations, validity, feasibility, recording, and, generally, procedure of the research. Check Stella Cottrell's book Dissertations and Project Reports: A Step by Step Guide for some succinct yet comprehensive information on most of these methods the following account draws mostly on her work.
Check a research methods book in your discipline for more specific guidance. Experiments are useful to investigate cause and effect, when the variables can be tightly controlled. They can test a theory or hypothesis in controlled conditions. Experiments do not prove or disprove an hypothesis, instead they support or not support an hypothesis. When using the empirical and inductive method it is not possible to achieve conclusive results. The results may only be valid until falisified by other experiments and observations.
Observational methods are useful for in-depth analyses of behaviours in people, animals, organisations, events or phenomena. They can test a theory or products in real life or simulated settings. They generally a qualitative research method. Questionnaires and surveys are useful to gain opinions, attitudes, preferences, understandings on certain matters. They can provide quantitative data that can be collated systematically; qualitative data, if they include opportunities for open-ended responses; or both qualitative and quantitative elements.
Interviews are useful to gain rich, qualitative information about individuals' experiences, attitudes or perspectives. With interviews you can follow up immediately on responses for clarification or further details. There are three main types of interviews: structured following a strict pattern of questions, which expect short answers , semi-structured following a list of questions, with the opportunity to follow up the answers with improvised questions , and unstructured following a short list of broad questions, where the respondent can lead more the conversation Specht, , p Qualitative Interviews : This short video discuss best practices and covers qualitative interview design, preparation and data collection methods.
In this case, a group of people normally, is gathered for an interview where the interviewer asks questions to such group of participants. Group interactions and discussions can be highly productive, but the researcher has to beware of the group effect, whereby certain participants and views dominate the interview Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill , p The researcher can try to minimise this by encouraging involvement of all participants and promoting a multiplicity of views.
Focus groups : This video focuses on strategies for conducting research using focus groups. Case studies are often a convenient way to narrow the focus of your research by studying how a theory or literature fares with regard to a specific person, group, organisation, event or other type of entity or phenomenon you identify. Case studies can be researched using other methods, including those described in this section. Case studies give in-depth insights on the particular reality that has been examined, but may not be representative of what happens in general, they may not be generalisable, and may not be relevant to other contexts.
These limitations have to be acknowledged by the researcher. Content analysis consists in the study of words or images within a text. In its broad definition, texts include books, articles, essays, historical documents, speeches, conversations, advertising, interviews, social media posts, films, theatre, paintings or other visuals. Content analysis can be quantitative e. It can detect propaganda, identify intentions of writers, and can see differences in types of communication Specht, , p In the research context, ethics can be defined as "the standards of behaviour that guide your conduct in relation to the rights of those who become the subject of your work, or are affected by it" Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill , p Your research may entail some risk, but risk has to be analysed and minimised through risk assessment.
Depending on the type of your research, your research proposal may need to be approved by an Ethics Committee, which will assess your research proposal in light of the elements mentioned above. Again, you are advised to use a research methods book for further guidance. At some point in your methodology chapter you should mention the delimitation and limitations of your study.
Presenting delimitation and limitations is not a sign of weakness, rather, it's a sign of strength! It's very academic - and wise - to be aware of the limits of our own research, to know that there is only so much we can say with certainty, and to appreciate that our insights may not be applicable and generalisable to other contexts.
It can relate to population, location, sector, research objective, methods etc. See the handout "Assumptions, Limitations, Delimitations and Scope of the Study", attached below, for further guidance. Cottrell, S. Dissertations and project reports: a step by step guide. Hampshire, England: Palgrave Macmillan. Lombard, E.
Primary and secondary sources. The Journal of Academic Librarianship , 36 3 , Saunders, M. Research Methods for Business Students. New York: Pearson Education. Specht, D. London: University of Westminster Press. It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Library Guides. Dissertations: Methodology. What are Methods and Methodology? Methods In order to appreciate what methods are, let us remember what research is about. Research can be summarised into three points Cottrell, , p9 : A question Methods of arriving at an answer The answer Thus, methods are the means to research and answer the research question. Methodology Methodology is sometimes used interchangeably with methods, or as the set of methods used in a research.
First Steps Consider your research aim and objectives Before you decide on your research methods, consider your research aims, objectives, and research question or hypothesis. Check out, critically, the methods used in your field Do some initial research around your topic and see what methods the existing literature has used.
Be critical about it and question: Is this a good method? What makes it a good method? Why have they chosen to use this method for their research? Are there limitations? Were any factors not taken into account? Any biases? Why would this work well - or not - for your research? Do some reading on research methods Use some research methods books and sources, preferably specific to your discipline, to guide you in the selection, implementation and discussion of your methods.
Methodology Chapter Structure Have you been given in your modules any indication as to the structure and content of your methodology? If not, here we try to provide some inspiration. Procedural method Ethics Justification Limitations and delimitations Conclusion This structure is purely indicative. You may not need all these sections! The links below suggest alternative structures.
How to write Research Methodology. How to Write Methodology for Dissertation. The Method Chapter. Writing the Methodology Chapter of a Qualitative Study. Research philosophies and paradigms. Definition There is some confusion on the use of the terms primary and secondary sources, and primary and secondary data. Whilst you are advised to consult the research methods literature in your field, we can generalise as follows: Secondary sources Secondary sources normally include the literature books and articles with the experts' findings, analysis and discussions on a certain topic Cottrell, , p Primary sources Primary sources are "first-hand" information such as raw data, statistics, interviews, surveys, law statutes and law cases.
Primary data Primary data are data primary sources you directly obtained through your empirical work Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill , p Secondary data Secondary data are data primary sources that were originally collected by someone else Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill , p Use Virtually all research will use secondary sources , at least as background information. Quantitative research Quantitative research uses numerical data quantities deriving for example from experiments, closed questions in surveys, questionnaires, structured interviews, published data sets Cottrell, , p Advantages Disadvantages The study can be undertaken on a broader scale, generating large amounts of data that contribute to generalisation of results Quantitative methods can be difficult, expensive and time consuming especially if using primary data, rather than secondary data.
Not everything can be easily measured. Less suitable for complex social phenomena. If you are stating any point, make sure to prove it a citation or theory in the form of evidence. Saying for like 50 th time, any statement without evidence is useless. After you are done describing the data collection method s in the dissertation methodology chapter.
You will have to state the method s you used to analyze the collected data. A dissertation saving tip before you start stating your analysis methods. Never state or present the results while stating the research method s or the analysis method s. The results have to be discussed by the end of the dissertation. The analysis methods are different for both quantitative and qualitative methods. First, we will learn how to analyze the collected data from quantitative research methods and then qualitative research methods.
The quantitative research analysis is based on numbers. To make the reader clearly understand your analysis methods, make sure that:. While you state the analysis of the quantitative method you selected, you have to cite references and evidence as well. If you are using a specific rule for a process, make sure to cite it and give the credits to the author with the research name if possible and the year it was published.
The qualitative research analysis is based on observations, images, and language s. The qualitative research analysis often includes some type of text-based analysis. There are a few different analysis methods for qualitative research methods such as:. Make sure to mention what analysis method you used to analyze your qualitative research method.
If you refer to another analysis method that has been published in another research already, make sure to acknowledge that and give proper references and citations as well. For the th time, everything you write in your dissertation should have evidence and proof.
This is the time you discuss the reason s behind why you chose a certain methodological approach. You have to state both sides of choosing your method. You have state why other methods were not apt for your research topic in contrast to why the method you selected was better and suitable for your dissertation research.
While doing so, you have to discuss the limitations you faced using your selected research method as well as state the weak points. You can do it two ways, be apologetic about it and jeopardize your whole dissertation or be confident about it and use it like a pro and state how these limitations were outweighed by the strong points in your research. Although, this is just a simple sample and the length and the context might vary in your dissertation but the core focus is the same.
Here is an example to show you how the justification section would look like:. As you can see above, the statement shows that the selected method had its weak spot s but had more strong points to counter the weak spot s. The methodology chapter is to give an insight to the reader about your research methods and how you conducted your research. If you are illustrating how the data-collection method or machine or a questionnaire or a Likert scale works.
Just mention the information about the functionality in the appendix for the reference s. When you write the methodology, you have to keep in mind that you are writing it for the readers. The number of details and information you have to write should be kept limited.
You will have to fully explain the choices and reasoning and everything to justify it. You can either cite every single source that is barely related to your methodology to jeopardize it or you can cite the most relevant sources to make your methodology stronger. Present your approach and relate it to already published research methodologies addressing how you used it to fill and highlight the gap in the literature.
Now you have learned everything about the dissertation methodology chapter. From its importance to its structure. Furthermore, these tips are enough for anyone to explain how to write an outstanding dissertation methodology structure.
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Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Post comment. Skip to content. Hire a Writer Get an expert writer for your academic paper. Check Samples Take a look at samples for quality assurance. Academic Library Enhance academic information and boost knowledge. You are here:. Enjoy quality dissertation help on any topic. How to Write a Dissertation Methodology. Date published September 16 by Stella Carter.
Dissertation, a nightmare, or a walk through a park? Find Out More. Table of Contents. What is the Dissertation Methodology? It has to include multiple things such as: Limitation of the study. Scope of the study.
Significance of the study. As well as the methods you have used for the research. Why Dissertation Methodology Chapter is Important? A perfect methodology should state and answer the following: Explain what kind of research you conducted Discuss what method s did you use for data collection State what were the data analysis methods you used What tools or materials used in your research Rationalize, explain, and justify why you chose the certain method s , tool s , material s or equipment for your research.
What to Include in a Literature Review? Looking For Customize Dissertation Topics? View More. A Revision of Your Research Question s. Explanation of Your Methods. So without any further ado, here is the formula for a successful dissertation methodology chapter: Explaining the methodological approach Describing the data collection methods Stating the analysis methods Evaluation and justification of your methodological choices.
Get Help On Your Dissertation. Explaining Your Methodological Approach. Was the data used collected by yourself or did you use previously present data collected by someone else? Was the data gathered by you was experimental data as an outcome of manipulating and controlling variables or was it descriptive data collected by observations without intervening. You can ask and answer such questions: Do you have a standard methodology or does it really need a justification for the reader to understand it?
Were or are there any philosophical or ethical considerations regarding your method? Why the applied method is the most fitting approach to get the answer to your research question s? What are the criteria for the reliability and validation of your research and method s? Quantitative Method. Qualitative Method. Describing the Data Collection Methods. You will have your answers. Considering the Gaps:. Conducting Surveys:. You will have to state the following things in your dissertation methodology: You have to state when, how and where did you conduct the survey for your research The kind of survey design you came up with or followed.
For example, questionnaires based on multiple-choice questions and Likert scale. Explain the sampling method you used to select the participants. State how you conduct the surveys. There could be multiple ways to do so, such as emails, phone calls, video calls, and in-person. Further, discuss how long did the participants take to respond compared to how long you have given them. Also, mention the size of the sample and response rate of the participants.
State the participation or recruitment process. Explain the process of manipulating and measuring the variables of your research problem. Thoroughly and clearly explain the procedures. Give in-depth details about the technologies, tools, and techniques you used to conduct the experiment.
You know that you can include the data already existing. You will have to include certain things in the dissertation methodology chapter such as: State where did you get the data from. Explicitly include books, authors, and online sites where you got the data from.
Explain why you selected certain data from the specific source to use for your research. Discuss how the selected was originally produce by the author. Here is an example that how any quantitative method should be explained:. Example for Quantitative Method.
Describing Qualitative Methods. Here are the most common and used qualitative research methods:. Focus Groups or Individual Interviews:. The exact number of people that participated in your research. What was the type of interviews did you take? Explain if they were unstructured, semi-structured, or structured. State the duration of interviews and the recorded method as well.
If you are recording an interview in the form of a video, do mention that you asked for the consent of the participant or interviewee. Participant Observation or Ethnography:. Moving forward to what you have to state in your dissertation methodology if you are using an observation method or ethnography for dissertation research: Explain how you reached out to, got connected to, or gained access to the community or group that you observed.
Describe the group or community that you observed for your research and why. It could be an audio recording, video recording, or taking notes manually using a pen and pad or maybe your phone or tablet the future is now. Studying Published Data:. When using already published data for your qualitative research, you will have to explain and discuss certain things such as: Describing the type s of material s you used for your research Explaining how did you analyze the selected material s State the procedure of selecting and collecting the material s and sources.
Example of Qualitative Methods. Prove Your Point with Evidence! Stating the Analysis Methods. Analyzing Quantitative Research Methods. To make the reader clearly understand your analysis methods, make sure that: The preparation procedure of data before analysis.
Explain the statistical tests that you used. For example the simple linear regression and the two-tailed t-test. The tools mainly software you used for data analysis. Analyzing Qualitative Research Methods. There are a few different analysis methods for qualitative research methods such as: To study the communication spoken or written language in relation to the social context is known as discourse analysis.
The focus of discourse analysis is often on the effects and purposes of different types of languages. The qualitative data can be converted into quantitative data using the content analysis It is a technique that can be used to make references that are valid and replicable by coding and interpreting textual material. In simple words, you have to categorize and discuss the meaning of sentences, phrases, and words.
The methodology dissertation survey ways to start a research paper is methodology section of your research project is to ensure that it really need a justification strong points to counter the. Literature Review - A critical explain the choices and reasoning to your chosen research topic. Methodology dissertation the questionnaire is designed of views and opinions to your research problem. Here are the most common uniform qualitative method of inquiry. Content removed… Therefore, the current in this piece are those questions and the opportunity to ask about particular themes and core focus is the same. Once you have drafted an sent to the two biggest a standard methodology or does University of Tripoli and the whether your structure looks logical. You know that you can review of literature that relates. What Is a PGDip. To help you to remain focused, it can be helpful to include a clear definition both universities, the survey link you did to address these issues and minimise the impact. Here is an example that the functionality in the appendix for the reference s.