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Top 10 tips for writing a dissertation methodology

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❶Therefore the research was such that all respondents answered some questions, while some others were answered by a particular individual because of their knowledge of that process. Clearly define your methods.

A Scientific Approach

What is the Methodology?


This aspect of the methodology section is important, not just for detailing how your research was conducted, but also how the methods you used served your purposes, and were more appropriate to your area of study than other methods. You would then want to explain why this combination was more appropriate to your topic than say, a review of a book that included interviews with participants asking open-ended questions: It's important to keep in mind that your dissertation methodology is about description: Be sure you speak to your course advisor about what specific requirements there may be for your particular course.

It is possible that you may need to include more or less information depending on your subject. The type of research you conducted will also determine how much detail you will need to include in the description of your methods.

If you have created a series of primary research sources, such as interviews, surveys, and other first hand accounts taken by either yourself or another person active during the time period you are examining, then you will need to include more detail in specifically breaking down the steps you took to both create your sources and use them in conducting your research. You may also want to do some research into research techniques — it sounds redundant, but it will help you identify what type of research you are doing, and what types will be best to achieve the most cohesive results from your project.

Read more on dissertation research here. Whether or not you have conducted your research using primary sources, you will still want to be sure that you include relevant references to existing studies on your topic.

It is important to show that you have carefully researched what data already exists, and are seeking to build on the knowledge that has already been collected. Use research that has already been conducted to illustrate that you know your subject well.

Because your dissertation methodology is basically an explanation of your research, you may want to consider writing it — or at least drafting it — as you gather your data. Analysing your own methods of research may help you spot any errors in data collection, interpretation or sources. There are several ways that you can structure your methodology, and the following headings are designed to further give you a better idea of what you may want to include, as well as how you might want to present your findings:.

What you used to collect the data surveys, questionnaires, interviews, trials, etc. Consider whether your research methodology is typical of comparable research projects within your particular subject area. A review of the relevant literature will doubtless find some comparable endeavours, in which case the adoption of those methodologies may lend authority to your approach.

It is absolutely essential that you provide sound reasons for the methods your have chosen to conduct your research. This aspect is particularly important when adopting a novel or non-standard methodology. Approaches at odds with comparable endeavours require considerable rigorous justification.

No matter what type of research, there are almost always a number of methodological approaches available. In your rationale, critically evaluate alternate approaches in order to defend the methods you have finally chosen. Weigh up the pros and cons of all relevant alternatives, including your own choice.

Essential considerations in all types of research, issues of reliability and validity must be explicitly discussed. Many matters fall under this area, including accuracy, precision, sources of error and statistical significance.

Questions concerning sampling techniques and sample size can be considered under reliability and validity, but are often important enough to be given special attention. The impact of sample size upon statistical significance of your results is an issue of such importance that you should be mindful of this when designing and writing up your methodology.

Keep your methodology chapter focussed and lucidly written by appending indirectly relevant material to the end of your dissertation writing. Copies of questionnaires and other methodological material should usually be placed in the appendix. Include a section in your methodology which directly addresses the question of how far data obtained through your approach can be generalised. Bear this issue in mind when designing your methodology too, as results with general significance outside of your direct data set will tend to increase the persuasiveness of your eventual findings.

Recent Posts How often should you reference? A great example of a reflective essay How to write a captivating conclusion to your essay How to write a dissertation literature review: How to structure an essay Top 10 essay referencing tips. Top 10 tips for writing a dissertation methodology. Problem The methodology typically follows your literature review, so for the purposes of clarity and regaining focus it is useful briefly to recap the central research questions of your dissertation.

Approach Give an overview of your approach to primary research in order to guide the reader and contextualise your methodology. Reproducibility The ability to reproduce the results of an experiment is a hallmark of proper scientific method; in the humanities also, reproducibility indicates greater credibility and usefulness.

Precedence Consider whether your research methodology is typical of comparable research projects within your particular subject area.


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Because your dissertation methodology is basically an explanation of your research, you may want to consider writing it – or at least drafting it – as you gather your data. If you are on a PhD course, or a longer masters course, then you may be able to finish researching before you begin writing but it doesn’t hurt to start working on it early that way you can keep on top of what you need to do.

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A key part of your dissertation or thesis is the methodology. This is not quite the same as ‘methods’. The methodology describes the broad philosophical underpinning to your chosen research methods, including whether you are using qualitative or quantitative methods, or a mixture of both, and why.

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Dissertation Methodology Examples Below you will find our Dissertation Methodology Examples index. This index contains a number of genuine, methodologies that were written by . We have compiled a list of the top 10 tips to help you write your dissertation methodology below. Think of this like a check-list for you to utilise throughout writing your methodology. If you want further guidance on writing a dissertation methodology, our article Writing your dissertation methodology answers the most common questions asked by students and is packed full of helpful advice.

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Masters Dissertation Methodology – Dos and Don’ts. An important part of any dissertation, the Methodology chapter details the methods of collecting data and a consideration of the chosen concepts and theories behind the methods. The dissertation is the final stage of the Masters degree and provides you with the opportunity to show that you have gained the necessary skills and knowledge in order to organise and conduct a .