Dissertation methodology is not everyone’s cup of tea. It is considered a time-consuming and challenging process, so it needs to be handled and written with care and determination.
The methodology is the framework of a research project and gives a vivid outline of the methods used during the research. It becomes easy for a reader to assess the thesis in terms of reliability and validity by reading the methodology.
Dissertation methodology or thesis is an integral part of the postgraduate dissertation. It includes numerous sections that are described below –
- Abstract – This section is the first in the line and includes a summary of your research topic. Make sure the summary is to the point and has all the relevant points to make it an effective dissertation methodology in research
- Introduction – This section is considered very important as it introduces your topic and provides background information about it. The introduction puts all the information into context. This is the section where the writer confirms the focal point of the study, give reasons why it will add value to the context, and specify the key objectives
- Literature Review – This is the section where the researcher writes a review of the literature that is concerning the topic of the research. He also identifies and writes about the gaps that the study will be trying to fulfill.
- Methodology – This section of the research puts the onus on the methods used within the research
- Results – As the name suggests, this section deals with the main findings of the report and how this relates to the research question
- Conclusion – This is the last section that reflects on the research process, answers the key research questions, and recommend future research
Tips for Writing your Dissertation Methodology
Important tips for writing your dissertation methodology are as follows
1. Look at other methodologies
It is essential to look at a few examples of different methodologies and gather as much information about the method as you can if you are looking for important tips while writing your methodology.
Going through the previous dissertations by students will give you a fair idea of the steps that should be taken, the information that should be collected, the research that needs to be conducted, the approach, the steps, and most importantly, how the finished product should look like.
2. Plan the dissertation methodology structure
The structure is one of the most important parts while writing a dissertation. Plan the structure with well-written sections if you are looking for important tips while writing your methodology. They should give a justified argument in your favor and explain why the research methods were chosen. Include headings like
- Aims – This is where you write your research topic and provide an overview of how you will research or investigate it. Give details of philosophical consideration
- Research Methods –Give an outline of the method you have chosen and clarify whether it is a qualitative or quantitative method.
- Explanation of research methods that were chosen – This is the heading under which you will have to describe the rationale behind the research method that you have chosen. Give reasons why it is better than another research method.
- Data analysis and references – This heading will clarify the analysis that will take place for the data that has been chosen. Also, provide references to give the research validity and credibility.
Once the structure is ready, ask someone whether it is logical and apt for the purpose or not.
- Consider your audience –You are writing the dissertation so that others can read it. Consider your target audience and then think and write what they will like if you are looking for important tips while writing your dissertation methodology.
- Put the onus on the aim of the research paper and your research questions – The dissertation should have a clear purpose and provide a suitable answer as to why the methods used are perfect for the aim of your research. Put the onus on the aim of the research paper and your research questions if you are looking for important tips while writing your methodology. Link the research choices to the objectives and provide a clear-cut definition of the research questions to remain focused.
- Refer to relevant sources – If you are looking for important tips while writing your methodology, then refer to relevant sources. Make it a point to mention that you have followed the established practices and addressed the gaps in the literature.
- Mention the difficulties that you have faced – The dissertation methodology was not an easy task, and you must have faced lots of issues during it. Mention the difficulties that you have faced and how did you address them and minimize their impact if you are looking for important tips while writing your methodology.
How to Write a Dissertation Methodology?
Take the following steps to write a dissertation methodology in research
1. Explain the methodological approach
The first step in the dissertation methodology starts with explaining the overall approach.
What is the question of the problems that the research deals in and the researcher is investigating are the million-dollar question at this stage? Relevant questions can be
- Will the research establish a cause-and-effect relationship?
- Will the research investigate a topic that has not been appropriately researched?
- Is the research undertaken to describe the characteristics of a topic?
The next question the research deals in is the type of data required to achieve the desired aim. Relevant questions are
- What is the type of data needed for the dissertation methodology?
- Is it quantitative data or qualitative data?
- Will you collect the primary data or use secondary data?
- Have you collected descriptive data through observations without any interventions or experimental data by manipulating the variables?
It is time to discuss the assumptions and rationale that is the framework of your research. Relevant questions are
- Why do you think this approach best for your research?
- Is it the standard methodology?
- Will you have to look at any ethical considerations?
- Explain the criteria for validity and reliability in the research?
2. Describe the methods used for data collection
After explaining the ifs and buts of the methodological approach, this is the time to explain the data collection methods. Quantitative methods – In this section, describe your methods in such a manner that it will become easy for another researcher to duplicate the study.
It is time to offer details about the sampling method, operational concepts, how the variables were measured, and the tools used for collecting important data.
- Experiments – This section will offer details about procedures, techniques, and tools that have been used for the experiment. If it is experimental research, offer details so that another researcher can duplicate the results easily. Relevant questions are
- How were the participants hired?
- How was the experiment designed?
- How were the variables measured?
- What tools were used in the experiment?
- Surveys – This section will offer details about how and when the survey was conducted. Include the questionnaire as an appendix so that everyone can read about the data that was gathered. Relevant questions are
- What was the sampling method used for selecting the participants?
- What form did the questions take?
- How were the surveys conducted?
- What was the response rate?
- Existing data – This section will offer details about how the data was collected and selected for the analysis. Relevant questions are
- From where was the material sourced?
- What were the criteria used for material selection?
3. Qualitative methods
Reflect on the approach you have taken, the choices you have made, the criteria for selecting the participants, the context, and the role you played in gathering the data.
- Interviews – This is the section where you will have to describe how and when the interviews took place. Relevant questions are
- How were the participants selected?
- How many people took part in the interviews?
- What was the structure of the interviews?
- What was the length of the interviews?
- How were the interviews recorded?
- Participant observation – This is the section where you will have to describe how, when, and where the observation was conducted. Relevant questions are
- What is the group you were observing?
- How did you gain access to that specific group?
- Where was the research located?
- How lengthy was the research?
- What was your role in it?
- How was the data recorded?
- Existing data – This is the section where you will have to describe how the case study materials were selected for the analysis. Relevant questions are
- What was the type of case study materials that you analyzed?
- How did you collect and select the materials?
4. Describe the methods of analysis
This is the step in the dissertation methodology where you describe the methods you have used for the analysis. Too much detailed information is not required at this stage.
- Quantitative methods – This is the section where you will have to base your analysis on numbers. The methods section will include
- How was the data prepared before analyzing it?
- Which software was used to analyze the data?
- Which statistical tests were used to analyze the data?
- Qualitative methods – This is the section where you will have to base the analysis on observations, images, and language. The methods section will include
- A content analysis section where the meaning of sentences, phrases, and words will be discussed
- A Thematic analysis section where the data will be examined and coded to identify patterns and themes
- A Discourse analysis section of communication will be studied concerning its social context.
5. Evaluate and justify your choices
This is the last step of the dissertation methodology process. This is where you have to explain the reasons for choosing the specific methods you have opted for. Give reasons why other methods were not suitable for this methodology and make others understand how the approach you have chosen is the best one for your methodology and how it facilitates new knowledge.
This is the time to accept that there were some limitations in the approach, but you still have chosen this one because its strengths outweighed the weaknesses
The dissertation methodology is considered the most challenging part of a research paper. The key to the success of this time-consuming process is to keep in mind the essential tips and ensure that the reader understands your words to the full.
Remember to back your dissertation with academic references so that it looks appropriate to other readers.