The Definition of Dissertation Methodology
First of all, let’s find out what a dissertation methodology is. It forms a skeleton of an entire research paper, providing readers with an understandable outline of used methods while performing research. The reader will study the methodology that you have chosen for your research and check its reliability and validity at once. Mind, it goes strictly after the literature review. Hence it must be tightly connected with this review.
How to Select Dissertation Methodology?
A choice of methodology will depend on the question of your entire dissertation as well as the subject that you are studying and the qualification you are going to obtain. In most cases, students apply qualitative and quantitative research methods, but some papers require using both types.
These methods do not deal with charts or graphics, so you can use them if you do not need any numbers and statistics. Instead, they will be useful for collecting information and thesis development. You may choose qualitative methods for conducting interviews, groups, or observations.
“The researcher aimed to discover the attitude of customers in terms of enhancing the product range that is offered by Company A. For this, 20 constant customers were asked to participate in an interview that was held in the office. A constant customer was defined as a person who bought the products from company A every week. Each interview lasted for 20 minutes and was recorded via note-taking because customers refused from being filmed.”
Researchers use these methods when they aim to collect numerical information. If you are willing to categorize, measure, or count data, then choose quantitative methods. You may consider these methods for conducting surveys, tests, or experiments.
“A survey form was made of 7 questions to be rated and 13 multiple-choice questions. The objective was to ask 250 customers of Company A between 4th and 7th February 2020. The customers who bought products from company A in 2010, took part in the research. They had only 10 minutes to answer all questions. Not all 200 customers completed a survey in full, so only 150 results could be used in the data analysis.”
What to Include in Dissertation Methodology
Before starting the dissertation methodology preparation, you need to find out what data to include. Here are key elements that you should be aware of:
Here, you are expected to restate the research topic and share your plan on investigating it. Add necessary details if there are philosophical or ethical considerations. For instance, you may ask for the agreement of individuals who participate in your survey/interview.
Outline of the selected methods
You need to state the types of research methods that you have chosen in this part. As you already know, they may be quantitative, qualitative, or a combination. That’s why you should perform deep research of textbooks and other information resources to check what type of methods is commonly used for a selected area of your research. In case you do not have any idea what to start with, consider visiting a university or college library to ask librarians for a piece of advice. They will surely recommend relevant texts.
Explanation of applied research methods
Be ready to explain why you have chosen exactly these methods. Add an overview of the reasons proving that these methods are more appropriate than others. Back to the research and think about when and where it occurred. For instance, you may mention the dates, interview groups, etc., and say whether these people were participants of a definite demographic group.
What to Exclude from Dissertation Methodology
It is crucial not only to know what elements are necessary for dissertation methodology but also to be aware of things that are not recommended to include. Find them out and do your best to miss them while writing a research paper if you want it to be successful:
A detailed review of methodologies. Whether you are discussing the methodologies of previous works and sources that your project is based on, this is not the best place to come up with an extensive review of methodologies. It must be a part of the literature review section, so follow a strict structure of dissertation methodology.
Raw data. You should not include detailed raw data even if it is demonstrating some crucial things. You’d better add it to the appendix and do not confuse the readers.
A long list of equipment. Dissertation methodology must equip the target audience with the ability to reproduce your research. Still, it must remain readable and encouraging, especially for those individuals who are not eager to reproduce the entire experiment. So if a methodology section looks like a common shopping list, you need to remove very detailed contents and present it in the form of an appendix.
Tips on Writing Perfect Dissertation Methodology
The dissertation methodology aims not just to show what methods you have applied while conducting the research. The readers want to know why you select exactly these methods and how you used them. You need to do your best to prove that the entire research was done well. Mind your writing style and tone that must be clear so that the readers understand everything correctly. Look at these helpful tips for writing brilliant dissertation methodology:
- Observe other methodology sections
Ask your teacher for a few examples of the past dissertation. Looking through their methodologies will help you catch the main idea and understand how your paper’s final version must look.
- Plan a future structure
Despite the type of research methods you have selected for your paper, you need to craft a clear and well-structured dissertation methodology. Such an approach will provide a strong argument for selecting exactly these methods. Here a few options for the headings:
- Research methods
- Reasons for methods used
- Information analysis and references
It is recommended to reach your supervisor when your outline is completed. In this case, he/she will help you understand whether your structure looks logical and includes all important elements.
- Mind your target audience
Try always to think about your target audience, people who are going to read your paper. For instance, if you plan to use common methods for a definite area, you do not need to go into details. In case you have selected a not very traditional approach, then you should clarify things and come up with additional details to explain why you have chosen exactly these research methods.
- Keep the focus on aims and research questions
It is important to say clearly why chosen methods perfectly suit your research aims. During the process of crafting a project, you need to go back to the initial aims and link them. It will help you preserve the focus on primary objectives and add an understandable question that you plan to answer in the section of dissertation methodology.
- Mention all difficulties and obstacles
In case you have faced some difficulties or challenges while conducting research, it is high time to mention all of them. Add the information on how you addressed these issues and the way you acted to minimize their possible impact.
- Cite relevant sources
You can strengthen your methodology by citing well-known resources and works in a chosen field. So you need:
- Discuss how you estimated various methodologies and came up with your own research
- Confirm adhering to existing practices that are involved in this kind of research
- Demonstrate that you applied the original approach to deal with the available gap in the literature
Summing – up
Dissertation methodology is recognized to be one of the most time-consuming and challenging parts of an entire research project, no matter what discipline it is focused on. The main secret of the successful methodology section is its clear structure. Mind that you need to ensure that the target audience completely understands why you have selected exactly these methods. In other words, a dissertation methodology must present a clear explanation of why you have applied particular research methods and not any others. Be careful, and do not include any personal opinions, interests, or thoughts. All information must be factual and have academic references. In the long run, you need to check everything once again and make sure that you have followed all the recommendations mentioned above.