Have you successfully completed the literature review section of your dissertation? Well, now the methodology section is the next task for you. Research Methodology is the section of a dissertation that provides readers with information, particularly on the approaches used in gathering and analyzing data. It is a preview of what will lead to successful data collection towards reaching the research conclusion. The approach or method chosen depends on the preference of the author and the research topic. The bottom line is that research methodology must be articulate and accurate for the sake of ensuring accurate results in the end. Here are important things you must do when writing your research methodology:
Restate The Thesis or Research Problem
It is important to ensure that your readers are able to follow your research methodology step-by-step. This is why the initial step is to restate the thesis or research problem. It is also necessary to note that restating the thesis gives you the opportunity to address existing assumptions that could have been made in the previous sections of your research. Most importantly, restating the thesis works ideally in unearthing variables captured in the research.
Explain Approaches Adopted In Data Collection
This is the point where you are required to clearly define the research approach used. In a majority of cases, research can be either quantitative or qualitative. It all depends on the most appropriate method of gathering and analyzing data. The quantitative method of data collection resonates with the use of numerals/figures. Examples of quantitative approaches include experiments, surveys, or use of existing data. On the other hand, a qualitative approach seeks to use narration or words in gathering and analyzing data. For example, interviews, focus groups, and observation can be classified under the qualitative approach of gathering data.
Explain Data Analysis Methods Used
It is important to take the reader through the process that was adopted in analyzing information/data. This is the point where you put all approaches across in detail. In an instance whereby your research was quantitative, then you will be required to provide a clear description of the steps that you took to ensure maximum data accuracy. You can also mention the tools that were used, including software that was used in any statistical testing. If the research is qualitative, the reader is expected to spell out the approaches in data analysis, which may include content-based, theme-based, or discourse-based approaches. Either way, there should be a clear understanding on what the researcher did to ensure effective data analysis.
Justification of Methodological Choices
There is a reason why you decided to adopt the methodological approaches you chose, right? It is important to ensure that the reader fully understands why you decided to choose the particular methods. It is also necessary to provide information on why other methods not used are not appropriate for the research, as well as why they did not resonate with the research objectives. Most importantly, you need to show how the chosen approaches contribute to new knowledge and understanding.
In some instances, you might be required to point out the limitations and weaknesses associated with the methods that you chose. However, you need to relay information on why the methods were still necessary for the research despite the weaknesses and limitations. In other words, you should prove that the benefits and strengths of the chosen methods outweigh the weaknesses.