Writing a Dissertation Methodology: Structure and Formatting

A thesis is an extensive writing project. It requires comprehensive research and broader reading than standard essays or studies. A dissertation is a formal text and requires obedience to some laws when writing it. The dissertation allows you to explore a subject of your concern from beginning to end. It also helps you in improving your writing and researching skills. You should know that many potential employers highly regard these skills. Dissertation Methodology writing also improves problem-solving and time-management skills.

There are two types of dissertations. One includes an aspect of primary research that allows you to collect your data. While the other includes secondary research that depends on other researchers’ data. This type of work will usually take the form of an extensive analysis of the literature.

The methodology of a dissertation should look like this:

  • A recap of the research questions considering the methods you are going to use
  • A description of the methods you will be using to test the hypothesis
  • A statement of evaluation of the choice of a particular method

What is the Methodology?

The section on methodology appears in the dissertation immediately after the literature review. You must describe your research questions before stating your methodology. You need to know how the researchers you discussed in the literature review came to their conclusions. A literature review is a chapter that introduces the frequently used methods.

Writing the methodology section is not an easy task. You have to justify the methods you have chosen for your dissertation. The methodology tells how you are going to collect data. What models are you going to use to process it? Or what philosophical positions influence your research the most? Besides this, the dissertation methodology also explains why you have chosen a particular method.

How would you write your methodology?

Your approach needs to create a clear connection between your research problem, the current literature, and the methods. Therefore, no matter in which subject area you work, the following should be included in your methodology section:

  1. A recap of your research questions

The secret to explaining your method is to show that it is a perfect fit to address the research problem or the questions. When presenting your methodology, you should recapture the main questions. It does not have to be a word restatement. You should rephrase the research problem to combine your literature review and methodology.

  1. A Brief Description

This step involves the definition of the concept or process. It is the essence of the methodology, but it is not a technique in itself. It is the part of your methodology where you describe your data collection. It also includes a description of the analysis process. It should be straightforward and comprehensive. The reader should be able to read and interpret the methods chosen.

  1. Background

It includes context and reasoning for your choice of a particular method. Your methodology doesn’t only explain your method, but it explains why you chose it. It also explains why you believe the chosen method would yield the desired outcome. You can draw this background from your study of literature. Thus, you need to present your choices as knowledgeable and grounded in light of your previous knowledge.

You should also make sure that you apply the reasoning for your approach to your research problem. Your reader should know that you have chosen all the methods with care. It means that you are using tailored methods to solve the dissertation problem.

  1. An Overview

You should provide an overview of your method of choice and its limitations. No research method is perfect, and the one you have selected is likely to have some limitations. You may have conducted small-scale interviews, for example. Always remember that the individual viewpoints of a group of interviewees are more important than a broader collection of data.


Dissertation methodology is the core chapter of a dissertation. It tells the reader about the research methods you have used in your dissertation. Also, it includes an explanation of why you have chosen a particular method.

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