Pinned down your dissertation topic and now stuck with writing your methodology for dissertation? We all have been there during the dissertation writing process. Owing to the complexity of different research methods, dissertation methodology often becomes a challenging chapter to write for the students.
Needless to say, that it is one of the most important chapters of your dissertation, consisting of 15% of your dissertation. Hence, you must be mindful of all the details while writing a dissertation methodology. Since the methodology section comes right after the literature review, there must be an organic flow in it.
Here, we are shedding light on how to write a methodology section for dissertation. Read the instructions below to ace this section. Also, you can hire a dissertation writing service to help you with your work.
Why is a Methodology for Dissertation Important?
Wondering how the methodology section is important? Well, it is important because it provides you with an opportunity to show the audience how you conducted your research. You also tell the readers about the type of research you conduct, the data collection method, the research philosophy and more.
What’s more? The methodology chapter gives increased worth and value to your dissertation. Further, it also provides your reader with increased comprehension of the ways you choose to answer the research questions.
What is Included in the Methodology for Dissertation?
So, coming to the main point, this chapter basically explains your analysis methods and tells the readers about the ways you collected your data. Generally, it should include the following information:
- The type of research you conduct
- The methods of data collection and data analysis
- The detail of helpful tools that you use in the research
- Your reasons for choosing those research methods
Also, do not forget to follow the formatting requirements of your university while writing the methodology for dissertation.
How to Write a Dissertation Methodology?
Pondering over how to write dissertation methodology question? First off, it is noteworthy to know that the contents of your methodology chapter heavily depend on your chosen research field. Always be sure to check the guidelines provided by your university to comply with the requirements of your research methodology chapter.
One more thing: before you start writing, it is always good to write a rough outline. Plan the contents of your methodology and build an innate flow in your work.
Here are the steps you should follow when trying to write the methodology portion to address your research problem.
1) Describe Your Methodological Approach
So, taking the start, you can choose to introduce your research approach to the audience. To help you ease yourself in this regard, we have curated two methods to accomplish this for you.
Step 1: State the Primary Research Problem
In this way, you can tell the readers about what research questions or problems you investigate in your research. These pointers can help you phrase your questions in the right direction:
- Describe the characteristics of the primary element of your dissertation.
- Try to explore something about a less-researched topic.
- Also, try to establish a causal relationship between two factors.
Needless to say that it shall provide your reader with enough clarity on your research topic, and he will be more educated to comprehend the technicalities of your work.
Further, you can also tell the readers about how did you complete your research aim and meet your objectives. For example, you can choose to discuss these facts in this section:
- Whether you use Qualitative data, quantitative data or mixed data?
- Are you using the data collected by someone else, or have you collected the primary data yourself?
- Did you gather the experimental data after manipulating and controlling different variables? Or you just collected the descriptive data based on observations?
Step 2: Explain Why You Selected Your Methodology
Based on your chosen discipline, you can start discussing the assumptions pertinent to your research problem or methodology. In simpler words, you will explain why you chose certain methods for your study.
- What is the perfect way to respond to your research questions?
- Does there exist a standard methodology in your field? If yes, does it require any justification?
- Are there any ethical considerations involved in your research work?
- Is there any criterion for checking the reliability and validity of your work?
Answering such questions will give a further clear context to your research work. Also, it shall make your work easy to understand for the readers.
2) Narrate Your Data Collection Methods
The next thing to do while writing your dissertation methodology is to share your data collection methods with the reader. Now, there are different ways to elaborate your data, and each can be used effectively for data collection. Some of those methods are given here:
1) Quantitative Methods
So, if you want another researcher to reproduce some part of your work, you must describe your quantitative research methods in a great deal. Also, you can tell the readers about the ways you employed to measure your variables. Apart from this, you can bring to light the procedures, materials and tools you use for data collection.
Here, you got to tell the readers how, when, and where your survey was conducted. Also, you shall tell the readers about the procedure of the survey being taken.
- Tell the readers about how did you design the research questionnaire?
- Tell them about the form of your research questions.
- Narrate whether you conducted your survey virtually or in person.
- Tell the readers about the sampling method you chose to select the participants of your survey.
- Briefly explain your response rate and the chosen sample size.
An interesting fact is that you can also add the questionnaire to the appendix of your dissertation. It shall help your audience see how your research questions and answers align.
▪ Previously Existing Data
Here, you will explain when and how did you gather and select the material for your research methodology. By data, we meant the archival data or the compiled datasets that you use in the analysis you perform.
- How did you source the relevant material?
- What is the original source of your data?
- Did you use any specific criterion to use the chosen material?
For example, if you have taken the data from primary or secondary sources, you will mention this part over here.
In this part, you will describe the details of the techniques, procedures, and tools that you used to perform the research. Further, the main factors to highlight in this part of your methodology for dissertation are the following:
- Is there any way you used to design your experiment?
- Did you use any specific way to recruit the participants?
- Describe the ways to measure and manipulate the variables.
- Also, tell the readers about the tools you use in your research work.
Ensure to add all the interesting information in this section. Further, make it interesting for the readers.
2) Qualitative Methods
Qualitative research methods are more subjective and flexible. Due to the same reason, the methodology choices you make are easier to explain in this research method. Also, ensure that you clearly explain the type of approach you are taking to demonstrate your research work.
What’s more? You must discuss the criterion you use to choose your data and explain the background in which your research is conducted. Also, do not forget to shed light on the role that you play in collecting your data.
Some of the best qualitative methods are described below:
Here, in this method, you brief your audience on where and how your observations were made. The following questions shall help you establish your grounds better:
- What community did you observe, and for how long?
- What was the role that you played in the group or community?
- What were your ways of recording your needed data? (For example, did you use audio recordings, note-taking tools, and other helpful gadgets and ways or not?)
- What was the length of your research process, and where was it conducted?
Ensure to record your observations on time and save them accordingly so that there is no chance of losing them. Needless to say that it shall help you a lot in writing your methodology for dissertation!
Another surefire way to use qualitative methods for constructing your methodology is by conducting interviews. Tell the readers about the following things when explaining your approach:
- Tell the readers about when and how you selected the participants for the interview.
- Do mention the length and recording method of your interviews.
- Also, do not forget to mention the form of interviews (i.e., unstructured, semi-structured, or structured).
- Remember to tell the number of participants and their contribution in conducting the interviews.
Make sure that you have the interviews saved in any form. When stating your observations, do tell the audience about all these factors – it shall provide you with enough clarity.
▪ Pre-Existing Data
In this part, you explain to the readers how did you select the case studies for your data analysis. Also, narrate what kind of material you used and what were the ways to select such materials. Generally, the pre-existing data is easier to collect and be used by the one who gathers such data.
3) Mixed Methods
Here, in this method, you will see a combination of either quantitative or qualitative approaches. Particularly, when you think that a single quantitative or qualitative research approach is not sufficient enough to answer your research question, do try to use the mixed methods approach.
Also, keep in your mind that the mixed research method does not mean that you have to collect both types of data. It just simply means that you carefully consider your research approach, and when the need arises, you integrate different approaches to gain your desired results.
Are Mixed Methods Common While Formulating a Methodology for Dissertation?
Generally, mixed methods are less common than the other two. Majorly, it is so because it takes so much time and effort to be designed perfectly. Also, if you choose to apply mixed methods, you will have to justify them, and it becomes complicated for the students.
3) Explain Your Analysis Method
Next, you will have to tell the readers about the ways you used to process and analyse your data. However, make sure that you are not going into too much detail. Also, do not start discussing any kind of results at this stage of your work.
Here is how you will explain your analysis method while writing the methodology for dissertation:
▪ Qualitative Methods
In such a type of research, the analysis you do will be based on observations, images, and language. Mostly, it all involves a form of textual analysis and requires the writer to talk about different kinds of methods here.
Here, you make use of coding techniques and also examine the dataset to identify patterns and themes.
Here, you divide the sentences and phrases into different categories. Then, you discuss the meaning of such phrases and conduct this analysis.
Here, in this type of research, you study different types of communications. After that, you explain their meaning in relation to the social context.
During quantitative research, the main analysis is based on numbers. You can formulate this section per the requirements of your dissertation by acting on the following pointers:
- Discuss the ways by which you prepared the data before the analysis.
- Enlist the software that you used to conduct the analysis for your work (Stata, R, or SPSS)
- Also, tell the readers about the statistical tests that you used. (For example, simple linear regression, t-test and more)
Ensure to keep this section short and interesting for the readers. Do not dive deep into too much detail. However, do not forget to add the details which are necessary to formulate your methodology for dissertation.
Here, you simply combine both research methods, qualitative and quantitative, and integrate them efficiently. Goes without saying that mixed methods have the qualities of both those standalone research approaches.
4) Justify Your Methodological Choices
Finally, when you arrive at this point, your methodology section shall make clear sense to your readers. Now, this is particularly important if you have not made the most basic approach to your research topic. In this part of your work, you can show the readers how your chosen research method has benefitted your side of the research.
Also, do not forget to show your methods and demonstrate that using such methods leads to ultimate success.
3 Invaluable Tips for Writing the Best Methodology for Dissertation:
While writing your methodology for dissertation, keep in mind that it is not only related to the description of your research methods. Again, you must demonstrate that the research was conducted in the best manner and can be replicated or not.
Here are the top 3 best tips on how you can make your dissertation methodology chapter worthwhile for your intended audience:
1. Concentrate on the Research Questions
The very first thing that you need to keep in consideration for your dissertation to be effective is the research objectives. All that you need to do is convince the audience that you have chosen the best possible research strategy for your work. Also, ensure that your methodology answers the research questions and proposed problem statement.
2. Citing the Relevant Sources
The second way to strengthen your methodology is by effectively referencing the previously done research in your field. It can help you in the following ways:
- It shall help you express that you are following an established ground for your research.
- You can also discuss how you choose your methodology after studying the relevant sources.
- Further, you should choose a methodological approach to minimise the existing literature gap.
Citing relevant sources is pretty important because it gives credibility to your work in the eyes of the observer.
3. Keeping the Audience in Consideration
The final tip to adorn your methodology for dissertation is to keep in consideration the audience of your work while writing. Avoid giving too much detail, and skip the parts where you feel like giving too much background information to the readers.
Regardless, this section of your dissertation must be well-structured, clear and organised in a proper way. Also, it should have the capacity to provide enough clarity to the readers about the topic at hand.
In conclusion, you will learn how to write methodology in dissertation after reading this dissertation. All you need to do is to research your topic well enough and follow our tips for writing methodology for dissertation. Justify your approach by answering your research questions. And lastly, do not forget to edit your papers before the final submission.
Want to get personalised help for writing dissertation methodology? You can hire a dissertation writing service, e.g. The Academic Papers UK, to help you get your desired grades.