If you aim to obtain a Master's or PhD degree, you should be ready to write a dissertation. Such type of paper requires conducting one's own in-depth research on the subject. One of the most important components of such an academic work is a dissertation methodology section accurately describing your study.
What Is a Methodology in a Dissertation?
This is the part of a paper that gives readers a detailed explanation about the applied research techniques, kind of collected material, used sources and other things relating to the research process. When scrutinizing your methodology section, readers should fully comprehend all the details to be able to amass data for their own research by using the same methods. When preparing this part, avoid including summaries, questions, and other means which you have referred to when exploring the issue. Here, you need to elaborate why you have selected specific approaches to collecting information for your dissertation.
The data your methodology of dissertation presents should directly reflect the way you have produced your piece of writing. It is required to introduce the topic you are covering and the scientific procedures you have adopted when examining the subject. Note that both analysis and research can be of different kinds. The former can be quantitative and qualitative, and the latter can be primary and secondary. Thus, when creating this part of your work, clearly indicate which of the mentioned types you have used to collect and analyze material.
Characterize the Applied Techniques
It is essential to take this step to not only describe your research in detail but also to demonstrate how the chosen approach has helped you attain the set objectives and why you find it more suitable than the others. For instance, it is necessary to make a quantitative analysis and undertake primary research if you are supposed to ask the interviewees questions requiring the answers "yes" or "no" and transform the analyzed responses into percentages. After examining the matter in the described way, explain why the employed technique is better than secondary research and qualitative analysis.
How to Write a Methodology for Dissertation
Remember that a methodology section is of a descriptive nature. It should provide readers with exact details about your topic so that they can see what you intend to explore, through what means you are going to do it and why you have selected a specific direction. Note that there is no need to indicate all the techniques you are applying and sources you are referring to when examining the issue.
You do know that all academic papers have to meet particular requirements. That is why you need to talk to your supervisor to clarify whether there are any specific demands you need to pay attention to when writing your work. Perhaps you are to provide more or less data about the discussed matter. Actually, the amount of information about the used methods you need to provide depends on the type of research you are going to carry out. For example, in case you have undertaken primary research, e.g. conducted interviews, you will need to make a highly detailed description of the way you have researched your issue. It is advised to divide the process of subject investigation into several stages and outline the main points of each of them. Additionally, it is necessary to state what sources you have used and why. However, if you undertake secondary research for your methodology dissertation piece, i.e. use the sources including data gathered by other academicians, you will not need to provide much information about the adopted research approaches.
Before starting writing your methodology, you may want to find out more about the kinds of research methods that can be employed in exploring different issues. Thus, you will know exactly which ones to adopt to examining your subject in order to achieve the desirable results. If you are well aware of the available scientific techniques, it will be easier for you to distinguish between the primary and secondary sources.
No matter the type of research you have undertaken, you need to be confident that the sources you have used are valid. Readers should know that you have made a thorough analysis of the subject and your study is based on undeniable facts and sound arguments. Keep in mind that the methodology is as important as the very dissertation. Therefore, you should take it seriously. In your methodology, you should also highlight the research findings that have been obtained by other scholars. Thus, you will show readers that you have fully explored the subject.
Since a methodology provides readers with a detailed description of the way you are exploring the topic, it is recommended to make notes or create drafts in the course of collecting information. If you are working for your MA or PhD degree, you may finish carrying out your research before the writing process starts. However, you may begin producing your methodology alongside doing research. It will help you focus on the main idea. Moreover, when evaluating your research techniques, it will be easier for you to identify the mistakes you may have made when gathering material. If you do not properly understand how a methodology should look like, find a useful masters dissertation methodology example.
Structuring a Methodology
You can create a dissertation methodology structure in different ways. Below, you can find a list of the components your methodology should include.
- Study review: Here, you need to name the topic of your paper again.
- Research organization: Provide information about structural elements of your methodology and present the ideas each element is focused on.
- Gathering material: Explain how you have collected information about the subject. State what means you have used, e.g. interviews, surveys, etc. Remember to indicate what approach you have adopted to proving that your opinion about the matter is right.
- Data evaluation: What is the significance of the collected material in terms of your research? Have you obtained precise results? Do not forget to mention the kind of data (qualitative or quantitative) and sources (primary or secondary) you have been dealing with. Say whether there were any complicating factors on the way of achieving research results.
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