Are you working on a dissertation or a research paper? One of the most important parts is the research methodology. This section provides you the opportunity to convince assessors and readers that the research is useful and will help answer the questions of the study. But crafting a great research methodology is not a simple task. This post takes a closer look at research methodology to help you answer the main question: “What is the best way to write a winning research methodology?”
Research Methodology Definition
A research methodology is the discussion about the methods that are going to be used in a dissertation or research paper. The discussion highlights how the theoretical concepts are connected with the study methods in the broader study’s framework. It goes further to outline their relevance in assessing the problem, purpose, and questions of your paper. What this implies is that methodology in research also encompasses some literature review about similar methods as applied by other authors.
A good thesis methodology is grounded in the approach you will employ; qualitative or quantitative. It justifies why you prefer specific methods as opposed to others. You want your dissertation to be outstanding? Get it right on methodology!
A Step-By-Step Guide To A Great Thesis Methodology
When you set off working on a thesis, it is important to have a clear picture of the entire project. A good PhD or Masters trainer will tell you to think about the dissertation holistically. Here are the mechanics that will make your research methodology sparkle.
- Start by Describing the Dissertation methodology
- Restate the Dissertation Research Problem
You should commence the research methodology by listing the problems you are studying. Make sure to also include the hypothesis or what you want to prove. In the restatement, include the underlying assumptions that you are making in the study. Also, state the variables you are going to test and the controls that you will be using.
- Establish the Overall Thesis Methodology
The approach of your study will be either quantitative or qualitative. However, there are instances when you might combine them.
- If your target is researching and documenting measurable trends, it is advisable to go for a quantitative approach.
- If the study targets to assess people’s views, a qualitative approach will be more suitable.
- If the aim of your study is to mainly look at measurable social trends but will also gather people’s opinions, consider using a combination of both qualitative and qualitative research methods.
- Explain how Data Will be Collected
In this section, you need to tell readers about the data that will be used in the dissertation. Make sure to explain when and where it will be collected. You also need to demonstrate the parameters that you will use to enhance relative objectivity when you finally present results.
If you take a closer look at many research methodology examples, explaining how data was collected helps to partly justify the findings. This means that if the study is replicated elsewhere, the same results would be achieved.
If you will be using uncommon methods for collecting data, you will need to explain them further. This is common especially in social sciences where unique methods are used to generate results.
- Make Sure to Cite the Sources
To make your research methodology standout, you need to correctly cite the sources. For example, if you will be using a quantitative research method, make sure to cite the sources of such explanations.
- Restate the Dissertation Research Problem
- Justify Why You Selected Specific Methods
Here, you need to justify why the methods that you are going to use in the dissertation were selected. If you will be collecting primary data, it is crucial to set eligibility parameters. These are the parameters that let readers understand the different aspects of the study.
- Describe the participants of the study.
- Describe the study area.
- Justify the study sample.
It is also crucial to distinguish your study from the weaknesses of the selected method. This is important because every study method comes with its key pros and cons. Reading other methodology examples can help you to note some of these mistakes previous researchers did and how to avoid them.
Noting the problems in your study is not enough. You need to move a step further and demonstrate how you overcame them. This is a very important part of building confidence in your study.
- Connect the Research Methodology with Study Goals
If you take a closer look at the examples of methodology used in top dissertations, the overall section carefully links with the study goals. Remember that from the beginning, the focus is on achieving the preset goals. Therefore, how do you link the methodology with goals?
- Carefully describe how you analyzed the data. Whether you are using a qualitative or quantitative study, it is important to interpret the results using a theoretical lens.
- Demonstrate how the analysis suits the research objectives. The ultimate aim is to ensure that the results you get will answer the study questions. Therefore, you need to demonstrate that the analysis adopted was the right option for the study objectives.
- Establish whether the results can be transferred or generalized. Generalization is mainly used when doing quantitative research. For example, if the sample was well designed, the results can easily be replicated in a larger population.
Special Tips for Writing a Great Methodology in Research Paper
In addition to the above guide on how to write a methodology section, here are additional tips to help make your methodology outstanding.
- When you start thinking of the dissertation or research paper, make sure to pick a title and study parameters with the methodology at the back of the mind. Always ask: How will this parameter be measured in the methodology?
- Make sure to bring back the study problem to help the reader stay focused on the primary goals of the study.
- Keep the methodology in layers by staying organized. For example, make sure to mention the context of the preferred methods only after restating the problem.
- Make sure to justify the methods you pick. It is very important to attach strong reasons for selecting specific methods.
- Avoid unnecessary explanation of basic procedures. When writing a study methodology, it is important to appreciate that it is not a how-to-guide. Rather, the main goal should be how the methods you selected are applied in your specific study.
- Do not assume that everything will be smooth. Indeed, every expert on how to write research methodology will tell you that problems will always arise in the study. Make sure to indicate such problems and how you tackled them in the dissertation methodology.
- Put more details in the appendices. Because the methodology requires you to be concise, it is not the best place to attach lengthy additional documents. Instead, you should take advantage of the appendices to attach additional details such as questionnaires, consent forms, and maps of the area of study.
When working on a dissertation, the research methodology section is one of the most important sections. It should articulately explain the method used to collect data, analysis, and generate results. This guide has demonstrated how to craft a winning research methodology for your research paper or dissertation. Remember that you can always look at an example of methodology in research paper and seek expert writing help.