How to Write a Dissertation Methodology?
A moment of dissertation writing is something that numerous students anticipate and fear even years in advance. Being a decisive milestone that determines whether you finally get a degree or not, this process is both freeing and worrying because while you receive a chance to graduate and start looking for a job, first, you should show everything you’ve achieved during all years of studies. Dissertation methodology is an important section of this type of work. Many students consider it particularly difficult, but if you know what it entails, you might even enjoy working on it.
Methodology: Essence & Structure
What every undergraduate should know about methodology is the fact that it describes and grounds your research-related decisions. This is its essence because every choice you’re making must be supported by its clear academic value. At this point, you’ve already decided if you’re using qualitative methods, quantitative, or even mixed ones, as well as if you’re conducting primary or secondary research.
Dissertation methodology structure demands making it clear why these methods were chosen. Whatever options you’ve picked, you should be able to explain them. Note that just saying you found something most interesting isn’t enough as researched subject must support your motivation. Justify it, show its connections with outlined research questions. Proceed by explaining how data were collected. Did you use interviews with actual participants? Give details about their content. If you’re located in Derry but plan to conduct research in London or somewhere in Liverpool, mention how it’ll be done, physically or online. If you relied on literature review, explain how all sources were picked: what databases were they taken from? What key words did you use when searching for them? How old are they?
Finally, point out if your methods were trustworthy or if there were some limitations. Address ethical concerns — for example, state if participants gave their consent and were warned about all research intricacies. This way, with methodology, you’ll be able to demonstrate the foundation that your research is grounded on, showing yourself as a scholar who makes only carefully thought-out decisions.
Common Types of Dissertation Methodology
As it was mentioned, every dissertation’s nature falls into either qualitative or quantitative category. Mixed is also possible, but in most cases, the former two are chosen. Based on them, some frequent methodology kinds can be derived.
- Qualitative category investigates a certain issue that exists in a context of people affected by it. Usually, it’s selected by students of Social Sciences and similar disciplines, and these are the types that represent it:
1) Phenomenology, which is such kind of methodology that explores an actual lived experience of a person. For this, an event of large scale is needed, such as shooting, bombing, natural disaster, etc. A direct participant is chosen and their experience is studied thoroughly. The intense emotional impact of this type makes it complex and rather rare.
2) Case study is very common and entails exploration of an issue that a group of individuals face — for instance, a disease. What symptoms it has, how the patients cope with it, how it’s treated — these are the aspects likely to be researched.
- Quantitative. This is a more objective and scientific category since it requires a testing of a student’s hypothesis. Variables should be measurable here and the overall approach is stricter, divided into two types.
1) Primary one entails collecting new data yourself by finding participants, distributing consent forms among them, then devising questionnaires and analysing the retrieved answers.
2) Secondary type allows studying data provided by other researchers and making conclusions based on it alone. It’s also known as lit review method.
Writing Methodology Section: Step-by-Step Guide
But even knowing all this, how to write methodology for dissertation? Each uni might provide you with a special template showing the order of actions, but in most cases, there is a standard structure. Here’s what you should do.
- Remind audience of your research questions one by one. Restate them but avoid copying them directly — paraphrase them instead.
- List methods along with research designs you used. See so that you mentioned them all, without missing anything. Make subheadings where needed for enhancing structure clarity.
- Provide rationale justifying choices you’ve made. It concerns all designs, methods, ways of data collection, etc. Be academic and professional here, create actual reasoning, not merely using general, vague phrases.
- Evaluate these methods fairly. Underline their strengths as well as limitations, acknowledge biases and concerns that occurred or could have occurred. The more honest and detailed you are, the better results you’ll get.
Maintain Clarity As You Write Methodology and Achieve Success
Take all these details into consideration during work and it’s likely that your methodology chapter will turn out to be flawless! You can always check dissertation methodology example for an improved understanding of how this part should look like. Keep up academic style and reap the benefits of effective writing!