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Introduction

Your methodology dissertation section appears after the literature review. The methodology is all about the methods that have been utilized in your research thesis. However, the methodology being a key part of the dissertation writing is not wholly the same as methods. It describes all approaches at broad philosophical levels. They simply consist of answers to the questions such as what you did and how you did it. A final presentation of methodology should be effective enough to describe quantitative or qualitative methodological approaches, methods of data collection, method of analysis as well as justifying your choices.

What is a methodology dissertation?

The methodology generally acts as a guideline to carry out your research. Let’s get back to what is actual methodology dissertation meaning. First of all, it’s an organic process that should flow naturally but not in a manner like ‘In my opinion’, ‘According to me’ or ‘I figured out’. The approach is perhaps the most laborious and challenging part of research work. Until the point of methodology dissertation writing, you will have defined your research on a whole academic basis. You will have reviewed the decisions of scholars, your observations, discussions with supervisor and philosophical positions.

Following this, your methodology dissertation provides a comprehensive account of how you will style your thesis. It should be a clear relationship between three main areas i.e. existing surveyed scholarship, your research question and the reasons for your conclusions. If you are submitting a dissertation in sections with the methodology dissertation actually submitted before undertaking the research, then you should plan exactly what to do. Continue reading to get an idea about how your methodology dissertation sample looks like.

Contents of Methodology Dissertation Writing Structure

It is helpful to start your section on methodology by setting a theoretical framework in which decide to operate with a focus on key texts of an approach. Every dissertation, regardless of its subject area and topic, must explain choices that were made during the research procedure. You can read various books on philosophy that you have used for research from the university or college library campus. Reading them will help you point out the techniques you should choose. Again, a methodology dissertation should have a clear justification for the academic choices made by you.

Your methodology dissertation should answer the following ten questions in a wise manner.

  • Problem. Key to demonstrating methodology is the recap of your research question. It should fit the purpose of answering problem research questions you postured at the start. So, briefly explain the problems you seek to address.

  • Method description. It is a support system of methodology but not a methodology by itself. This is a part where you clearly give an overview of your research decisions and methods in order to guide a reader. The part should be clear enough that scholar is able to apply it in some way even outside the immediate context of your methodology dissertation.

  • Reproducibility. For instance, you are defining a scientific experiment, then scholar should be able enough to recreate an experiment in a lab. Or, if you are defining a statistical model, the reader should be capable to apply this model to their own data set. Thus, providing a detailed description of techniques can help the user to reproduce the same research.

  • Precedency. It is somewhat similar to like checking plagiarism. Precedency means that no one can authorize your approach. You should compare your research methodology with other research projects in a similar field. So, understand the difference here between reproducibility and precedence.

  • Defining your rationale choices. It is mandatory to provide sound reasons for your chosen methods of research. The aspect of justification is especially important while adopting a non-standard or novel methodology. Yes, no research method is without trade-offs but still, you have to provide justification for each and every decision.

  • Critical evaluation of alternatives. There are limitless methodological dissertation approaches available. You can see their examples and make a critical evaluation of alternatives to defend your own chosen method. This can include mentioning the pros and cons of all such alternatives. The basis of providing this is to make your reader sure that your thesis follows a thoughtful approach.

  • Mention essential considerations. If you have gone through methodology dissertation history, you would probably know about the importance of describing all the essential considerations of research. Many types of concerns matter here including validity, reliability, precision, accuracy, and sources of statistical significance and error.

  • Sampling. Sampling can come under essential considerations but require special attention. You should be mindful that your sample size has an impact on your research’s statistical significance. So, it is a special matter to be considered while writing up methodology.

  • Appendix. Keep your methodology section simply written and motivated by appending indirectly significant material to the end of your dissertation. Copies of questionnaires and other methodological materials should be usually placed in the appendix.

  • Generalization. This is a separate section of your methodology dissertation that explains how far data obtained through your approach can be made generalized. When results from your methodology directly impact the general significance out of your direct data set, then it will increase the pervasiveness of your eventual findings.

How to frame a research methodology dissertation writing?

While your methodology outline looks much the same regardless of your discipline, the details are quite common as described below. Let us take a look at writing format of methodology dissertation.

Explain strategy and design

As per USC-Research Guides 2017, the topmost function of research is to enable the scholar to answer the research questions through evidence. Design and strategy of study consist of identifying data collection methods. It answers questions such as whether you have chosen qualitative methods, quantitative methods or a mix of both. You need to justify these methods as well that will shed light on how you collected data. Justifying methods such as your online surveys, phone surveys, literature research or interviews also focus on your choice of ethnicity, profession, group or age of the participants.

The aim is to test the hypothesis of research by clearly specifying the research questions that it focuses to address. It is preferred to prepare these questions at the very start of research and refer back to them while planning or writing the research methodology. This approach allows a great room for modification in case they are not giving the desired results. Your complexity of research design and strategy will vary depending on the scope of research and the academic subject selected.

Define your methodological approach

The step is almost similar to the first one. But, it is like studying methodology dissertation politics. In this point, you will get an insight into various methodological approaches and their importance. The objective is what kind of data you will require to answer it? You are going to explain your design and strategy based on the following three methods namely quantitative, qualitative or a mix.

  • Quantitative methods. The best example of a quantitative method surveys. These methods are considered ideal for ranking, identifying patterns, categorizing, measuring and making generalizations. Valid research, if structured with a carefully designed study can be simulated by other researchers as well.

  • Qualitative methods The best example of this method is an interview. Researchers consider these methods ideal for contextualizing, capturing, gaining profound insights into specified concepts and describing. This study is less controlled as compared to quantitative methods. It is more of the shared beliefs and social structure of a specific group.

  • Mix. A mix of methods focuses on the in-depth investigation and a combination of numerical measurements.

Explain your philosophical Approach

Here you will discuss your selected philosophy that supports your research. In the world of academe, five commonly employed philosophical types of research are present. These are named as constructivism, interpretivism, pragmatism, positivism, and post-positivism. So, your choice of philosophy will wholly depend upon the subject and complexity of the study. After its choice, the next step is to address W question as to Why, Where, When and What. These questions basically redirect you to justifying your chosen methodological approaches.

Describe ethical considerations (Reliability, Limitations, and Generalizability)

Especially for Humanities research, it is important to describe how your case study will impact other’s life. These considerations hover around reliability, limitations, and generalizability. As a researcher, you should also follow proper ethical conduct and state that your study will not harm anyone in any way. This brief chapter should also include data handling, data protection, and data confidentiality. At the same time, the author has to double check whether the study is unique, harmless and well sustained with accurate data and facts.

  • Reliability. Reliability means authenticity. Is your research study be reliable to other researchers in your field of work? This is mandatory to be established as an authentic researcher.
  • Limitations. Just like reliability, the limitation is also an important factor to be considered. A good dissertation writing always acknowledges the restrictions of their research study. It may decrease the reliability of your results. Yet, on a positive note, it is essential to be mentioned.
  • Generalizability. It is also an important part of ethical consideration that describes how far your research study can be generalized. This will further help the reader to easily apply your research methodology on their respective experiments.

Describe your data collection methods

Keeping in mind the terminology suggested by the scholarly community, you should principally mention the data collection methods. It needs a full detail of the methods you have used to conduct the research. Outline the procedures, materials, criteria, and tools used to gather data. Especially for scientific subjects, various research methods are available. You can discuss appropriate methods of research with your supervisor also.

Quantitative methods

  • Surveys. Define how, where and when the survey was conducted. It is a straightforward way to get information about people’s circumstances. These can be qualitative also although you could not be able to get qualitative responses as like interviews. A survey should report questions like:
  1. Your way of designing the questions and their final form.
  2. Your sources of finding and selecting participants.
  3. Did you conduct surveys by mail, phone, in person or online? In how much duration participants respond?
  4. Also describe response rate and sample size.
  • Experiments. In case you have conducted experiments, then give full details regarding techniques, procedures, and tools used to conduct it. The experimental details require full disclosure so that another researcher can reproduce your results. It should report to the following questions.
  1. Your sources of finding and selecting participants.
  2. Your experiment design details.
  3. Technologies or tools used in the experiment.
  • Existing data. This is much like a documentary analysis of your methodology dissertation. Rather than collecting data through surveys or experiments, this approach focuses on using existed data. It can be from archives or publications.
  1. Again, you should include the source of your material.
  2. Method of an original collection of data.
  3. Criteria used to select the data range.

Qualitative methods

  • Focus groups or interviews. An interview is a guided conversation between a researcher and an informant. The informant is one from whom you wish to learn something new. Most of the times, interviewers follow a semi-structured format. The semi-structured format means a readymade guide for the topics to be covered in conversation is already prepared by the interviewer. Yet, the interviewer is free to follow any path of the conversation. Well, you should describe when, how and where the interviews were conducted.
  1. Your sources of finding and selecting participants.
  2. The number of informants.
  3. Form of the interview (structured, semi-structured or unstructured)
  4. Duration and medium to record the interviews.
  • Observations. Participant observation is another qualitative method to be described in your methodology dissertation. In this approach, people are being under observation and their reactions are recorded to collect data. However, this approach may suffer from its downfalls if people became unhappy by being observed or if they refused to give their consent. This section should include where, how and when you conducted the observation.
  1. Mention community or group you have selected to observe.
  2. How did you gain contact with them?
  3. Duration of observation undertaken.
  4. Medium to record data.
  • Documentary Analysis. Documents are tangible materials in which facts are recorded. It is the main style through which historians collect their data for research subjects. At the same time, documents reveal a great deal of information. Thus, explain how you have picked case study materials such as images or texts.
  1. What type of materials did you examine?
  2. How did you assemble and hand-picked them?

Describe your methods of data analysis

It explains how you have analyzed your collected data. You have to name them such as regression analysis or any software. A typical methodology dissertation example will show you how analysis is based. Avoid going into too much of detail here. In the case of quantitative methods approach, data analysis will be based on numbers. And, in reverse case of qualitative methods, the analysis will be based on images, language, and observations. This course consists of discourse, narrative and content analysis.

What should not a methodology dissertation writing contain?

No part of your methodology dissertation should overlap or be sealed off from others. For instance, the literature review section and the methodology section should be interdependent and not like two different roads. An ideal methodology dissertation would not consist of the following.

Excessive reviews of methodologies you are not using

It is usual that you will refer to precedents and justify the other alternatives of methodologies also. But, this is not a place for excessive reviews of other’s methodologies. The excessive review of methodologies is for literature review sections. So, be short and simple but academic.

Very long lists of procedural equipment used

It is great that you should include all information that a scholar might require to reproduce your experiment. But, it should not look like a shopping list at all. Somebody who wants to reproduce experiment should find your methodology dissertation readable and interesting part of your research work. If it is going to be a very detailed part, then kindly move it to the appendix section.

Raw data

Do not include raw data that is a totally unnecessary part. The methodology section is not a place to describe how your data gathering tools work. Defining the data collection methods is different from explaining their working mechanism. Instead, keep it short and include only the necessary part. Move the indirectly unnecessary part to an appendix, if possible.

Choosing your methodology

It is a natural thing that when you start something, you already have broad ideas about that in mind. Same is the case here. Well, you need to refine these ideas by a conversation with a supervisor or develop them further by related reading. You can admire your previous work done in the respective field or review other scholar’s approach in your field of subject. If you are doing an undergraduate methodology dissertation, chances are that you may have a confusing mind as this is the first time you are engaging with such a broad field of literature. But, if you are doing a postgraduate methodology dissertation, you have already a broad awareness in your respective literature. Now, you have a good idea of schools of thought.

The final presentation of methodology dissertation

According to a seminal book on scholarly writing, “They Say/ I Say”: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein, the art of meta-commentary is discussed. This is the secret that drives your dissertation. As we have already discussed that your dissertation writing needs to be grounded, theoretically hard but readable and can be adaptable in other contexts within your field. Yet, in focusing all of this, it is easy to forget that it is merely a piece of persuasive writing which is required to disclose the validity of your research and conclusions. Here the most neglected component that is the role of rhetoric should be considered. It is a mandatory constituent of all variants of academic writing. Thus, metacommentary is like a way of commenting on your claims and telling another person how and how not to think about them.

Doing metacommentary can reshape your audience’s response to the methodology dissertation. Ideal and judicious use of metacommentary can help you overcome shortcomings in your methodology by simply creating a balance between innovation and scholarly groundedness. Are you in need of all these dissertation writing services? We are here to help you with a team of professional writers.

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Conclusion

Remember that your research was rigorously conducted. So, always keep on track while methodology dissertation writing for your research work. As you are writing for your audience, confirming them that you have followed ethical considerations is an essential task. Research while being rhetoric should be ethical as well. On the other hand, resources should be relevant to be able to show reproducibility. Your overall focus should be on addressing the main problems of research questions for which the reader is directing you. Try to solve their problems along with being an understandable, short and academic writer.

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