We have compiled a list of the top 10 tips to help you write your dissertation methodology below. Think of this like a check-list for you to utilise throughout writing your methodology.
If you want further guidance on writing a dissertation methodology, our article Writing your dissertation methodology answers the most common questions asked by students and is packed full of helpful advice.
The methodology typically follows your literature review, so for the purposes of clarity and regaining focus it is useful briefly to recap the central research questions of your dissertation. Define and explain the problems which you seek to address.
Give an overview of your approach to primary research in order to guide the reader and contextualise your methodology. By identifying all methodological aspects to which to will attend – rationale, justification, sampling issues, etc. – you can signal unambiguously to the reader that you fully understand the implications of thorough, astute methodology.
The ability to reproduce the results of an experiment is a hallmark of proper scientific method; in the humanities also, reproducibility indicates greater credibility and usefulness. Provide a detailed description of your techniques, such that those wishing to challenge your position could, if they wished, reproduce the same research.
Consider whether your research methodology is typical of comparable research projects within your particular subject area. A review of the relevant literature will doubtless find some comparable endeavours, in which case the adoption of those methodologies may lend authority to your approach.
It is absolutely essential that you provide sound reasons for the methods your have chosen to conduct your research. This aspect is particularly important when adopting a novel or non-standard methodology. Approaches at odds with comparable endeavours require considerable rigorous justification.
No matter what type of research, there are almost always a number of methodological approaches available. In your rationale, critically evaluate alternate approaches in order to defend the methods you have finally chosen. Weigh up the pros and cons of all relevant alternatives, including your own choice.
7. Reliability and validity
Essential considerations in all types of research, issues of reliability and validity must be explicitly discussed. Many matters fall under this area, including accuracy, precision, sources of error and statistical significance.
Questions concerning sampling techniques and sample size can be considered under reliability and validity, but are often important enough to be given special attention. The impact of sample size upon statistical significance of your results is an issue of such importance that you should be mindful of this when designing and writing up your methodology.
Keep your methodology chapter focussed and lucidly written by appending indirectly relevant material to the end of your dissertation writing. Copies of questionnaires and other methodological material should usually be placed in the appendix.
Include a section in your methodology which directly addresses the question of how far data obtained through your approach can be generalised. Bear this issue in mind when designing your methodology too, as results with general significance outside of your direct data set will tend to increase the persuasiveness of your eventual findings.
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Dissertation & Research Methodology Help: Part 1
Dissertation Proposal Writing Assistance
A dissertation consultant can help you with your research methodology in many ways. A dissertation consultant can help you choose an appropriate methodology to use in your dissertation or a consultant and provide help related to writing the dissertation methods section. Wherever you are in the process, a dissertation consultant can provide methods help at all stages of the dissertation.
Choosing a Dissertation Research Methodology with Care
The dissertation methodology you choose is in large part based on your dissertation research question and goals. To increase the possibility that you can publish a paper from your dissertation, choose a dissertation methodology properly. If your dissertation topic is new and there are not many things known or published about your dissertation topic, the dissertation methodology you choose to use might be more exploratory (e.g. qualitative interviews, archival analysis). For your dissertation, you can choose from a broad array of potential methodologies. Dissertation methodologies include surveys, interviews, different kinds of experiments, observations, among others. Before you make a mistake and choose the wrong dissertation methodology, be sure you know how to make a well informed choice about your dissertation methodology. If you are unsure or have any doubts about your dissertation methodology, do not hesitate to get dissertation methods help.
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Writing the Dissertation Methods Section & How to Get Help
Although the methods section of the dissertation can be the easiest part to write, you should get dissertation methods help from a consultant. Although writing the dissertation methods section can be easy to write, clearly writing this section of your dissertation is the key to helping your reader understand the various steps of your dissertation research. In this section of the dissertation, discuss what you did, how you did it, why you did it and who you did it with. Include as much detail as possible in the dissertation methods section.
In the methods section of your dissertation, summarize the methodology used to collect your data. This includes the steps and procedures you followed to get your dissertation data. For example, did you pre-screen dissertation participants, administer the dissertation surveys to small groups or individuals for your dissertation? Did participants sign a dissertation study consent form and were they paid? Tell the reader about these kinds of things as clearly as possible in the dissertation methods section. If you are unsure how much information or detail to include in the dissertation methods chapter, get dissertation methods help from a consultant.
In the dissertation methods chapter it helps to talk about the measures, interview schedules or protocols you may have used in your dissertation. Your dissertation committee and others who will read your dissertation will want to know how to replicate your dissertation study. As such, be sure to include the names and authors of any scales you used in your dissertation. Include information about how you developed your dissertation interview protocol or experimental dissertation procedures. Did you use preexisting protocols for your dissertation? If so, say so.
Next, provide information about your dissertation participants. Tell the reader how many people participated in your dissertation and a bit about their background characteristics (e.g. age, ethnicity, gender etc.). The purpose of this section of your dissertation methods chapter is to give the reader a profile of your dissertation participants. For this section of the dissertation methods section, try not to replicate information you may present later in your dissertation results section or in a dissertation results table.
The road is easier if you have dissertation methods help. Once your dissertation methods section is written, the battle is closer to being over. To help speed up the dissertation process-get help form a dissertation consultant. A dissertation consultant is knowledgeable and can provide you with dissertation methods help and help with other sections of your dissertation conceptualization and writing.
Kimberlly Buck, Ph.D.
Research & Statistical Consultant
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