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When you are working on a dissertation, methodology might be the most difficult part of it. There, you have to support your writing and explain techniques that were used for it. The methodology contributes to understanding of scientific approach and research methods chosen for your study. In order to add scholarly value to your paper, it is necessary to justify practice that has been selected.
For certain research approaches, it is important for students to be aware that saying things like “in my opinion” or “I figured out”, are not allowed when talking about methodology. You have to support it with academic basis solely.
Knowing the methodology principles, you can start writing a methodology for a dissertation. But keep in mind that if you need any dissertation writing service, you can ask for it our professional writers.
Contents of Methodology Structure
While learning how to write a methodology chapter for a dissertation, you should be aware of typical contents of methodology. It is frequently presented as a guideline to approach your research and should clearly state the reason why this way of data collection and analysis methods were chosen.
Every dissertation, regardless of its topic and subject area, must explain the choices that were made during research. The design of research, philosophical approach, techniques of data collection, limitations, ethical considerations and methods to analyze data are common contents of methodology.
Usually, in university libraries, you’ll be able to find a book where you can find information about the most common methods of analysis. Reading them can help you define which philosophy you’ve used for your research or will point you out the appropriate technique you should choose. This will clarify any limitations that your study might present and will explain the ways to overcome this situation.
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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.
How to Write a Methodology for a Dissertation?
Typically, this chapter is structured as follows: design of research, philosophical approach, methods of data collection, limitations, ethical considerations, and methods to analyze the data.
- Design and strategy
The design should lead an author to answer initial questions flawlessly based on arguments and evidence to back up your essay. Design of a future study identifies data collection methods. The researcher has to justify the methods used for this procedure including literature review, interviews and more. It is necessary to consider that collected data has to correlate with the topic studied. A sample of a good design’s characteristics should contain reasons why the chosen approach is the best one in this case; a review of literature should be included to complement the strategy and specify analysis questions.
- Philosophical approach
Here you must prove how a chosen philosophy (interpretivism, positivism, pragmatism, constructivism, post-positivism, etc.) supports your research. This depends on some factors, which include your academic subjective and how complex is the study.
After, you have to describe the context of analysis answering such questions as What, When, Where, Why, and How. For instance, a researcher has to have already selected the method that is used, such as qualitative, quantitative or a mix of both.
- Ethical considerations (Reliability, limitations, and generalizability)
It is important to take into consideration how your research might influence others. For Humanities subjects, it is very important. The influence your case study might have should be taken into account. Author has to double-check the following before submitting his or her paper: study has to be unique, well-supported by accurate data and facts, and the contents exposed in that paper have to contain no harmful information for society.
- Methods of data collection
This aspect is a key secret of how to write a good methodology for dissertation. For this part, you have to explain specifically how data was gathered. But not just in any words, stick to specific terminology supported by the scholarly community.
- Data analysis
In this part, the tools to analyze the data must be described and discussed. You have to name them one by one, for example, an interview or a software. Your selection of software needs to be justified. Here is where you have to explain the paths that took you to your findings and why they are reliable. The ideal results would be that the findings were related to the research questions which the study was based.
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While writing a methodology for dissertation, the conclusion chapter should be written with time. All the previous characteristics will carry you to achieve the best conclusions for your study, so, only trust in authentic and reliable sources and ask for a consultation with your supervisor in case of doubt.
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